DECEMBER 26 - 28, 2017
EU Allocates €9.9 mln FDi Intelligence Includes Georgia for Extension of Georgian in ‘Tourism Locations of the Future’ Transmission Network BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI
G Photo: Signing of Financing and Project Implementing Agreement on the “Extension of the Georgian Transmission Network”
BY THEA MORRISON
he European Union, through its Neighborhood Investment Facility (NIF), provided a €9.9 million (GEL 28 million) grant to support the program on “Extension of the Georgian Transmission Network”, co-financed by the German government-owned development bank KfW. Deputy Minister of Economy of Georgia, Giorgi Chikovani; General Director of Georgian State Electro system (GSE), Sulkhan Zumburidze; and KfW representative, Hans Rieck, signed a Financing and Project Implementing Agreement on the ‘Extension of the Georgian Transmission Network.’ The aim of the program is to: provide grid infrastructure for promotion of net integration of hydropower plants (HPPs), increase transmission capacities, including cross-border trade, and improve the security of energy supply of Georgia. The program consists of the following
components: the Tskaltubo-AkhaltsikheTortum Connection, reinforcement of transmission infrastructure in Guria, construction of the North Ring, and reinforcement of Kakheti transmission infrastructure. The EU NIF contribution of €9.9 million consists of a €5.9 million investment component and €4 million technical assistance component. This contribution comes in conjunction with the €125 million loan already provided by KfW Development Bank. The program is also co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The total cost of the project is €225.36 million. KfW´s activities in Georgia started in 1993. Since then, more than €750 million has been invested in different sectors, among them the energy, financial, municipal infrastructure, environment and health sectors. The Economy Ministry reports that more than 50% of the whole investment (€400 million) has been attributed to the energy sector of Georgia.
eorgia is among the FDi's inaugural Tourism Editor's Choice Awards, as one of the countries named winner in the Tourism Locations of the Future for 2017/2018, alongside Thailand, the Maldives, Hong Kong, Greece, Montenegro, Dominican Republic, Croatia, Panama, Saint Lucia, Cape Verde, Antigua, Cyprus, Jamaica, Macau, Luxembourg, Malta, Seychelles, Dominica and Belize. “The FDi's inaugural Tourism Editor's Choice Awards for tourism single out the countries that have devised specific and successful strategies to attract investment,” the article, by Cathy Mullan on www.fdiintelligence.com, says. Data was collected using specialist online tools, the FDi Benchmark, Fdi Markets, and other sources, for 43 locations, determined by “Countries with at least 10% of GDP derived from tourism receipts; and/ or countries with at least 10% of all FDI projects in the tourism cluster.” Countries scored up to a maximum of 10 points for each data point, which were weighted by importance to the FDI decision-making process to compile the overall ‘Tourism Locations of the Future 2017/18’ ranking. In addition, surveys were collected under a sixth category, FDI Strategy, for which there were nine submissions. For these, the judging panel awarded the bespoke Editor’s Choice awards. Georgia was awarded with the Investment Award for Hotels. “Major developments include the €70m Biltmore Hotel, a seven-star hotel in Tbilisi, and the €25m Castello Mare five-star hotel on the Black Sea coast” the report states.
Further to the Investment Award, the country received a specialism award for Spa and Wellness, noting that, “The main promotional subsector in the tourism sector for 2017 is spas and wellness, and the government is currently developing Tskaltubo Spa and Wellness Resort”. As reported, “Investors in the hotel industry can apply for the Hotel Development Incentive from 2018, allowing them to access state-backed finance for the development of hotels. The country has thus been given a Financing Support award in recognition of its effort to assist investors in the tourism sector.” Furtermore, Georgia has also been recognized
with the Diversity of Visitors Award and Ease of Entry Award. “Georgia has seen the composition of its tourist arrivals (which numbered nearly 6 million in 2015) develop and expand. Middle Eastern markets have increased, as has the number of visitors from India and China. This contributed to the country’s Diversity of Visitors award. In 2015, the country introduced an e-visa portal, which allows visitors to apply for a visitor’s visa online. However, nationals from 97 countries do not require a visa to enter the country, which is in receipt of the Ease of Entry award,” the report states.
Published on Dec 25, 2017