The Georgian Economy
Archaeological research demonstrates
that Georgia has been involved in commerce with many lands and empires
since the ancient times, largely due its location on the Black Sea and
later on the historical Silk Road. Gold, silver, copper and iron have
been mined in the Caucasus Mountains. Wine making is a very old tradition.
Throughout Georgia's modern history agriculture
and tourism have been principal economic sectors, due to the country's
climate and topography.
Georgia is becoming more integrated into
the global trading network: its 2006 imports and exports account for
10% and 18% of GDP respectively. Georgia's main imports are natural
gas, oil products, machinery and parts, and transport equipment.
Since coming to power Saakashvili administration
accomplished a series of reforms aimed at impoving tax collection. Among
other things a flat income tax was introduced in 2004. As a result budget
revenues have increased fourfold and once large budget deficit has turned
Georgia is developing into an international
transport corridor through Batumi and Poti ports, an oil pipeline from
Baku through Tbilisi to Ceyhan, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC)
and a parallel gas pipeline, the South Caucasus Pipeline.
Tourism is an increasingly significant
part of the Georgian economy. About a million tourists brought US$313
million to the country in 2006. According to the government, there are
103 resorts in different climatic zones in Georgia. Tourist attractions
include more than 2000 mineral springs, over 12,000 historical and cultural
monuments, four of which are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites
(Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi and Gelati Monastery, historical monuments
of Mtskheta, and Upper Svaneti).