First e-visa facility in Georgia

E-visa will be launched from February 2015. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 29 Jan 2015 - 12:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Government is preparing to launch the country's first electronic visa (e-visa) facility - a move officials say will give "a major boost" to the country's tourism sector.

Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced the new e-visa facility would open in February 2015. 

The initiative was part of a strategy employed by the Government's economic team to maintain the long-term stability of the national currency, the GEL. The team have adopted specific measures to encourage export, boost tourism and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow in Georgia.

We want to increase the number of tourists visiting our country. For this purpose electronic visas will be launched in Georgia. This will simplify the procedures of visiting Georgia for tourists,” Garibashvili said.

Meanwhile, the Government is working on investment project ideas that will be implemented in different regions of Georgia.

"We have already created a very attractive offer for investors. This offer includes creating favourable conditions for investors in different regions of Georgia. The projects that are planned to be implemented are about building Hydro Power stations, developing and promoting the local production, and more. Now we are in the process of establishing communication with foreign businessmen and others who are interested in investing in the regions. We will do our best to encourage private investorstoo,” Garibashvili said.

The PM believed the Government's efforts would help maintain financial stability in Georgia despite the fact the GEL is continuing to depreciate.

Following on from this Garibashvili said the cost of general products and food would not increase, especially since the price of oil was dropping.

The depreciation of the Lari (GEL) in Georgia is a part of global processes. Almost every national currency has depreciated worldwide and the Georgian Lari is part of this general tendency. A floating exchange rate functions in Georgia and this is the most optimal regime for the Georgian economy,” Garibashvili said.

"If we compare Georgia to other countries we will see that almost every national currency has depreciated and in comparison, the Lari has maintained its stable position. 

"For example, the Ukrainian Hryvnia has depreciated in value against the US Dollar by 88 percent, the Russian Ruble by 83 percent, the Belarusian Ruble by 56 percent, the Moldovan Leu by 31 percent, the Swedish Krona and Norwegian Krona by 30 percent, the Polish Zloty by 27 percent, the Hungarian Forint by 24 percent and the Euro by 22 percent. As for the Georgian Lari, it has depreciated by 12 percent followed by the British Pound (GBP), which has depreciated by 10 percent,” Garibashvili said.

"These indicators show that there is nothing to worry about as the whole world faces the same problem and especially when we see that the prices of products do not increase. Moreover, the Government is working very efficiently to maintain financial stability in the country,” he added.