Georgia is Open for Business
During my last visit to Georgia, I was asked to appear on the national television, channel one, which is similar to the BBC in the United Kingdom.
The programme I appeared on is a bit like Good Morning Britain so is watched by many Georgians and visitors alike.
Georgia has become much better known throughout the world over the last few years and when you get to know this wonderful democratic country and its people in the way that I have you will understand why. It is possibly the most hospitable nation on earth.
Georgians have a saying which translated into English means that visitors are considered a gift from God. Rest assured that’s just how it feels.
I was very fortunate during my visit this time because my son and business partner Leon travelled with me. We always prefer travelling together as we find that two heads are better than one when it comes to getting the most out of business trips such as this.
Georgian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Mrs Tamar Beruchashvili, certainly made sure we were kept busy! It is little wonder why she is held in such high regard, not only by Georgia and the United Kingdom, but by ambassadorial colleagues, government ministers and other senior political and business leaders around the world.
I appeared on two separate television channels and gave several other media interviews and made a visit to a mining operation before I gave a public lecture in the capital Tbilisi.
Importantly, our visit also included a private one hour meeting with the Prime Minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze, who is clearly fully focused on creating a progressive broad based democracy founded on an enterprise culture.
We also met with the Minister of The Economy, Giorgi Kobuli, who was very positive about Georgia’s future as an open market, free enterprise focused economy, and the possibility of working together to deliver some major infrastructure projects in Georgia over the next few years.
It is good to see so many young people in top jobs across Georgia. Even the Prime Minister is not yet 40.
I would encourage more international business people to consider investing in Georgia. It has access to over 2.3billion people through its free trade agreements with countries across the world, including the European Union.
There are an increasing number of excellent hotels to stay in such as The Marriott, Hilton, Radisson, and of course Rooms, where we stayed.
Many viewers will have seen Joanna Lumley on her UK based television programme, Silk Road Adventure, where an episode called, Discovering Georgia, was featured. Joanna also stayed at Rooms Hotel which is very stylish with an upbeat atmosphere, great food and excellent staff. It is located close to the centre of the capital Tbilisi, which has a population of around 1.3m making it about the size of Birmingham and Cardiff combined.
Georgia is the oldest winemaking nation in the world, older than both France and Italy, with its viticulture history going back 8,500 years.
With the forthcoming development of The Anaklia Deep Sea Port located on the Black Sea and of course the Silk Road initiative, which will see a new road being built from China to many destinations in Asia and Europe and which will importantly run through the middle of Georgia, makes the country uniquely well placed at the crossroads of both continents so it is without doubt destined to become one of the most important small countries in the world. Safe, stable and with a government that understands the importance of business and trade, Georgia’s future looks bright.
Georgia is definitely open for business and could be an excellent place to locate major manufacturing plants and even Head Offices for companies wanting tariff free access to over 2.3billion people.
According to The World Bank, Georgia is the 9th easiest place to do business in the world and has a sophisticated and safe banking system administered through its National Bank, The Bank of Georgia.
The very highly respected entrepreneurial banking group, TBC Bank, which besides being Georgia’s biggest bank is also listed on the London Stock Exchange is often the first port of call for investors seeking advice and banking facilities in the region.