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Skepticism over free industrial zones

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 10
State officials declare with pride that a second free industrial zone, after the one in Poti, will be established in the second largest city of Georgia, Kutaisi. The previously unknown Egyptian company Fresh is building 12 factories to produce different types of commodities in that city, and this complex will be the zone. During a meeting with ICC Georgia PM Nika Gilauri said that according to his information Fresh will dismantle its washing machine producing factory in Norway and ship it to Kutaisi.

Economic experts are already skeptical about the investors, who plan to invest 1.2 billion by the end of this year and another 2 billions over the next two years. Economic analyst Gia Khukhashvili highlights the fact that the EU does not very much welcome free economic zones, which do not exist in any EU country. “How is it possible that on one hand the administration declares its intention to take Georgia into the EU and on the other it stakes so much on creating free economic zones?” asks Khukhashvili. The analyst says it is impossible to reconcile these contradictory positions, meaning that either the state is cheating the investor by attracting him in the knowledge that it will have to force him to leave or it is cheating the Georgian people by promising them the country will develop in an EU-compatible direction.