Georgia - A Regional Hub and Asia’s Gateway to Europe?
06 November, 2014
Georgia - A Regional Hub and Asia’s Gateway to Europe?
Georgia, which connects Asia and Europe by the shortest geographic route, is also expected to ease the access of Asian investments to the European market. The liberal trade regime with the EU as well as the clement business climate gives this chance to the small Caucasian country that plans to become a regional hub in transport, logistic, energy and production sectors.

A two-day international investment forum was held on October 29-30th in Tbilisi to exhibit Georgia’s potential for attracting investments
from China, Asia, and Central Asia in particular. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia organized the event that brought together up to 300 high-ranking governmental and business representatives from Asian countries and beyond.
It is hardly a secret that to protect its market from flooding with Chinese exports, the EU puts rigid restrictions on China. On the other hand, after the global financial crisis, China and India were among the fast growing economies in the world that could afford new investments. Thus, the entire world has been turning its head toward the East, especially to China to get a slice of its huge investment pie. On the other hand, Chinese and Indian markets, each with population over a billion lures in Western businesses. At the first sight, Georgia with its relatively small, underdeveloped economy and population (of just slightly more than four million) looks pitiful in this international race for Asian markets and investments.
However, as the forum highlighted, Georgia’s favorable geographical location between Asia and Europe, low taxes, its liberal trade regimes with its neighboring countries, its easy-doing business climate, plus the recently signed free trade agreement with the EU puts Georgia in a very good position to attract Asian – and especially Chinese – investments.
“Geographically, Georgia is in a very strategic position to be a regional hub between Asia and the EU – the gateway to Europe. Geographically, this country is in very good position to facilitate trade. This is a very important advantage that Georgia has,” Wencai Zhang, Vice President of the ADB said in an interview to Georgian Journal. “The second advantage is its open economy. Georgia has a very small but very open economy toward the outside world. You just signed an Association Agreement with the EU, restarted trade with Russia and you have tried to get free trade with Central Asia. If there is also free trade with China, I think all these free trade and free investment policies in place will put the country in a very good position.”
John Defterios, CNN’s Emerging Markets Editor and Anchor of Global Exchange, believes that Georgia has all the building blocks at hand. The crucial aspect now is whether Georgia can be the springboard for Asian investments into the very large European market. According to him, Georgia, with its taxes much lower than most European countries have right now and with its free export opportunity to the EU, may attract plenty of investors.
Levan Surguladze, Head of Caucasus Financial Service (an investment fund), believes Georgia really does have big potential as a regional hub especially from the logistic and transport perspective. Production development also seems attractive.
“Georgia offers the most liberal customs regime in the Caucasian region. It allows traders to store their goods and cargos at Georgian customs warehouses and sell the product without customs clearance in the neighboring countries. It spares traders extra costs. So investors from both Asia and Europe may be interested in developing logistic and warehouse infrastructure here and shipping cargo in all directions. As for production, I see more potential for European rather than Chinese investors to come here for production. The point is that production costs in China have increased lately. The workforce got expensive and the production profit margin is not as large as before. Transportation costs are also high. Therefore European producers who used to produce in China may now come to Georgia. The Georgian labor force is not as cheap as in China but production costs are much lower here than in Europe. Besides, Georgia is closer to Europe and offers many privileges for start-up businesses. New businesses enjoy tax exemptions. Also, free industrial zones implemented in Georgia offer low-cost production opportunities. European entrepreneurs may produce products here and take them to Europe as Georgian exports that now have free access to the EU,” Surguladze said.
However he emphasizes the increased competition on railway routes. The recently created Eurasian Union, which unites Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia as a unified custom space creates huge competition for Georgia. This huge space offers unified customs and tariffs for the transportation corridor on the Asia-Europe route that looks attractive from a logistics point of view. It challenges the South Caucasian corridor that includes Georgia and Azerbaijan with different customs tariffs on the Caspian – Black Sea route. Tariffs on the South Caucasian railway must be liberalized if it wants to beat the competition, Surguladze believes.

Other Stories
Inovative and reliable online shop in Georgia -
Status of Georgia as a business and tourism interesting country is growing from year to year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Head Speaker List featuring Circle, and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.
Equiavlent to buried treasure – resources that are underused in Georgia
For 2018 the IMF Commission has forecast an annual economic growth for the Georgian economy of about 5,5%.
Does the quality of Georgian wine increase and how the export affects it
If we look at the data collected about modern Georgian wine, we will find out that the Georgian wines produced between 2015-2017 are much better in terms of their quality and Oenologic features rather than the wines produced between 2009-2011.
Japan simplifies the visa requirements for Georgian citizens
Diplomatic and economic relations between Georgia and Japan are now moving to a new phase. Recently Japan has decided to simplify the visa requirements for Georgian citizens.
M&S (Marks and Spencer) and H&M collections to be produced in Georgia
Garments manufacturer MGMTEX will start production of the M&S and H&M trendy collections from this September.
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30