Poti FIZ put into operation
25 November, 2010
Poti FIZ put into operation

The long awaited Poti Free Industrial Zone started operation at last. Rakia Georgia, part of the United Arab Emirates’ RAK Investment body (RAKIA), an administrator and organizer of the Zone, handed a brand new customs complex to the Ministry of Finances of Georgia that gave the start to the Zone operation.
The twice postponed ribbon-cutting ceremony of the much trumpeted Poti Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) took place on November 15, 2010. The opening event of the government’s pet project that

is supposed to become a driving force to entire Georgian economic development turned out unusually modest, shunning pomp and high-flown speeches of governmental top officials.
The August war and global financial crisis affected the venture. The UAE-based Rakeen Development acquiring 100% of Poti Port under 49-year lease term in 2008 and an obligation to develop FIZ within 300 hectare of territory adjacent to the area, was supposed to attract USD 400 million so as to create FIZ and build a completely new port infrastructure. However, the actual volume of the investments amounted USD 40 million as of yet.
FIZ opening ceremony was scheduled together with Poti Port opening on November 23, 2010.  The Port opening was delayed to December ultimately, but the FIZ could not wait any longer and started operation under request of companies, Shalva Beraia, Marketing Manager of RAKIA Georgia, informed Georgian Journal
“Activities of companies operating in Poti FIZ were hampered for lack of customs service and we opened it on November 15,” He said. “Starting this date all companies registered in FIZ can enjoy all privileges of the free zone.”
RAKIA invested more than USD 6 million in construction of new customs complex and equipped it with art-of-the-state technique including Rapiscan Systems Eagle M4509 [mobile X-ray scan system], Rapiscan System 622XR [X-ray] as well as Forklift Doosan D185-5. Moreover the customs is equipped by modern IT technique and video-monitoring systems. The customs subdues to the Georgian state customs department.
According to Beraia, 26 companies from different countries of the world including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Iran, Czech Republic  operate at Poti FIZ at the moment and the number is supposed to increase to 40 by the end of the year. Number of export-oriented Georgian companies also stated operation in Poti FIZ. Investors represent different industries incorporating manufacture of dye, food oil, furniture and ferro-alloy. Some of them have already started construction of plants.
The list of companies operating in Poti FIZ at the moment includes Aray Tomorrow (LG product Georgia], Tbilcement (US), Woodimpex and Prime Industries (Georgia), Metalurgical Manufacturing (Ukraine), Bio Oil Industries (Czech). At the moment, RAKIA Georgia negotiates with Zamil Steel (Saudi Arabia], Azersun Holding (Azerbaijan), Multi Group (Armenia), Ghani Glass (Pakistan), Nagarguna Fertilizer (India), Mercury Holding (Iran) and Purdue (US) to attract them to the Poti FIZ. 
Apart of customs, Poti FIZ is already equipped by up-to-date infrastructure including sewerage, water and electricity supply, gas will be available by December. Main road as well as canalization and gutter systems is under construction; the railway track leads to the FIZ borders and is supposed to run through FIZ territory soon. Storage and warehouse infrastructure are also under construction.  
At the second phase of its development RAKIA Georgia plans to establish a financial center providing customers by off-shore financial services globe over.

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