Business and investment conditions are sound in Georgia, however, there is an increasing lack of confidence in the judicial sector’s ability to adjudicate commercial cases independently or in a timely, competent manner, read the 2021 Investment Climate Statements about Georgia published by the US Department of State.
Other companies complain of inefficient decision-making processes at the municipal level, shortcomings in the enforcement of intellectual property rights, lack of effective anti-trust policies, accusations of political meddling, selective enforcement of laws and regulations, including commercial laws, and difficulties resolving disputes over property rights”, reads the statement.
The US Department of State says that the Georgian government ‘continues to work to address these issues’, and despite these remaining challenges, Georgia ranks ‘high in the region as a good place to do business’.
In the statement Georgia is described as a small but open market country that derives benefits from international trade, tourism, and transportation.
The statement reads that the average growth rate of the Georgian economy was over 5% from 2005 through 2019, and its rankings have ‘improved impressively in global business, governance, corruption, and other indexes’, however the Covid-19 pandemic ‘has reversed some of the past gains and has placed significant pressure on the domestic currency and local economy’.
The statement also reads that the US and Georgia work to increase bilateral trade and investment through a High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment and through the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission’s Economic, Energy, and Trade Working Group.
The US Department of State says in the statement that transit and logistics are priority sectors as Georgia seeks to benefit from increased East/West trade through the country.
The statement mentions the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad that has ‘boosted Georgia’s transit prospects’. On the other hand the statement also mentions the Anaklia Deep Sea Port Project and reads that despite the government’s claim that it remains committed to the implementation of the project, ‘investors and local business leaders doubt that commitment’.
Separately, logistics and port management companies in Poti and Batumi have started development and expansion of both the Batumi and Poti Ports. In 2020, logistics companies will complete two new terminal projects and a third will be underway – a multimodal terminal in Batumi and new terminals and increased storage in Poti”, reads the statement.
In the end, the statement confirms the US support towards Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and does not recognise the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia as independent.