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Georgia: Expanding its horizons with the UAE
The UAE and Georgia signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on March 17, confirming a shared vision to increase collaborations and draw promising perspectives for Emirati and Georgian investors and business communities
Readers of Khaleej Times would have recently discovered a comprehensive supplement in a magazine format titled "Georgia, expanding its horizons with the UAE", showcasing Georgia's leading trade, investment and tourism opportunities strengthened by the recently signed CEPA.
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Table of content
Introduction: Georgia and the UAE
Introduction: Georgia and the UAE
In the Caucasus region, only a three hours flight from the UAE, Georgia has established itself as a remarkable illustration of economic progress, positioning the country among the top 10 global performers in terms of GDP growth. With its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this former Soviet republic has caught the attention of investors. Its diverse economy, driven by transportation, energy, and manufacturing sectors, contributes to its overall stability.
Amid geopolitical tensions, Georgia is strategically positioned to seize opportunities. The middle corridor, a crucial trade route between Asia and Europe, holds immense potential for its trade prospects.
Georgia's resilience is evident despite external shocks. It achieved double-digit economic growth for the second consecutive year, with record-breaking exports exceeding $5.6 billion in 2022. Foreign direct investments reached $2 billion, with 48% originating from Europe. The government's steadfast commitment to macroeconomic stability is reflected in reduced budget deficits and a lowered public debt-to-GDP ratio.
Marking a significant milestone, Georgia and the UAE signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on March 17, 2023, strengthening their economic ties. Bilateral non-oil trade reached $468 million in 2022, accounting for 63% of Georgia's trade with the Arab world. The UAE is keenly interested in sectors like real estate, energy, agriculture, and tourism, presenting enticing opportunities.
Georgia's remarkable economic achievements and promising prospects make it an appealing destination for UAE investors.
Click here to read more about the CEPA and Georgia's Government vision.
Georgia has emerged as a promising destination for Emirati business leaders searching for untapped potential in a stable environment. With a remarkable economic growth rate of 10.1% in 2022 and a projected growth of 4% in 2023, Georgia is hailed as the region's shining star. The country's business-friendly policies, strategic location, and ample investment opportunities have positioned it as an attractive destination.
Ranked seventh on the ease of doing business index, Georgia has streamlined its tax system and reduced bureaucracy. The Business Association of Georgia (BAG) Index reports an all-time high in the business climate, with increased investments in sectors like real estate, energy, and logistics.
Georgia's strategic location as a gateway between Europe and Asia, coupled with modern infrastructure and free-trade agreements, presents lucrative opportunities. The country's real estate market, energy sector, and thriving business process outsourcing industry are particularly appealing to investors. Georgia's young and skilled workforce further enhances its investment potential.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Attractiveness.
Georgia's financial sector has undergone remarkable transformations, propelled by bold reforms and a focus on digitalization. Fitch Ratings recently upgraded the country's financial outlook, reflecting its positive trajectory. The banking sector and its two leading players, Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank, comply with EU standards and are listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Archil Mestvirishvili, Acting Governor and Vice Governor of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) highlights the sector's competitive nature and concentration of players. With a strong emphasis on technology, these banks have established themselves as leaders in digital practices. Notably, the sector has maintained stability, with no banking bankruptcy cases in recent years.
Georgia's thriving and resilient financial sector, exemplified by its well-managed banks and commitment to digital innovation, positions the country as a compelling destination for global investors.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Financial sector.
Georgia's technology sector is rapidly evolving, attracting global tech companies with various incentives and programs. The country's tax code amendment offers favourable tax benefits for international IT companies, making Georgia an appealing destination for establishing a regional presence.
Access to finance for startups has also improved, with the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) providing funding programs and partnering with renowned accelerators like "500 Global" and Bank of Georgia.
The technology transfer program with the European Union, led by GITA, has further stimulated the growth of startups, some of which have raised substantial private capital. The ICT sector has experienced significant expansion, with increasing export services and the arrival of overseas IT companies. Georgia's fintech sector has flourished, driven by the introduction of digital services and the government's initiative for open banking, presenting new opportunities for commercial banks and fintech firms.
With the continuous development of technology parks and a favourable business environment, Georgia is on track to become a regional leader in technology and innovation.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Tech sector
Georgia's agro-food sector presents trade and investment opportunities for the UAE. With fertile soils and diverse climate zones, Georgia is an ideal location for agriculture. Agribusiness production has surged by 112% in the past decade, with significant investments reaching $6.2 billion in 2022.
