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The region of present day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1921 and regained its independence when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Mounting public discontent over rampant corruption and ineffective government services, followed by an attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. In the aftermath of that popular movement, which became known as the "Rose Revolution," new elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his United National Movement party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by Russian assistance and support to the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Periodic flare-ups in tension and violence culminated in a five-day conflict in August 2008 between Russia and Georgia, including the invasion of large portions of undisputed Georgian territory. Russian troops pledged to pull back from most occupied Georgian territory, but in late August 2008 Russia unilaterally recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Russian military forces remain in those regions.


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Economy - overview
Georgia's main economic activities include the cultivation of agricultural products such as grapes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts; mining of manganese, copper, and gold; and output of a small industrial sector producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, and chemicals. The country imports nearly all its needed supplies of natural gas and oil products. It has sizeable hydropower capacity that now provides most of its energy needs. Georgia has overcome the chronic energy shortages and gas supply interruptions of the past by renovating hydropower plants and by increasingly relying on natural gas imports from Azerbaijan instead of from Russia. Construction of the Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-T'bilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline, and the Kars-Akhalkalaki Railroad are part of a strategy to capitalize on Georgia's strategic location between Europe and Asia and develop its role as a transit point for gas, oil, and other goods. Georgia's economy sustained GDP growth of more than 10% in 2006-07, based on strong inflows of foreign investment and robust government spending. However, GDP growth slowed following the August 2008 conflict with Russia, and turned negative in 2009 as foreign direct investment and workers' remittances declined in the wake of the global financial crisis. The economy rebounded in 2010-11, with growth rates above 6% per year, but FDI inflows, the engine of Georgian economic growth prior to the 2008 conflict, have not recovered fully. Unemployment has also remained high at 16%. Georgia has historically suffered from a chronic failure to collect tax revenues; however, the government, since coming to power in 2004, has simplified the tax code, improved tax administration, increased tax enforcement, and cracked down on petty corruption, leading to higher revenues. The economic downturn of 2008-09 eroded the tax base and led to a decline in the budget surplus and an increase in public borrowing needs. The country is pinning its hopes for renewed growth on a determined effort to continue to liberalize the economy by reducing regulation, taxes, and corruption in order to attract foreign investment, with a focus on hydropower, agriculture, tourism, and textiles production. Since 2004, the government has taken a series of actions against endemic corruption, including reform of the traffic police and implementation of a fair examination system for entering the university system. The government has received high marks from the World Bank for its anti-corruption efforts.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 120
$24.86 billion (2011 est.)
$23.24 billion (2010 est.)
$21.87 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$14.35 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 30
7% (2011 est.)
6.3% (2010 est.)
-3.8% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 145
$5,600 (2011 est.)
$5,200 (2010 est.)
$5,000 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 8.8%
Industry 22.7%
Services 68.5% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 121
1.945 million (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 55.6%
Industry 8.9%
Services 35.5% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 154
16.3% (2010 est.)
16.9% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line
9.7% (2010)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2%
Highest 10% 31.3% (2008)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 56
40.8 (2009)
37.1 (1996)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 16
31.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $4.07 billion
Expenditures $4.73 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 102
28.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 150
-4.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 179
8.5% (2011 est.)
7.1% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 38
6.5% (31 January 2012)
8% (25 December 2008)
This is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy rate of the National Bank of Georgia

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 10
25.87% (31 December 2011 est.)
24.213% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 123
$2.436 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.312 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 131
$4.249 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.546 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 116
$5.026 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.96 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 108
$795.7 million (31 December 2011)
$1.06 billion (31 December 2010)
$733.3 million (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock

Steel, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese, copper, and gold), chemicals, wood products, wine

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 8
11.8% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 92
10.1 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 91
9.256 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - exports
931 million kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - imports
471 million kWh (2011 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 105
983.8 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 146
13,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 117
1,008 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 115
18,500 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 82
35 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 90
10 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 81
1.71 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 102
0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 49
1.74 billion cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 81
8.495 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 141
-$1.845 billion (2011 est.)
-$1.469 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 138
$2.189 billion (2011 est.)
$2.462 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Vehicles, ferro-alloys, fertilizers, nuts, scrap metal, gold, copper ores

Exports - partners
Azerbaijan 17.5%, Turkey 10.5%, Armenia 10%, Kazakhstan 7.3%, Ukraine 6.2%, US 5.5%, Canada 5.2%, Bulgaria 4.7% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 111
$7.058 billion (2011 est.)
$5.049 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Fuels, vehicles, machinery and parts, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners
Turkey 17.8%, Ukraine 10%, Azerbaijan 8.3%, China 7.6%, Germany 6.9%, Russia 5.7% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 104
$2.818 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.264 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 91
$11.08 billion (31 December 2011)
$10.77 billion (31 December 2010)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 83
$NA $9.133 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$8.159 billion

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 80
$153.5 million
$153.5 million

Exchange rates
Laris (GEL) per US dollar -
1.6865 (2011 est.)
1.7823 (2010 est.)
1.6705 (2009)
1.47 (2008)
1.7 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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Georgia (Tbilisi):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Georgia (Tbilisi)

square Khodzhabeg Georgia (general)

square Urochishche Nachal'dukari Georgia (general)

square Leti Georgia (general)

square Razvaliny Khachirantkari Georgia (general)

square Gudisskiy Khrebet Georgia (general)

square Gora Tlil' Georgia (general)

square Bailet'i Guria

square Pereval Manga-avtsakh Georgia (general)

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