Georgia business prospects remain bright thanks to the government’s efforts to create a free, market oriented economy that is equitable to both local and foreign investors. A few of the beneficial economic policies that have been implemented include – reduced tax rates (including a flat income tax), reduced regulations, dramatically simplified administrative procedures, and measures to stamp out corruption.
Georgia is now one of the most liberal tax jurisdictions in Europe. A streamlined tax administration includes simplified procedures for reporting value added tax, for filing and paying taxes electronically, and for conducting tax disputes. Georgia also offers simplified procedures and unique services for the registration of your business, property, and different documentation via “One-Stop-Shops” (where most procedures can be done on-line). Due to customs tariff reform, Modern Customs Clearance Zones were established and customs clearance procedures have been dramatically simplified, sharply reducing the time and costs connected to the foreign trade. Finally, according to the Transparency International, Georgia is the top country in the post-soviet region in terms of fighting corruption.
Other benefits of Georgia’s business environment include – an advantageous geographic location, preferential trade regimes with foreign countries, a well developed, integrated and multimodal transport infrastructure, a deregulated energy sector, plus an educated, skilled and competitive workforce.
In terms of industry, Georgia is traditionally agrarian. Agricultural production – tobacco, grain, grapes, citrus fruits, hazelnuts, tea, goats and sheep – supports a healthy food processing industry, including Georgia’s famous wines and cognacs. Gold, silver, copper, iron, and manganese are mined in the Caucasus Mountains, while the mountains are also the source of sizable hydropower resources. Tourism is an increasingly significant part of the Georgian economy thanks largely to the nation’s splendid climate and topography. Tourist attractions include more than 2000 mineral springs and over 12,000 historical and cultural monuments (four of which are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Another important sector is Georgia’s role as a transit corridor for oil, gas, and other goods between Europe and Asia. And despite the growing influence of services in the modern Georgian economy, there are other industries that play a small, albeit important, role in Georgia business. These include the production of chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, machinery, electrical appliances, plus a small shipbuilding sector.