Istanbul hosted an investment forum19 October 2015
Today an investment forum called "Istanbul-Batumi was held in Istanbul. This business forum organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Ajara was attended by over 120 participants. "Istanbul - Batumi" forum was held under the support and co-organization of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Consulate of Georgia in Istanbul and the International Association of Investors. The meeting was attended by major investor companies working in Turkey, representatives of various companies, Ajara Chamber of Commerce and other officials.
Minister of Finance and Economy of Ajara, Mr. David Baladze addressed the guests with the welcoming speech. In his speech, Mr. David Baladze spoke about cooperation between the two countries and discussed investment opportunities in the region:
"Turkey and Georgia have traditionally had a friendly and close relationship. For the first six months of 2015, Turkey has been the leader among the largest trade partners of Georgia. Due to Turkish investments, a large number of important projects have already been realized and are to be realized in the country and in our region.
Central and regional authorities have been working actively to attract foreign investment to Ajara region, thus contributing to regional economic growth, jobs creation and infrastructure development. Ajara is the most urban region of Georgia, and is the second largest region in the country as per the number of employed population. Revenues in the region’s budget constantly increase. Thus in the first 3 quarters of 2015, revenues of the Republic amounted to 139 million GEL, which is 26% more than the same period of 2014.
In 2014, the amount of direct private investments to Ajara amounted to 276 million US dollars, 55% of which belong to foreign investments. For the first 6 months of 2015, compared to the same period last year, investments grew by 44% and amounted to 165 million US dollars. In 2014, the highest amount of investment made to the region came from Turkey - 36%. We assume that direct private investments by the end of 2015 will increase by 100% compared to 2012. In 2012, this index amounted to 152 million USD. Many well-known hotels such as Sheraton, Radisson and Hilton have chosen Batumi for positioning its own brands. As a result of Turkish investments, the operation of the following facilities was launched: Leogrand Hotel, Batumi International University Hospital and Medical University, citrus packing and processing plants, a textile factory, a plant for the production of building materials. Several other facilities will be added to Batumi soon among which are a multifunctional residential and hotel complex «Metro Atlas Georgia», «Babilon Tower», «Princess Hotel» and «Porta Tower». Construction industry has been rapidly developing as a result of Turkish investments to the region. The support and protection of interests of local and foreign investors are of paramount importance to us. Accordingly, the investment and real estate buying conditions are the same for eveybody. The signing of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the EU is a good incentive for investment in Georgia from the countries outside the EU, as it will give them the possibility of free trade with the European Union and the entry into the half a billion market. This forum will help strengthen cooperation between entrepreneurs and business communities of our countries, and will mark the beginning of a large number of new projects in our region ", - Mr.David Baladze said in his speech.
During the forum, the representatives of the Ajara Government held bilateral meetings with investors at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. The representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Ajara have made a presentation for the participants of «Istanbul-Batumi» forum regarding the investment potential of the region, privatization objects and general regulations of starting a business in Georgia. The presentation of tourism opportunities in the region was provided by the head of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara.
The Istanbul forum was attended by the representatives of different private companies from various sectors, such as construction, tourism and logistics. They shared their experiences with their foreign partners. After the presentation session, various business meetings were held which will contribute to the development of business relations between Georgian and Turkish companies.
This business forum was held as a part of the investment tours organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Ajara. In the period of 2014-2015, 4-4 investment forums have been organized by the Ministry in Georgia and outside the country (in Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Turkey). By the end of the year, the Ministry will have organized one more investment forum.
In the second quarter of 2015, Turkey was the largest investor in the country (42%). Turkish investments are made mainly in tourism, energy and construction sectors.