Georgian-Swiss Business Forum:
PM outlines great potential to Swiss business investors

About 60 Swiss businessmen attended the Georgian-Swiss Business Forum in Bern. Photo by the PM's press office., 29 Jun 2016 - 15:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

"Georgia offers great potential to those who are looking for new investment areas and especially in the fastest growing sectors such as clean energy, tourism, manufacturing, regional services, logistics and agricultural business”.

With these words Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili addressed about 60 Swiss businessmen attending the Georgian-Swiss Business Forum in Switzerland's capital Bern on June 28.

While introducing Georgia’s efforts and achievements to improve the country's business and investment climate, Kvirikashvili noted the recently signed free trade deal with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) was the most important one.

Because of this, Kvirikashvili said Georgia now had better access to international markets. The deal allowed Georgian goods to be exported to four new European countries - Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - which combined have 14 million consumers with high purchasing power. 

Georgia's PM spoke about Georgia's friendly business and investment environment. Photo by the PM's press office. 

Currently Georgia enjoys free trade deals with markets that cater to more than 800 million people.

Georgia has a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) deal with the European Union (EU), free trade with Turkey and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a preferential export regime (GSP) with the United States (US), Canada, Japan, and the country expects to sign a free trade deal with China by the end of this year.

We will soon become the first country in the region to have free trade deals with the EU and China. We are completing negotiations with China and hope to sign a deal at the end of this year,” Kvirikashvili said.

Open and transparent policy, preferential investment climate, leading positions at the international ratings, growing economy and increased number of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) were the key factors that should attract Swiss investors in Georgia, believed Kvirikashvili.

Meanwhile, the PM accented the tourism and hospitality sectors and said Georgia was attracting more and more international visitors over the years. He said Georgia's tourism sector was successfully developing thanks to the safe environment in Georgia and no barriers related to real estate.

During the next five years the number of tourists is expected to grow by 8-10 percent,” said Kvirikashvili.

The head of the Georgian Government said Georgian-Swiss company Blauenstein Georgia was a successful example that encouraged joint business relations between the countries. Blauenstein Georgia was founded in 2008 in Georgia’s Racha region and operates in the cattle farming industry.

As an another example Kvirikashvili named the Joint Stock Company Margebeli, which is a holding company established by Georgian and Swiss private investors that operate in the Georgian market through the conglomeration of the four biggest companies operating in various sectors.

The PM also talked about the Government's four-point reform plan, which includes new tax benefits, infrastructure plans, governance reforms and an overhaul of the education system. Kvirikashvili said this was his plan to increase economic development.

Official figures showed Georgia received 25 percent less FDIs ($8.33 million USD) from Switzerland in the first three quarters of 2015.