Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2015 population is about 3.75 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.
Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and a major part of the international community consider the regions to be part of Georgia's sovereign territory under Russian military occupation.
Like most other post-socialist countries, Georgia's finance sector is dominated by banks. As of 2015, there were 21 commercial banks, of which 5 large banks controlled most of financial assets. There are some major challenges facing the banking sector. For instance, banks play a limited role in financing the real economy and in investing in activities that are required to stabilize the country’s persistent trade.
|Agriculture||Vegetables, milk, spices, Jute, oil seed, wheat & rice.|
|Manufacture||Cars, ferroalloys, oil and energy.|
|Services (Including financial)||67.3% (2015 estimate)|
|Socar Georgia Petroleum||Oil|
|Toyota Caucasus LLC||Automotive|
|Gulf, also known as Sun Petroleum Georgia||Oil|
|Wissol Petroleum Georgia||Oil|
|Socar Georgia Gas||Oil|
The Georgian Stock Exchange is the principal stock exchange in the country of Georgia. It was created by the "Joint Stock Company Georgian Stock Exchange Charter" which was registered and approved in 1999. It is located in the capital city of Tbilisi and its abbreviation in English is GeSE.
During the pre-crisis years, as a part of President Saakashvili’s economic growth plan, the Georgian government worked closely with the IMF and the World Bank on multiple development programs, including “Millennium Challenge” projects. The government continuously received praise from international financial institutions regarding successful implementation of these programs, especially once the post-crisis recovery began. Thus Georgia’s economic recovery is a success story for the IMF and the World Bank development programs combined with strong leadership and effectiveeconomic governance.
Also, experts believe that despite the great disruption caused by the war, post-war financial assistance from the international community helped Georgia better weather the approaching global economic crisis by becoming an early recipient of the financial aid it would have needed later anyway. While most EU member states had to deal with growing public dissatisfaction over severe austerity measures, the Georgian government was able to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy increasing public spending to promote economic growth, although its pre-crisis public spending (salaries and social welfare) was not even close to that of the EU member states, and the social welfare system was nearly nonexistent before 2004.
Fueled mostly by financial assistance from the international community, the Georgian economy managed to recover to 6.3% GDP growth in 2010 and grew strongly by 7% in 2011. Growth in 2012 was 7% of the GDP, the highest among its Black Sea/ Caucasus neighbors- Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The government’s policy reform agenda included a macroeconomic and fiscal framework with an effective fiscal stimulus to restore confidence and mitigate the downturn in 2008-2009, followed by a high-quality fiscal adjustment to safeguard sustainability. FDI and other private capital inflows dropped dramatically after 2008, but slowly began to resume growth in 2010.
Foreign aid and close compliance with the rules established by the IFIs has helped the Georgian government stage this impressive economic recovery, yet many fundamental challenges remain. Government debt has increased during the crisis and, at 40% of GDP currently it is almost twice the amount of most of the EU-10 countries (which average 20% if one excludes Hungary, which is the outlier at 80% of GDP).
Increased FDI is a priority for sustainable growth for Georgia’s economy, as loans, aid and remittances from Georgians working abroad (mostly illegally) have been the main cash flow channels and do not guarantee long-term sustainability. Besides, the government has failed to effectively direct FDI and credit towards creating jobs. The official unemployment rate was reported at 15% in 2011 (although the unofficial number is 34% and some experts believe it is closer to 50%). Unemployment and a weak social welfare system remain primary concerns of Georgian citizens as 24.7% of Georgians continue to live in poverty.
The August 2008 war left the government with 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) to provide essential housing for; this task still remains a challenge. Overall improvement of social services, including better employment opportunities and important public services for all IDPs, also remains a challenge.
There is a great imbalance between imports and exports in Georgia. Despite the fact that one-third of Georgians rely on agriculture, no effective reforms have been implemented in this sector and Georgia is currently a major food importer. The Georgian government has not been able to effectively take advantage of its WTO membership benefits, nor has it established free trade agreements with strategic partners like the United States. Despite the fact that increasing Georgia’s investor-friendliness is a clear priority of the Georgian government and much progress has been made in attracting FDI, further tax and regulatory reforms are necessary, including maximum stability guarantees for foreign investors (national security, commitment to consistently low tax rates, etc.). There are also reports of government level corruption and great difficulty to maneuver the business sector for newcomers.
During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. The kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. A unified Kingdom of Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 11th–12th centuries. Thereafter the area was dominated by various large empires for centuries, including the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire, and successive dynasties of Iran. In the late 18th century, the kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti forged an alliance with the Russian Empire, and the area was annexed by Russia in 1801. The latter's rule over Georgia was confirmed in 1813 through the Treaty of Gulistan with Qajar Iran. Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Georgia obtained independence, though only briefly, and established its first-ever republic under German and British protection, only to be invaded by Soviet Russia in 1921 and subsequently absorbed into the Soviet Union as the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Since the establishment of the modern Georgian republic in April 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil and economic crisis for most of the 1990s. This lasted until the peaceful Rose Revolution, when Georgia pursued a strongly pro-Western foreign policy, introducing a series of democratic and economic reforms aimed at NATO and European integration. The country's Western orientation soon led to the worsening of relations with Russia, culminating in the brief Russo-Georgian War.
The lari is the currency of Georgia. It is divided into 100 tetri. The name lari is an old Georgian word denoting a hoard, property, while tetri is an old Georgian monetary term (meaning 'white') used in ancient Colchis from the 6th century BC. Earlier Georgian currencies include the maneti and abazi.
On 8 July 2014, Giorgi Kadagidze, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), introduced the winning proposal for the sign of the national currency to the public and its author. The Georgian lari had its own sign.
The NBG announced the Lari sign competition in December 2013. The temporary commission consisted of representatives of NBG, the Budget and Finance Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, the State Council of Heraldry, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.
In choosing the winning sign, the commission gave priority to the samples based on the Georgian Mkhedruli character and made a point of the following criteria: conception, design, accordance with Georgian alphabet, existence of elements marking the currency, ease of construction, and observance of requests and recommendations determined by competition rules.
The Lari sign is based on an arched letter of the Georgian script. It is common in international common practice for a currency sign to consist of a letter, crossed by one or two parallel lines. Two parallel lines crossing the letter Lasi are the basic components of the Lari sign. The so-called “leg” of the letter, represented by a horizontal line, is a necessary attribute of the sign, adding monumental stability to the upper dynamic arc. The form of the letter is transformed in order to simplify its perception and implementation as a Lari sign.
|Currency||Georgian lari (GEL)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||37.174 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||2.8 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$10043.768 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
President – Salome Zourabichvili
Prime Minister – Mamuka Bakhtadze
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||44.894 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||11.577 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|