Population – 3.7 million
Area – 69,700 square kilometres (equivalent to that of the Benelux countries)
National currency – Lari (GEL)
Religion – predominantly Orthodox Christians
Official language – Georgian, and Georgian and Abkhaz in the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia
Source: World Bank
*The World Bank Doing Business altered its methodology in 2016, thus the historical numbers are based on the former methodology Source: World Bank
Source: Trace International
Georgia has been a strong driver of reform over the last 15 years and there is a broad consensus on the policy direction among the main political parties, with a pro-reform government and population. Focus on developing a liberal market economy, approximation to the EU and membership of NATO.
Georgia signed the EU Association Agreement in 2014 opening up tariff free access to the EU market for Georgian products. In 2017, Georgian citizens were allowed to travel to the Schengen area without a visa. Georgia is a member of WTO, has ratified the Energy Charter Treaty and signed the New York Convention.
Peaceful democratic governance since 2004. The United National Movement won parliamentary elections in 2004 and 2008, and presidential elections the same years. Georgian Dream won parliamentary elections in 2012 and 2016 and the 2013 and 2018 presidential elections. There has been a peaceful transition of power between the main political blocks in Georgia.
The country has a large unexploited potential for hydropower production estimated to be at least 40 TWh.
Georgia is currently dependent on gas-fired power production to meet its growing electricity demand; hence the government has a very positive approach to foreign direct investments within the renewable energy field. Several successful projects have already been completed including the 87 MW Paravani project and the 108 MW Dariali project. Investments of more than 2 billion USD are planned in green field power projects, including the 1 billion USD 280 MW Nenskra project developed by K-Water from Korea and the 750 million USD 433 MW Namakhvani project deveoped by Enka from Turkey.
Source: World Energy Council, 2007
Key attractions include
- the modern beach and casino town Batumi
- the capital city Tbilisi, with its mix of medieval, classical, Soviet and modern architecture
- visiting ancient ruins, in the second country in the world to be Christianized
- hiking trip in the highlands
- wine tasting in the country that invented wine
- skiing in the Caucasus