Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rank of Georgia

The Rank of Georgia from poorest is 60th with national average per capita income using Atlas method per capita income is 830 in 2003. in other measurement, IMF, WB and CIA in 2007, 2007, and 2008
The rank from the richest is 145.

Government and Politics fo Georgia

Georgia is a democratic semi-presidential republic, with the President as the head of state, and Prime Minister as the head of government. The executive branch of power is made up of the President and the Cabinet of Georgia. The Cabinet is composed of ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, and appointed by the President. Notably, the ministers of defense and interior are not members of the Cabinet and are subordinated directly to the President of Georgia. Mikheil Saakashvili is the current President of Georgia after winning 53.47% of the vote in the 2008 election. Since February 6, 2009 Nikoloz Gilauri has been the prime minister of Georgia.
Legislative authority is vested in the Parliament of Georgia. It is unicameral and has 150 members, known as deputies, from which 75 members are proportional representatives and 75 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies. Members of parliament are elected for four-year terms. Five parties and electoral blocs had representatives elected to the parliament in the 2008 elections: theUnited National Movement (governing party), The Joint Opposition, the Christian-Democrats, the Labour Party and Republican Party.On 26 May 2012, Saakashvili inaugurated a new Parliament building in the western city of Kutaisi, in an effort to decentralise power and shift some political control closer to Abkhazia.
Although considerable progress was made since the Rose revolution, Saakashvili states that Georgia is still not a "full-fledged, very well-formed, crystalized society. The political system remains in the process of transition, with frequent adjustments to the balance of power between the President and Parliament, and opposition proposals ranging from transforming the country into parliamentary republic to re-establishing themonarchy. Observers note the deficit of trust in relations between the Government and the opposition.
Different opinions exist regarding the degree of political freedom in Georgia. President Saakashvili believes that the country is "on the road to becoming a European democracy. Freedom House lists Georgia as a partly free country.
In preparation for 2012 parliamentary elections, Parliament adopted a new electoral code on December 27, 2011 that incorporated many recommendations from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Venice Commission. However, the new code failed to address the Venice Commission’s primary recommendation to strengthen the equality of the vote by reconstituting single-mandate election districts to be comparable in size. On December 28, Parliament amended the Law on Political Unions to regulate campaign and political party financing. Local and international observers raised concerns about several amendments, including the vagueness of the criteria for determining political bribery and which individuals and organizations would be subject to the law. As of March 2012, Parliament was discussing further amendments to address these concerns.
The elections in October 2012 resulted in the clear victory for the opposition, which President Saakashvili conceded on the following day

Education, culture and religion of Georgia


The education system of Georgia has undergone sweeping modernizing, although controversial, reforms since 2004. Education in Georgia is mandatory for all children aged 6–14. The school system is divided into elementary (6 years; age level 6–12), basic (3 years; age level 12–15), and secondary (3 years; age level 15–18), or alternatively vocational studies (2 years). Students with a secondary school certificate have access to higher education. Only the students who have passed the Unified National Examinations may enroll in a state-accredited higher education institution, based on ranking of scores he/she received at the exams.
Most of these institutions offer three levels of study: a Bachelor's Program (3–4 years); a Master's Program (2 years), and a Doctoral Program (3 years). There is also a Certified Specialist's Program that represents a single-level higher education program lasting for 3–6 years. As of 2008, 20 higher education institutions are accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.[159] Gross primary enrollment ratio was 94% for the period of 2001–2006.


Ancient Colchian golden earrings, 4th century BC.
Georgian culture evolved over thousands of years with its foundations in Iberian and Colchian civilizations, continuing into the rise of the unified Georgian Kingdom under the single monarchy of the Bagrationi. Georgian culture enjoyed a golden age and renaissance of classical literature, arts, philosophy, architecture and science in the 11th century.
The Georgian language, and the Classical Georgian literature of the poet Shota Rustaveli, were revived in the 19th century after a long period of turmoil, laying the foundations of the romantics and novelists of the modern era such as Grigol Orbeliani, Nikoloz Baratashvili, Ilia Chavchavadze,Akaki Tsereteli, Vazha Pshavela, and many others. Georgian culture was influenced by Classical Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and later by the Russian Empire.
Georgians have their own unique 3 alphabets which according to traditional accounts was invented by King Pharnavaz I of Iberia in 3rd century BC.
Georgia is well known for its rich folklore, unique traditional music, theatre, cinema, and art. Georgians are renowned for their love of music, dance, theatre and cinema. In the 20th century there have been notable Georgian painters such as Niko Pirosmani, Lado Gudiashvili, Elene Akhvlediani; ballet choreographers such as George Balanchine, Vakhtang Chabukiani, and Nino Ananiashvili; poets such as Galaktion Tabidze,Lado Asatiani, and Mukhran Machavariani; and theatre and film directors such as Robert Sturua, Tengiz Abuladze, Giorgi Danelia and Otar Ioseliani.


