Free industrial zones: five years in Georgia
Tuesday, April 3In 2007, Parliament introduced free industrial zones (FIZ) to Georgia. There are currently five official zones on Georgian territory, one in Poti, two in Kutaisi, one in Batumi, and one in Tbilisi.
In the five years since this decision, only two of the zones have become active, in Poti and Kutaisi. Some economic analysts suggest that the initiative has so far not worked as the administration had hoped.
On April 15, 2008, when the Poti FIZ opened, the government planned for 400 companies to enter the area. So far, according to official statistics, there are only about 100 companies active, with around 10 companies opening there every month. In the Kutaisi FIZ, there are seven active foreign companies, three of which are Egyptian, and there are around one thousand local employees working there. As for the rest of the free industrial zones, they are not functioning, or if they are, their activity is insignificant, according to analysts.