Tbilisi Free Zone as a Unique Business Environment

The first Free Industrial Zone in Eastern Georgia was opened in Tbilisi in December last year. At present, only the data center of the world's leading BitFury Group operates there. However, the Zone provides great opportunities for creating business in Georgia and attracting foreign investment.

“Here, we have created a Free Industrial Zone to which we will be able to attract the world’s leading companies to execute their activities,” said Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Dimitry Kumsishvili, at the opening in December. “Tbilisi Free Zone (TFZ) and the Data Center are important for placing Georgia on the world technology map. This is the first stage, and we are convinced that it will be followed by other companies.”

TFZ occupies 17.0 ha land, arbitrarily divided into 28 individual plots, and enjoys direct access to the largest labor pool of Georgia. It is located in immediate proximity to the main cargo transportation highway, Tbilisi International Airport (30 km), and Tbilisi center (17 km).

The land plots, with the smallest unit at 2.000 sq.m, may be leased individually or collectively for up to 50 years. Its unique configuration gives the opportunity to merge several land plots without restricting access to road and communications. TFZ also provides 24/7 security and customs control.

Giorgi Tabidze, the General Director of Tbilisi Free Zone held a meeting with representatives of business associations, private companies and ministries to discuss its adventures on March 23.

“Our goal is to satisfy the requirements of those who have their own businesses in Georgia, in particular, we mean the preferential tax regime of the Zone. We will also contribute to the development of industries based on knowledge and innovation by offering a wide range of services and solutions,” said Tabidze.

Like other free industrial zones, TFZ operates according to the Free Industrial Zones Law and based on a long-term contract with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. A Free Industrial Zone is designed to create such a tax, legal and administrative environment that tenant companies can compete successfully on the global market. Its benefits are tax incentives, simplified procedures, payments carried out in any currency, exemption from the majority of licenses/permits, and autonomy from local self-government bodies.

Georgian legislation has no restrictions on foreign ownership of companies or the form of ownership itself. Therefore, a local or foreign individual, as well as a local or foreign legal entity, may establish a TFZ Enterprise.

Tbilisi Free Zone is available and open for different areas of business: IT industry – in particular data center development, light manufacturing, pharmaceutical production, household goods, warehousing and cold storage. Tabidze mentioned that restrictions will be imposed only on the production of tobacco, weapons and goods that are subject to excise duty.

Eka Karsaulidze

28 March 2016 18:36