The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia’s ancient capital.
A large majority of Georgia's population (83.9% in 2002)practices Orthodox Christianity. The Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the world's most ancient Christian Churches, and claims apostolic foundation by Saint Andrew. In the first half of the 4th century Christianity was adopted as the state religion of Iberia (present-day Kartli, or Eastern Georgia), following the missionary work of Saint Nino of Cappadocia.[168][169] The Church gained autocephaly during the early Middle Ages; it was abolished during the Russian domination of the country, restored in 1917 and fully recognised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1990.
The special status of the Georgian Orthodox Church is officially recognised in the Constitution of Georgia and the Concordat of 2002, although religious institutions are separate from the state, and every citizen has the right of religion.
Religious minorities of Georgia include Armenian Christians (3.9%), Muslims (9.9%), and Roman Catholics (0.8%). Islam is represented by both Azerbaijani Shia Muslims (in the South-East) and ethnic Georgian Sunni Muslims in Adjara. Georgian Jews trace the history of their community to the 6th century BC; their numbers have dwindled in the last decades due to strong emigration towardsIsrael.
Despite the long history of religious harmony in Georgia, there have been several instances of religious discrimination and violence against "nontraditional faiths", such as Jehovah's Witnesses, by the followers of the defrocked Orthodox priest Vasil Mkalavishvili.

Economy of Georgia


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 theCaucasus Mountains. Wine making is a very old tradition. The country has sizable hydropower resources. Throughout Georgia's modern history agriculture and tourism have been principal economic sectors, because of the country's climate and topography.
For much of the 20th century, Georgia's economy was within the Soviet model of command economy. Since the fall of the USSR in 1991, Georgia embarked on a major structural reform designed to transition to a free market economy. As with all other post-Soviet states, Georgia faced a severe economic collapse. The civil war and military conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia aggravated the crisis. The agriculture and industry output diminished. By 1994 the gross domestic product had shrunk to a quarter of that of 1989. The first financial help from the West came in 1995, when the World Bank and International Monetary Fund granted Georgia a credit of USD 206 million and Germany granted DM 50 million.
The production of wine is a traditional component of the Georgian economy.
Since the early 21st century visible positive developments have been observed in the economy of Georgia. In 2007 Georgia's real GDP growth rate reached 12%, making Georgia one of the fastest growing economies in Eastern Europe. The World Bank dubbed Georgia "the number one economic reformer in the world" because it has in one year improved from rank 112th to 18th in terms of ease of doing business.[125] The country has a high unemployment rate of 12.6% and has fairly low median income compared to European countries.
The 2006 ban on imports of Georgian wine to Russia, one of Georgia's biggest trading partners, and break of financial links was described by the IMF Mission as an "external shock", In addition, Russia increased the price of gas for Georgia. This was followed by the spike in the Georgian lari's rate of inflation] The National Bank of Georgia stated that the inflation was mainly triggered by external reasons, including Russia’s economic embargo. The Georgian authorities expected that the current account deficit due to the embargo in 2007 would be financed by "higher foreign exchange proceeds generated by the large inflow of foreign direct investment" and an increase in tourist revenues. The country has also maintained a solid credit in international market securities. 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.
The most visited ski resort of Georgia,Gudauri.
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).
Georgia is developing into an international transport corridor through Batumi and Poti ports, an oil pipeline from Baku through Tbilisi toCeyhan, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) and a parallel gas pipeline, the South Caucasus Pipeline.
Since coming to power Saakashvili administration accomplished a series of reforms aimed at improving tax collection. Among other things a flat income tax was introduced in 2004. As a result budget revenues have increased fourfold and a once large budget deficithas turned into surplus.[133][134][135]
As of 2001 54% of the population lived below the national poverty line but by 2006 poverty decreased to 34%. In 2005 average monthly income of a household was GEL 347 (about 200 USD). IMF 2007 estimates place Georgia's nominal GDP at US$10.3 billion. Georgia's economy is becoming more devoted to services (now representing 65% of GDP), moving away from agricultural sector ( 10.9%).


