Israeli companies to be the leading investors in Georgia. ისრაელის კომპანიები საქართველოში წამყვანი ინვესტორები იქნებიან

Israeli companies to be the leading investors in Georgia. ისრაელის კომპანიები საქართველოში წამყვანი ინვესტორები იქნებიან
17 December 2012

The Prime Ministers of Israel and Georgia and the Ambassadors of the both countries, the heads of Israeli business and trade organisations sent their greetings to the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business. Bidzina Iivanishvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia wrote in his address that "the government of Georgia will further improve the business environment in the country and encourage the activities of foreign investors in Georgia. I would like to express my gratitude to the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business for organizing this business forum".

After the Israeli Business Forum in Georgia, investors are starting work on the most part of 50 Israeli business projects which were discussed during the Forum last week.

If all the projects will start to be implemented by the support of the Government of Georgia, Itsik Moshe, President of the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business, expects Israeli private investments to become the leading investors in Georgia in 2013.

80 businessmen from Israel and, for the first time, from Moscow and Kiev were represented at the Forum. 50 percent of participants represented the real estate and hotel sector, 20 percent agriculture, and 10 percent technologies and other fields.

"The interest of Jews who live in Russia towards Georgia has been significantly increased," Itsik Moshe told The FINANCIAL. "In April we are waiting for a Russian Jewish delegations coming from different countries to Georgia. It is difficult to say for sure why Russian Jews have decided to pay more attention to the Georgian market. It seems that Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, has been cooperating with Russian Jews for a long time. Now these businessmen from Russia are studying the Georgian market. The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia made a very impressive presentation about the Georgian market for investors. The investors were very surprised to see so many positive aspects of the Georgian market. The information about the Georgian market is uploaded on the websites of economic organizations in Israel. We want this information to be available to everyone who is interested in Georgia," added Moshe. It is worth mentioning that IsraelGeorgia Business forum will be held in Israel in May.

"Besides the fact that Georgia has good indexes, what is very optimistic is that the crisis is coming to an end. I hope that with the end of the global financial crisis the flow of foreign direct investments to Georgia will increase. If all these positive expectations will be added to by the stimulation of Israeli investors we will really have a significant increase in all aspects in 2013. I have been invited to attend a business forum in San Francisco next year where I am going to explain to investors that Georgia is no less of an interesting and attractive market for them than Israel's market is," he added.

The President of the IsraelGeorgia Chamber of Business considers that not even ten percent of the market potential has been used in Georgia yet. "This means that we have a lot of work to do for the future. We see the rise of successful cooperation and partnership between the two states in almost all fields. Business cooperation is one of the most important aspects of bilateral relations. We have very ambitious goals for the next two years. We are eager to increase the number of Israeli tourists visiting Georgia from 60,000 to 200,000 next year and attract up to USD 1 billion of investments. The IsraelGeorgia Chamber of Business together with the Embassy of Israel in Georgia will do our best to encourage Israeli companies to invest and be the leading investors in Georgia," Moshe said.

Itsik Moshe believes that the interest from the side of Israeli investors is caused by the possibilities that Georgia offers the private sector. "Georgia has a liberal tax code with the number of taxes at only 6, of which the state taxes are Personal Income tax (20%), Profit tax
(15%), VAT (18%), Import tax, Excise tax and the only local tax being Property tax. Licenses and permits are only used in the production of highly risky goods and services. The procedures of using licenses are simple. Transparent privatization policy is addressed to nationalization of the remaining state property in order to attract foreign investments, increase and develop the private sector and effective use of country resources. Georgia offers one of the most liberal trade regimes of the world with 0 percent import tariffs on more than 85 percent of goods and only 5 percent and 12 percent on others, without any quantitative restriction on imports as well as exports. Georgia is in the list of just a few countries of the world which offers 100 percent free investment policy for companies, including the possibility of land ownership," he added.
The Georgian Government also supports the flow of Israeli investments in the country.

"Our thanks go to the Embassy of Israel in Georgia, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and The FINANCIAL, for supporting the Israeli Business Forum in Georgia," Moshe said.