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What does Georgia offer Belarusian investors?

Friday, March 25
"Georgia is offering attractive opportunities to run European businesses, invest and implement innovative ideas.”

These words were how Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili addressed members of the Belarusian business society at the Georgia-Belarus Business Forum.

The Belarusian capital hosted the international forum on March 22-23. Georgia’s PM visited Minsk to attend the Forum and the events it included.

Fifty Georgian and Belarusian businesses participated in the bilateral forum.

Speaking to participants, Kvirikashvili highlighted the advantages entrepreneurs could enjoy if they invested in Georgia.

“An open, transparent and inclusive business environment is at your disposal. Our easy customs and tax system, and a non-corrupt Government are also part of our business-friendly environment,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM told the Belarusian investors that Georgia had agreements to avoid double taxation with 44 countries and Free Trade deals with the European Union (EU), Turkey and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – reaching markets of 800 million customers.

As of today, Georgia is also negotiating with China to establish a Free Trade agreement.

Furthermore, Kvirikashvili stressed Georgia enjoyed a Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) with the United States (US), Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Norway – reaching markets of 500 million customers.

Kvirikashvili announced Georgia was working on new law together with international financial corporations that focused on investor’s rights based on best international practice and recommendations.

Georgia’s state programs that supported business were introduced at the forum. As an example, Kvirikashvili spoke about the ‘Produce in Georgia’ state scheme, which financed 154 projects worth totalling 375 million GEL (about $162 million/ˆ145 million*).

The Georgian Prime Minister added local foundations such as Partnership Fund and the Co-Investment Fund would also support Belarusian investors in their activities in Georgia.

Georgia’s strategic location and its transit role was another advantage that could attract Belarusian investors, Kvirikashvili stated. He talked about the future projects that could link different countries of the region, and connect Asia to Europe.

He named the Anaklia Deep Sea Port development project, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railwayproject, the Silk Wind Train project and the Silk Road Forum as examples.

Kvirikashvili said Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) were also increasing in Georgia and this contributed to a growing economy.

“FDIs increased by 97 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. Preliminary data says FDIs reached $1.35 billion USD in 2015,” said Kvirikashvili.

Trade turnover between Georgia and Belarus was positive but the partnership could intensify to reach $200 million USD, believed Belarusian officials. (