Enterprise Georgia, an agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development presented the annual report and plans at the company Meama, a beneficiary of the program.
‘Enterprise Georgia’ presents annual report
By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, February 17
Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava welcomed the attendees and summed up the main achievements of 2019.
"Enterprise Georgia is a very important program that has been operating since 2014 and since has become a powerful tool in helping the state, in particular, the Ministry of Economy to support Georgian businesses, including small and medium-sized businesses,” said Turnava in her welcoming speech.
Turnava spoke in detail about the plans and priorities that ‘Enterprise Georgia’ will focus on in 2020. According to the Minister, several new directions were identified, including tourism services, fishery and development of ceramics production.
“2019 was positive for the Georgian economy. Despite internal or external challenges and problems, the economy grew at a higher pace than expected and Georgia is ahead of the countries in the region,” noted the Minister. “Export also grew at a high pace, in part thanks to those enterprises that were able to launch, export, or offer to the local market with the help of ‘Enterprise Georgia’,” she added.
Following the Minister's welcome, Mikheil Khidureli, the Head of the Agency, made a presentation about Enterprise Georgia’s activities in 2019 and plans. According to him, in 2019, the Agency supported about 350 different business or hotel projects, including small hotels that needed help after the June 20 events. This is three times more than the number of projects implemented and supported in 2018.
As for the film industry, 13 international projects were funded under the program Film in Georgia in 2019, with over 55.7 million GEL being spent in the country.
Over Summer 2019, the ninth installment of the Fast & Furious saga became the first Hollywood film to participate in the State program ‘Film in Georgia.’ The program offers 20-25% cash rebate on qualified expenses incurred in Georgia and aims to “support the development of Georgia’s film industry, attract international filmmakers to the country and position Georgia as the main Eastern European filming destination.”
As a part of promoting export, with the support of the Agency in 2019, 120 Georgian companies have been able to participate in 16 international exhibitions. Within the same efforts, 65 export managers were retrained.
It is noteworthy that within the Agency's Third Direction - with the support of the Investment Attraction Department - in 2019, 5 international projects entered the country, with a total investment of US $83 million and more than 850 jobs created.
According to Enterprise Georgia, different areas must be added to the program in efforts to become more focused on SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).
As of last year’s statistics, 495 businesses and hotel projects have been created and expanded with the support of the Agency, creating 17,000 jobs. Compared to 2018, the number of enterprise projects has increased by 31% and hotel projects by 48%.
It is noteworthy that since the launch of the program in 2014, its economic effect has been significant. Namely, one subsidized GEL has stimulated 15.7 GEL investment by the private sector and the same subsidized GEL contributed 5.04 GEL to the budget and generated 8.7 GEL GDP.
Also, in addition to the major programs, Enterprise Georgia, in coordination with the Government and the Ministry of Economy, is constantly monitoring the country's short-term challenges. This year, as a result of the Russian flight ban, the country’s hospitality sector has suffered a major blow and the Agency quickly developed a program for small hotels, funding a total of 117 projects.
In addition to the aforementioned project, in 2019, the Agency developed a program to support villages bordering other countries to promote trade and business partnerships along the dividing lines. Within the framework of this project, 14 projects were supported, in particular 49 beneficiaries.
It is noteworthy that the event of the annual report was held at the company Meama, the beneficiary of the industrial program of the Agency Enterprise Georgia.
Meama is a high-tech coffee capsule producer in Georgia and is the only one in the world to produce both European and American-style coffee capsules. Georgian coffee capsules are planned to sell not only on the Georgian market but also on international markets.
The company employs 120 people and is planning to increase that figure to 500 in the future.
The event was attended by representatives of both the Government and the International Diplomatic Corps, as well as representatives of international donor organizations, the public and private sectors.