In June 2015 entrepreneurs and investors gathered in the Georgian embassy for an information session on Georgia’s promising potential for specialization.
In his welcome note the Georgian ambassador to Germany, Lado Chanturia, pointed to Georgia’s excellent ratings in international evaluations of business climate and corruption perception. Georgia’s difficulties in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) more likely arise from the fact that Georgia is quite unknown among international investors, said Chanturia.
Following a second welcome note by the representative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), GET Georgia presented an analysis of different sectors’ potential. Energy-intensive products such as aluminium and zinc in particular provide great potential due to competitive energy prices. In order to attract investment in these sectors, Georgia will have to invest in transport infrastructure like railroads and bigger harbors, explained GET Georgia’s consultant David Saha.
Metal industry’s goods of low complexity such as cables, containers, cranes und smaller boats could be manufactured in bigger quantities and at low cost in the future. The business climate is good, however, workers’ qualification levels could be further improved.
In the service sector, Georgia is well-advised to foster business-oriented services like accounting, market research, marketing and legal counselling. As the educational level not always meets expectations, Georgia should in particular invest in advanced vocational training of workforce. Very positive on the other hand is the wide-spread and good command of English. Regarding the food industry, Georgia offers ideal climatic conditions for further developing agricultural trade. Its current specialisation in hazel nuts, wine, water and spirits could be complemented with further specialisation in apples, vegetables, processed legumes, milk products and fish fillets.
Georgia is well-advised to aim at in-state production of goods with a higher processing stage than the current one. To facilitate possible investments in these sectors, Georgia should invest in extension of the transport infrastructure and improve qualification levels of workforce. Apart from that, Georgia’s unexhausted potential is illustrated by its positive competitive factors, namely the good business climate, low energy prices and competitive labour costs.
The companies Rödl & Partner and MTEch Strategie & Planung GmbH reported on their experiences of investing in Georgia. The national investment agency “Invest in Georgia” subsequently presented their working areas.