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“In Georgia, you can establish a company in two or three days”

May 18, 2009

Interview with the Georgian ambassador in Bucharest, HE Levan Metreveli

Despite the last war damages and the global crisis, Georgia is still a place to visit, a place for Romanians, for tourists generally speaking? Let’s talk also about prices. Taking into account this global crisis, everybody is looking for not very expensive destinations, but having correct services in the meantime.
Yes, there is a country to visit for many, many reasons. Georgia is across the Black Sea, not very far, is very easy to reach the Georgian main destinations. Many of them are on the Black Sea Coast. For instance, Batumi is a fantastic and very nice city. Comparing to maybe other resorts in this region, the prices are much lower there, we offer high level European standards of service, and it is peaceful, which is also important. The law enforcement agencies are very effective. They are no corrupt – this is very important, because when tourists go somewhere, they should be confident that nothing wrong will happen to them, in terms of the legal aspects, and they might have a harmless environment, so all of those conditions are fulfilled. Of course, when people go back in the past, when they realize there was a war a year ago, it might affect their decision. But even during the war, there have been tourists in Batumi.
And in this moment?
In this moment, the situation is absolutely under control. Even during the war, the construction of new hotels did not stop. So, we are ready for the holiday season, for the summertime. We also have sky resorts, so for the winter time it is very fine to go there. Shortly speaking it is just across the sea, is not far away, the prices are much lower than in other countries, so why not to go to Georgia?
We have been working and we are still working hard with the Romanian government in two directions, in terms of the directing transportation. One is Poti – Constanța ferryboat, mostly for cargoes, and another is about tourist connections between Constanța- Poti and Constanța – Bathoumi. In the next few years, it might take few hours to Constanța from Batumi and you are there. So therefore Georgia is attractive for tourists. When you go somewhere, if you are taking a holiday to Georgia, if you are in business or in some area of the economy, you will also look around for business opportunities.
How long it will take, for example, to establish a company in Georgia?
No longer then two or three days. My country is important from that point of view. We have one of the very liberal taxation system in the region. Our taxes are quite low. Tax administration is quite simple, straight forward, and within two or three days, somebody can establish a business in Georgia. We actually introduced few years ago an one window system – you collect all the certificates for launching a business in one window. Therefore, having in mind the low corruption level, simplified authorization system, simplified administration system, you can get start with a business very soon and be sure your business is protected.
What about the taxes?

We have a sales tax, a social tax, an income tax – those are the three major ones. And we have also the profit tax, but in certain businesses, if you reinvest money, you will not pay tax for profit, and this will help for the business development. And we have very few municipal taxes, altogether up to fifteen, but those who apply to the businesses are just few.
If you will recommend to the Romanian businessman to invest in Georgia, which fields do you believe there are more attractive?
For the small and medium enterprises – tourism, because Georgia has huge resources for tourist development and the labor force is not as expensive as here or in the Eastern Europe so that is an advantage, then agriculture. Georgia is an agricultural country and that is also important, we have bioproducts. Energy is the third and very important field, because Georgia is a transit route for many pipelines and can be engage even more actively, transport corridor, wine industry. I realize that Romania is one of the wine producing country, but in your market, in the European market there is still a gap which can be filled by products produced by Georgian- Romanian joint ventures.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 18, 2009 9:01 am

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

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