A green directional sign on the ს 1 motorway, denoting it as such.
Today transport in Georgia is provided by means of rail, road, shipping and air travel. Positioned in the Caucasus and on the coast of the Black Sea, Georgia is a key country through which energy imports to the European Union from neighbouring Azerbaijan pass. Traditionally the country was located on an important north-south trade route between European Russia and the Near East and Turkey.
In recent years Georgia has invested large amounts of money in the modernisation of its transport networks. The construction of new highways has been prioritised and, as such, major cities like Tbilisi have seen the quality of their roads improve dramatically; despite this however, the quality of inter-city routes remains poor and to date only one motorway-standard road has been constructed - the ს 1.[
The Georgian railways represent an important transport artery for the Caucasus as they make up the largest proportion of a route linking the Black and Caspian Seas, this in turn has allowed them to benefit in recent years from increased energy exports from neighbouringAzerbaijan to the European Union, Ukraine and Turkey. Passenger services are operated by the state-owned Georgian Railwayswhilst freight operations are carried out by a number of licensed operators. Since 2004 the Georgian Railways have been undergoing a rolling program of fleet-renewal and managerial restructuring which is aimed at making the service provided more efficient and comfortable for passengers. Infrastructural development has also been high on the agenda for the railways, with the key Tbilisi railway junction expected to undergo major reorganisation in the near future. Additional projects also include the construction of the economically important Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway, which for the first time will connect much of the Caucasus with Turkey by standard gauge railway
Air and maritime transport is developing in Georgia, with the former mainly used by passengers and the latter for transport of freight. Georgia currently has four international airports; the largest of which is by far Tbilisi International Airport, hub for Georgian Airways, which offers connections to many large European cities. Other airports in the country are largely underdeveloped or lack scheduled traffic, although, as of late, efforts have been made to solve both these problems.[143] There are a number of seaports along Georgia's Black Seacoast, the largest and must busy of which is the Port of Batumi; whilst the town is itself a seaside resort, the port is a major cargo terminal in the caucasus and is often used by neighbouring Azerbaijan as a transit point for making energy deliveries to Europe. Scheduled and chartered passenger ferry services link Georgia with Ukraine and Turkey.

Industry in Georgia

Georgia had 9,804 manufacturing firms in 1997. The total value of shipments was $127 billion in that year. Important products included textiles, clothing, aircraft, soft drinks, paper, paints and varnishes, bricks and tiles, glassware, and ceramics.
Georgia was primarily an agrarian state before the Civil War, but afterward the cities developed a strong industrial base by taking advantage of abundant waterpower to operate factories. Textiles have long been dominant, but new industries have also been developed. Charles H. Herty, a chemist at the University of Georgia, discovered a new method of extracting turpentine which worked so well that Georgia led the nation in producing turpentine, tar, rosin, and pitch by 1982. Herty also perfected an economical way of making newsprint from southern pines, which was adopted by Georgia's paper mills. With the onset of World War II, meat-processing plants were built at rail centers, and fertilizer plants and cottonseed mills were expanded.
The state's—and Atlanta's—most famous product was created in 1886 when druggist John S. Pemberton developed a formula which he sold to Asa Griggs Candler, who in 1892 formed the Coca-Cola Co. In 1919, the Candlers sold the company to a syndicate headed by Ernest Woodruff, whose son Robert made "Coke" into the world's most widely known commercial product. The transport equipment, chemical, food-processing, apparel, and forest-products industries today rival textiles in economic importance.
Georgia's heavily forested northern region is dominated by carpet mills, especially around Dalton. In the piedmont plateau, manufacturing is highly diversified, with textiles and transportation equipment the most significant.
In 1997, 13 of the nation's 500 largest industrial corporations listed by Fortune magazine had headquarters in Georgia.
Earnings of persons employed in Georgia increased from $139.9 billion in 1997 to $151.7 billion in 1998, an increase of 8.4%. The largest industries in 1998 were services, 26.0% of earnings; state and local government, 10.0%; and transportation and public utilities, 9.5%. Of the industries that accounted for at least 5% of earnings in 1998, the slowest growing from 1997 to 1998 was nondurable goods manufacturing (8.9% of earnings in 1998), which increased 4.7%; the fastest was finance, insurance, and real estate (7.3% of earnings in 1998), which increased 10.3%

