Posted on September 27, 2015

Georgia has been promoting a free-market economy as part of its efforts to increase competitiveness and accelerate development, the country’s envoy in Qatar has said in Gulf Times.

“There is no limit on foreign ownership and our country has promoted investment by lowering and simplifying the tax system” said Ambassador Ekaterine Meiering-Mikadze (pictured), recalling that the World Bank recently ranked her country as the 15th most business- and investor-friendly country in the world. “As far as the Heritage Foundation Index of 2014 is concerned, Georgia, which is ranked 22nd globally, fares better than many European countries,” she said.

As Georgia provides a vital land link between China and Central Asia on the one hand and Europe on the other, and also as part of its efforts to revive the old Silk Road, it is encouraging investments in the transportation sector and logistics. “We also expect investments in hydro-power as Georgia is rich in water resources for electricity generation,” said the envoy, adding mineral water produced in her country is among the best in the world. 

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She said processing industries have witnessed a huge growth in recent years as Georgia enjoys preferential access to the EU. Any investor producing goods in Georgia benefits from both its investment-friendly environment and reduced costs. “Also, they get access to the most interesting common market on Earth, the EU.” The ambassador said some local entrepreneurs in Doha have shown interest in exploring business opportunities in select sectors.

The envoy singled out hospitality as one of the fastest-growing businesses in her country. “There is remarkably good scope for setting up four-star and five-star hotels across Georgia,” she said, adding that many residents from the region reported that hotels in her country were booked to full capacity all through the year and it was difficult to get rooms during busy seasons.Meiering-Mikadze said her country, being relatively close to Qatar, could provide assistance to boost agricultural production. Gulf nations rely on imports for most of their edible and non-edible consumables and she hoped Georgia’s organically produced fruits, vegetables and other produce could find a good market in this country.

“Another area where we could meet Qatar’s requirements is quality meat, in particular sheep,” she said. “Owing to aviation and logistics proximity with Georgia, Qatar could consider importing our agricultural products in the coming days.”