Georgia achieved record-breaking agro-food exports of $1.3 billion, with growing interest in its high-quality products. Notably, Georgian companies showcased their offerings at the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, aiming to establish trade partnerships.
The UAE's demand for Georgian agricultural products creates ample opportunities for farmers and exporters. Georgia's supportive government programs and agricultural potential make it an attractive destination for investment and trade.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Agro-industry sector.
With its abundant water resources and vast hydropower potential, Georgia has witnessed a remarkable transformation in its energy sector. Formerly plagued by scheduled electricity supply, the country has now become an electricity exporter, recording a milestone of $84.3 million in export revenues in 2022. Georgia will attract $3 billion in investments for new energy generation projects to bolster its energy landscape over the next three years.
A key driver of this progress is the introduction of the contract for differences (CFD) as a support mechanism for renewable energy. Under this scheme, the government commits to purchasing electricity from the private sector at auction-determined prices for 15 years, promoting the local generation and ensuring stability amid price fluctuations.
Furthermore, Georgia is embarking on a significant historical project: the Black Sea underwater power transmission cable. Stretching over 1,195 km, with 1,100 km underwater, the cable will connect the South Caucasus region to Southeastern Europe, facilitating electricity exports to the European Union from Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. This project is set to enhance Georgia's role as an energy transit country and bolster its position in the region.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Energy sector.
Georgia's strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia positions it as a game-changer for international logistics. Its historical role along the silk road and the ongoing situation between Russia and Ukraine have propelled Georgia's emergence as a vital transit hub. The government is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure renewal to fulfil its geographic and historical role.
Georgia is modernizing its railways, expanding airports, and constructing a high-speed highway to enhance connectivity. Ports like Poti and the planned Anaklia deep-sea-water port are crucial for logistics. The country is a critical transit point for oil and gas pipelines, strengthening its position in the energy supply chain.
Georgia has established free industrial zones (FIZs), offering tax incentives and streamlined regulations to attract foreign investment and boost economic growth. These zones have become significant regional trade hubs, diversifying the economy.
Georgia's aviation sector is rapidly expanding, with investments in airport infrastructure and cargo operations. The focus on attracting more airlines and travellers aligns with economic development and growth goals.
With its strategic location, infrastructure investments, and focus on international trade and investment, Georgia is poised to transform international logistics and attract new investment opportunities.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Infrastructure and Logistics sectors.
Georgia's real estate market is booming, offering excellent opportunities for local and foreign investors. The demand for apartments, private residences, and tourist infrastructure is driving the sector's growth, particularly in urban centres like Tbilisi and Batumi.
With the urbanization rate projected to reach 60 per cent by 2023, the need to replace outdated structures is further fueling the demand. Emirati investors are finding prospects in the expanding hospitality sector, while migration trends have intensified demand in the rental market. Tbilisi has experienced double-digit growth in real estate transactions and prices, leading to fierce competition in the market.
Some Georgian developers are establishing a presence in Dubai, and architectural firms are significantly modernizing the country's landscape. Georgia's real estate market offers attractive investment opportunities with high-profit margins and stable growth prospects.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Construction and Real Estate sectors.
Georgia is a captivating land between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea. It is emerging as a must-visit destination for discerning travellers seeking authentic experiences. The Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) plays a pivotal role in promoting sustainable tourism and showcasing the country's unique allure.
With its diverse landscapes, from pristine mountains to stunning coastlines, Georgia offers a wealth of experiences. The bustling streets of Tbilisi, the capital city, charm visitors with a blend of old-world charm and vibrant modernity. Hospitality in Georgia has been redefined, creating cultural hubs that celebrate Georgian traditions and architecture.
The country's rich gastronomy, with dishes like Khachapuri and Khinkali, entices food enthusiasts.
Georgia's commitment to tourism is evident, with 40 weekly flights between the UAE and Georgia during the high season, catering to the growing interest of Emirati residents. The UAE's investment in Georgia's tourism sector opens up new opportunities for locals and foreign investors.
With warm hospitality, breathtaking landscapes, and a rich cultural tapestry, Georgia invites travellers to discover its hidden treasures and create unforgettable memories.
Click here to read more about Georgia’s Tourism.
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Find below a list of Georgian companies actively seeking business opportunities with the UAE :