Georgia’s economy is emerging from the 2008 internal displacements and is currently being supported by the international community to improve its economy, thus, providing potential investment opportunities to investors. This document discusses investment opportunities in the tourism and agricultural sector in Georgia.
Agriculture plays a significant role in Georgia’s economy, and according to FAO, Georgia and the Ministry of Agriculture, Georgia, the agriculture sector’s contribution to Georgia’s economy was 12.5% in average 2006-2009 (FAO Georgia 4). On average, the agricultural sector’s contribution to the country’s foreign exchange earnings between 2006 and 2010 was 21% (FAO Georgia 4). Georgia’s tourism sector has also been on the rise recording a 16% increase in 2009 (Georgian National Investment Agency 1).
The government acknowledges the importance of agriculture in ensuring food safety and poverty reduction and therefore is investing massive resources and engages in partnerships to promote agriculture in the country. The future of Georgia’s agricultural sector is positive given the country’s lots of fertile soils, subtropical climate, diverse agricultural species (National Investment Agency 2), and support from the international community such as the European Union.
There are several investment opportunities in Georgia’s agricultural sector. Animal production presents a great opportunity for investment in the country. FAO (24) notes that the total meat, milk as well as egg production have declined as compared to the levels recorded in 2009.
In contrast, a new slaughterhouse, IberMeat Geogia, was established in the country in 2010 (FAO Georgia 9). Besides, meat processing enterprises have been established in Kakheti, Gurjaanitwon and in Telavillage funded by the Millenium Challenge Georgia Fund (FAO Georgia 9). These present an opportunity for investing in beef cattle. Again, dairy cattle have been on the decline opening an opportunity for investment in dairy production.
Georgia has also become a member of the Wine World Trade Group opening opportunities for investment in production of vine and wine manufacturing to be exported without additional barriers to the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina (FAO 9). Besides, many agricultural manufacturing plants have been opened or revived to open up associated agricultural activities in the country. These include Sugar plant in Agara, New Nuts Works in Zugdidi and Geoplant tea production in Guria and Samagrelo (FAO 10).
Again, export opportunities for Georgian persimmons, bay oil, and lemonade have been on the rise. Lemonade is currently exported to 14 countries, while persimmons is exported to Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus and Moldova (FAO 12). Georgian Bay Oil is in high demand in Australia (FAO 12). These present investment opportunities in production of bay, lemonade and persimmons.
Georgian National Investment Agency (1) reports that there is an increasing interest in the number international tourists who are seeking to experience Georgia’s unspoiled nature as well as quality service. The country has numerous tourism opportunities which include high snow-capped mountains in the Caucasus range, Black Sea’ sub-tropical lushness, hot thermal waters, and nine climate zones which matches the desires of diverse tourists who travel to the countries among other opportunities.
Georgia had more than 1.5 million visitors in 2009, “an increase of 16% compared to 2008” (Georgian National Investment Agency 1), and the number continues to increase. Georgia is ranked as “the most competitive tourism destination country” by the World Economic Forum (Georgian National Investment Agency 1).
Georgian National Investment Agency (1) reports that Georgia’s hotels are becoming crowded and therefore more hotels are needed to accommodate tourists who visit the country. In May this year, a US-based research company, STR global, reported that high-end hotels in Tbilisi “reached 100% occupancy” (Georgian National Investment Agency 1). This presents a great opportunity for investment in Georgia’s tourism infrastructure especially hotels.
The agricultural and tourism sector in Georgia provides numerous potential investment opportunities. These two sectors receive the greatest government support which makes them more suitable for investment.
FAO, Georgia. Georgia. Agricultural Sector Bulletin Winter 2011. Web.
Georgian National Investment Agency. Hotel occupancy reaches 100% in Tbilisi. Invest Today 4 (June 2011). Web.
National Investment Agency. Panel Discussion & Presentations: Opportunities in the Georgian Agribusiness Sector. Invest in Georgia, 11 October, 2011. Web.