UK - Georgia Trade Hub, Simplifying Trade between the Two Countries

The UK market has always been and will be an important and desirable market and strategic partner for Georgia. To date, the UK is the largest investor in the Georgian Economy, while Georgia was one of the first countries to sign a free trade agreement with the UK after the latter decided to leave the European Union, and the majority of Georgian products are now free from any custom charges.

The agreement of strategic partnership between the UK and Georgia was signed in October of 2019 in London. The document entails partnership in various fields and, most importantly, a free trade regime between the two countries. For Georgian entrepreneurs and businessmen, the British market is very attractive and interesting. However, they often have to face some serious challenges. This especially applies to small-business owners who do not have enough resources to form straight connections with British partners and distribution networks.

Having studied the contemporary demands and tendencies, the British-Georgian Chamber of Commerce (BGCC) and its partners created a business project titled ‘UK-Georgia Trade Hub,’ designed to unite small and medium-sized businesses interested in entering the British market and simplify for them logistical-administrative services, while helping them overcome difficulties, and cutting the costs of warehousing production.

“This project revives an agreement that practically only exists on paper right now. We were worried it could continue to be just that, on mere paper, unless the trading was actively processed from both sides,” project creator Bachi Gabunia told GEORGIA TODAY. “As Brexit takes effect from the start of the new year, the reality stands that the United Kingdom has not signed trade agreements with many EU countries. This could work in Georgia’s favour: we can substitute the products that might become deficient on the UK market after the country leaves the EU.”

“Considering the difference in the value of the Georgian Lari and British Pound, and the fact that Georgian-made goods are produced using Laris and if exported onto the UK market will be sold in pounds, Georgian entrepreneurs can make a profit even if they only sell one out of every three products they export to Great Britain,” Gabunia added.

The UK-Georgia Trade Hub consists of two hubs, one in Tbilisi and one in London, where entrepreneurs and businessmen from the two countries will be able to warehouse their production meant for export. The common warehouse cuts costs for the entrepreneurs since it gives them the opportunity to rent a minimal space for warehousing their production in the UK. The advantages of the UK Georgia Trade Hub do not end there: with this project, entrepreneurs will also be able to conduct negotiations and talks with a potential buyer online from Georgia, without having to set up a representative office in Great Britain. The management of the online platform is also taken care of by the UK Georgia Trade Hub. What’s more, the warehouse Hub will take no interest from the entrepreneur’s profit. Those willing to export their products to the United Kingdom will only have to pay the cost of transportation, warehousing and monthly service.

True to the nature of trading, the BGCC’s new business project will also support British entrepreneurs wanting to export their products to Georgia.

The UK-Georgia Trade Hub offers different consumer packages (depending on the space they need to rent, the transfer costs, administrative and warehousing services on the spot), based on the interests and goals of the entrepreneurs. The Hub is interested in making trade for Georgian and British entrepreneurs as easy and affordable as possible, so the production will be grouped when transferred, reducing the costs of transportation. A small-sized business owner can start shipping their production via UGTH with as little as one pallet of their products.

The common Hub also unites Door2Door services, creating a comfortable space for companies interested in trade.

The project creators believe that the above-mentioned services will make the trading process simpler, and the production more affordable for both the producers and the customers. This will in turn help popularize the Georgian products in Britain and the British products in Georgia, overall contributing greatly to raising the goods turnover between the two countries.

The UK Georgia Trade Hub further aims to, one year after its foundation, become the main hub of trade between the two countries and create packages for every client.

While talking to us about the project, Mako Abashidze, the Founding Director of the BGCC, mentioned the supporters of the project who contributed greatly to its creation: The Embassy of Georgia to the United Kingdom, The Embassy of the United Kingdom to Georgia, Enterprise Georgia, and the EDA – Export Development Agency.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

10 September 2020 16:13