(MENAFN - Arab Times) "Setting up a business in Georgia is a straightforward process. Procedures are simple and efficient, based on a transparent system that promotes the establishment of new enterprises. In fact, the registration process takes only one day to complete," disclosed on Keti Bochorishvili, the Director of the Georgian National Investment Agency on Wednesday during the Business Forum on Investment Climate and Opportunities in Georgia at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
KCCI Board Member Wafa Al-Qatami welcomed Bochorishvili and the Georgian Business Delegation to Kuwait as the visiting delegation presented to their Kuwaiti counterpart the various investment opportunities and projects that they can venture in Georgia and to deepen the trade relations and cooperation between the business sectors of Kuwait and Georgia to increase the trade flow between the two countries. Present also during the forum were Georgian Ambassador to Kuwait Ekaterine Meiering-Mikadze and Counsellor Rusudan Lekishvili.
"We would like to thank the KCCI for your warm welcome. We hope that this business forum would further strengthen trade relations between Kuwait and Georgia. We hope that more Kuwaitis will start doing business in our country as the government of Georgia has created a favorable business climate," stated Ambassador Meiering-Mikadze.
Currently, a number of investment projects in Georgia are in the offing for foreign investors in various sectors such as Tourism and Hotels in Anaklia, Kobuleti, Ski Resort in Mestia, Tskaltubo Spa & Wellness Resort, Akhtala Mud Resort, Real Estate investment opportunities in Tbilisi with the privatization of some state-owned buildings, Apparel, Agriculture, Pharmaceutical, ICT, Light Manufacturing, Wood Processing Sector, Herbs and Medical Plants.
Gvantsa Meladze, Head of Export Support Service at the Georgian National Investment Agency briefed their Kuwaiti counterpart on Georgia's export opportunities in the food and beverage sector. "Georgia is home to over 2000 mineral water springs and we export mineral water and non-alcoholic beverages, fruit juices and fruit teas. We are also the third largest exporter of hazelnuts in the world," she revealed.
Bochorishvili outlined the various reasons why Kuwait should turn its attention to Georgia as the land of business opportunities. "Georgian industry is very entrepreneurial and highly motivated to develop rapidly. As industries in Georgia develop, firms and investors are looking for opportunities to invest. The combination of dynamic economic growth, pro-business legislation, a liberal tax code, a strong legal framework to protect investors and an educated and skilled workforce presents a solid platform for successful business in Georgia," she explained.
Bochorishvili informed that Georgia is World's Leading Reformer as cited by the World Bank. "The World Bank hails Georgia's meteoric five-year rise from 112th in 2005 to 11th in the 2010 World Bank & IFC "Doing Business" Index as unprecedented. No other country has made so many deep reforms in so many different areas so consistently," she cited.
Secondly, Georgia's strategic location is an asset to any investor. As a bridge between Europe and Asia, Georgia offers direct access to European, GCC and CIS markets. Its three major oil and gas pipelines, Black Sea ports, well-developed railway systems, together with its airports are playing an increasingly important role in linking the East and West.
Bochorishvili highlighted Georgia's consistent macroeconomic policies resulting in strong economic growth, with GDP increases of close to 10% before the crisis, reaching max of 12% in 2007. Despite the slowdown caused by the global financial crisis, Georgias real GDP growth rate was 6.4% in 2010. She added that Georgia has low tariffs, streamlined border clearance procedures and preferential trade regimes with major partners, including the EU, the U.S. and free trade with Turkey and CIS countries. Georgia has been a member of the WTO since 2000 and has no quantitative restrictions on trade.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Alexander Bolkvadze briefed the attendees on Georgia's legal framework in relation to international investment. "Since 2004, Georgia has implemented a proactive strategy in developing its legal framework in order to attract investment as well as to protect investors and their asset," he stated. He added that the Government of Georgia is working hardly to sustain future development of the Economy of Georgia. New Financial and Economic acts have been adopted by the Parliament, which obviously will help to maintain strong economic growth in Georgia.
Georgia has been rated as the world's one of the best countries for doing business on the basis of its business infrastructure, financial, legal and professional services, and its low and simple tax system. The WB s report on Doing Business 2011 can easily prove Georgia as one of the best destination for investors
Bochorishvili also cited Georgia's new Labor Code as one of the world s best in international rankings, reducing labor costs and giving greater freedom of contract to employers and employees. Simultaneously, Georgia offers the world s most literate workforce, and very competitive prevailing wage rates.
"With well-diversified investment sectors in energy, healthcare, agriculture, telecommunications, real estate & construction and infrastructure development, Georgia is not simply another marketplace, it is a genuine opportunity," she concluded.