Agriculture in Georgia


Endowed with a rich natural abundance of fertile soil, clean water and favourable climate, Georgia has traditionally produced a wide diversity of crops native to temperate zones. With this abundance, Georgia has been producing a broad scope of agricultural products for more than 3,000 years, ranging from the oldest wine to regional varieties of cereals and fruits.
Georgia offers major potential for agricultural development. During the Soviet era it was a leading agricultural country, providing up to 10% of inter-republic trade in the highest quality food. As in all transition countries, gross agricultural output (GAO) suffered after the end of the Soviet system, but the situation changed dramatically after the Rose Revolution, fuelled by efforts to promote new modes of economic development based on dynamic integration of the country into the global exchange of goods, services and financial flows.
It is starkly clear that demand for agricultural commodities is rapidly growing. Global population growth, urbanisation and loss of arable land are leading to dramatic decreases in available land per capita. What is more, changes in dietary habits towards higher meat consumption, increased production for biofuel and speculation are driving the sharp rise in prices for agricultural land and water.
While many other countries have become nervous about the future outlook of their agricultural production and started restricting access to land for foreign investors, Georgia is actively inviting investors to develop the agricultural potential of its land. Georgia offers a number of investable agricultural industries, such as its wine sector, mineral and table water, fisheries, citrus and apple production, and fresh culinary herbs.
The Georgian Government has taken bold steps forward towards greater integration into the global economy by establishing international accords such as free trade agreements (FTA) with Turkey and the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and good safety practice (GSP) agreements with the European Union and the United States. In addition, Georgia is poised to establish FTAs with the EU and US.
Investors specifically interested in developing agricultural products are most welcome. Together with such investors, the Georgian Government understands the long-term and ever renewing value of crop systems that avoid depleting the natural resources that made the harvest possible.
The agricultural sector is important to the Georgian economy. Recent years have seen agriculture gain greater prominence in the Georgian political agenda. One vivid example of government support can be found in the state budget law for 2011, which earmarks a 78% increase for the Ministry of Agriculture.
Huge steps have been made in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to this specific sector. Entities willing to establish agricultural processing enterprises will be able to acquire agricultural land for only 20% of the market price.
Investors in agricultural projects can rely on the following support provided by the Georgian Government, its Ministry of Agriculture and the Georgian National Investment Agency:
  • 0% property tax on small plots of land (less than 5 ha)
  • 0% property tax on property transactions
  • 0% VAT on primary supply of agricultural products
  • 0% import duty on agricultural and other equipment
  • Opportunity for privatising agricultural land (75% of all agricultural land is state-owned).
  • 100% depreciation allowance on investments
  • Liberal labour regulations

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rivers of Georgia - Kura river

RiverTotal length, kmLength within Georgia, kmCatchment area,thsd. km2
Kura River; Kura  is a river, also known from the Greek as the Cyru in the Caucasus Mountains. Starting in northeastern Turkey, it flows through Turkey to Georgia, then to Azerbaijan, where it receives the Aras River as a right tributary, and enters the Caspian Sea. The total length of the river is 1,515 kilometres (941 mi)
t rises in northeastern Turkey in a small valley in the Kars Upland of theLesser Caucasus. It flows west, then north and east past Ardahan, and crosses into Georgia. It arcs to the northwest, then into a canyon near Akhaltsikhe where it starts to run northeast in a gorge for about 75 kilometres (47 mi), spilling out of the mountains near Khashuri. It then arcs east and starts to flow east-southeast for about 120 kilometres (75 mi), past Gori, then near Mtskheta, flows south through a short canyon and along the west side of T'bilisi, the largest city in the region. The river flows steeply southeast past Rustavi and turns eastward at the confluence with the Khrami River, crossing the Georgia-Azerbaijan line and flowing across grasslands into Shemkir reservoir and thenYenikend reservoir
Most of the Kura River runs in the broad and deep valley between the Greater Caucasus andLesser Caucasus mountains, and the major tributary, the Aras, drains most of the southern Caucasus and the mountain ranges of the extreme northern Middle East. The entirety of Armeniaand most of Azerbaijan are drained by the Kura River, but the Kura does not pass through Armenia at all. Also in the Kura watershed are Turkey, Georgia, and a bit of northern Iran. Most of the elevation change in the river occurs within the first 200 kilometres (120 mi). While the river starts at 2,740 metres (8,990 ft) above sea level, the elevation is 693 metres (2,274 ft) by the time it reaches Khashuri in central Georgia, just out of the mountains, and only 291 metres (955 ft)when it reaches Azerbaijan.
Formerly navigable up to T'bilisi, the largest city on the river, the amount of water in the Kura has greatly diminished in the 20th century because of extensive use for irrigation, municipal water, and hydroelectricity generation. The Kura is regarded as one of the most stressed river basins in Asia. Most of the water comes from snow melt and infrequent precipitation in the mountains, which leads to severe floods and an abundance of water for a short time of the year (generally in June and July), and a relatively low sustainable baseflow. Forest cover is sparse, especially in the Kura and Aras headwaters, and most of the water that falls on the highlands becomes runoff instead of supplying groundwater. Attempts at flood control include the constructions of levees,dikes and dams, the largest of which is at Mingachevir, an 80-metre (260 ft)-high rockfill dam impounding over 15.73 cubic kilometres (12,750,000 acre·ft) of water] However, because of the high sediment content of rivers in the Kura basin,the effectiveness of these floodworks is limited and decreases every year