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Georgian authorities remain bullish on investment prospects

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Friday, December 28
The unrest of November threatened to undo much of Georgia’s gains in attracting foreign investments, analysts have warned.

Authorities repeatedly offer public insurances, however, that Georgia is not only still attractive for investments, but that the investment climate is continuously improving.

Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze, the former head of Bank of Georgia, predicts that Georgia will see USD 2 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) next year, according to the news agency Regnum.

The country has enjoyed notable success since the 2003 Rose Revolution in bringing in investments. That year, according to the newspaper Rezonansi, total FDI came to USD 339.8 million. By 2006, that total was USD 1.2 billion.

Foreign investments, with the exception of the massive Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, at one time came mostly from Russia. Other post-Soviet countries are now growing in significance, however; Kazakhstan has invested USD 142 million in the first three quarters of 2007, with Azerbaijan pumping in an estimated USD 260 million in the same period. The Netherlands has also been a major investor, Rezonansi reports.