Georgia fascinates Bollywood
10 February, 2011
Georgia fascinates Bollywood

Georgia is supposed to attract a tidbit investment through Bollywood studio. Representatives of Indian-based film producing industry visited Georgia by the end of January and found the country absolutely amazing for film-making.
Vera Kobalia, Minister of Economic Development, enjoys the first fruits of her visits to India in the fall of past year.
To boost its sluggish investment inflow, Georgia decided to diversify Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) sources and targets as far as China and India to this end. Georgian

government hopes that its favorable geographical location acknowledged as the crossroad between Europe and Asia, coupled with liberalized business climate of the country, free trade agreements with all CIS countries plus the upcoming Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with EU may lure Chinese and Indian investors to Georgia.
According to Vakhtang Lezhava, Chief Economic Advisor to Georgia’s Prime Minister, both China and India are growing global economies supposed to offset US economy gradually and consequently, to attract Chinese/Indian investors to Georgia is one of the priorities on the government’s agenda. Georgian government’s expectation reaches out in two directions: on the one hand they want Chinese/Indian investors to develop transit infrastructure so as to make Georgia as a regional hub, on the other hand, they propose to either manufacture or put together products in Georgia and export the Made-in-Georgia labeled goods to EU ultimately.
Nika Gilauri, Prime minister of Georgia, reported after his arrival that number of Chinese and Indian companies intend to come and invest in Georgian energy and infrastructure sectors.
During the governmental visit to India Kobalia called on famous Indian star Amir Khan’s place and he assured her that he was ready to arrive in Georgia and participate in film-making.
The expected new investors in energy and infrastructure from India did not show up as yet but Kobalia’s visit to famous movie star has already given results.
Delegation of Bollywood visited Georgia on January 27, 2011 to discuss future collaboration between Georgia and India in cinematography.
Group composed of 5 Indian movie producers [Narendra Bajaj - Siddhi Vinayak Creations; Varun Bajaj - Co-producer; Chirag Bajaj - Executive Producer; Roop Naik – Zip Zaap Zoom Productions and  Lela Sophoveyy - Proposed Coordinator (Georgia - India business)] stayed in Georgia for a week and got really excited by picturesque landscapes and cozy old towns of Georgia.
Famous Georgian tourist haunts including Caucasian highland Svaneti, the Black Sea littoral Ajara and Sighnagi [an old fortress-town in Kakheti, East Georgia] fell under particular interests of Indian film-makers, Georgian media reported. Bollywood delegation found Georgia very attractive and comfortable for film-shooting due to its compressed geographic landscape where high mountains, lowlands and sea landscapes all are available at a short distance. Shooting a film in Sighnagi is already decided; it is supposed to bring investments to Georgia. The film budget is not calculated as of yet. According to Bollywood guests, film costs do not change wherever they are shot but they hope Georgian government will assist them to cut down costs.
Kobalia promises that Bollywood will enjoy similar taxation regime in Georgia as other foreign investors do and does not rule out governmental support. According to her, shooting films abroad is a priority to Bollywood that enjoys much more income than Hollywood and actually, makes more films.
Varun Bajaj promised to shoot several films [if they really find Georgia comfortable for film-making] and bigger part of scenes will be shot in the lap of nature. Indian producers plan to make mainly thrillers and action-films in Georgia.
During this visit Indian producers also recorded a video about Georgia which will be presented to Indian film-makers and televisions to raise awareness of Georgian tourist potential.
Indian investment in Georgia totals about USD 70 million by today through few Indian companies operating in Georgia, including two biggest corporations, such as Geosteel, a Joint venture of JSW Steel Netherlands BV [wholly owned by Indian JSW and Georgian Steel Group Holding Ltd (GSGHL)], producing steel bars in Rustavi, and Jindal Petroleum Limited operating in the gas and oil exploration field. Both are parts of Jindal Group, one of the biggest Indian business groups.
One Indian investor is undertaking construction of a new Hydro Power Plant.

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