During the Soviet period, Georgia had a well-developed
business relationship with other Soviet republics. After
independence, the situation in the country has been
aggravated by national strife, mainly in the autonomous
regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and strife within the
South Caucasian region. This has resulted in major damage to
the country's infrastructure and the important oil imports
from mainly Azerbaijan have been made more difficult. Along
with structural problems in business in connection with the
dissolution of the Soviet Union, this has posed major
problems for the country's economy. Between 1990 and 1996,
the country's GDP fell by an average of 19 percent per year.
In 2018, GDP per capita was US $ 4,335; The agricultural
sector accounted for 8 percent of GDP and employed 56
percent of the country's employment.
The broken relief and high altitude greatly limit the
availability of suitable arable land. This is partly offset
by an advantageous subtropical climate that makes it
possible to grow labor-intensive but profitable crops such
as tea and citrus fruits. Agriculture is varied and highly
mechanized. In addition to tea and citrus fruits, there are
also significant crops of cereals, fodder plants, grapes and
tobacco. Locally, however, livestock management is often the
most important industry in the countryside. Agriculture,
which was collectivized during the Soviet period, underwent
rapid and very extensive privatization during the 1990s.
Minerals and energy
countryaah, Georgia has rich deposits of breakable natural resources.
Of most importance is the rich occurrence of manganese,
including at Tjiatura. Other assets include coal at
Tkvartjeli and Tkibuli and oil at Kazreti. The dominant
domestic energy source is a well-developed water electricity
production, which was an important basis for the country's
industrialization. The most important hydropower plants are
located on the rivers Rioni, Inguri, Kodori and Bzyb.
Despite the well-developed waterways, the country is highly
dependent on imports of oil from neighboring countries.
Large assets in coal and water energy contributed to
Georgia's early development of a well-developed industrial
industry, with mining and machine manufacturing as its main
branches. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the
country's internal conflicts during the 1990s, industrial
production fell by 75 percent. The heavy industry, which
produced, among other things, means of transport (railway
equipment and trucks), machinery and agricultural equipment
was hit hard, as was a large part of the light industry,
which further refined the country's agricultural products
(including cotton, wool and silk).
During the 2000s, the problems for the industry continued
and in 2005-07 extensive privatizations were carried out to
revitalize the industry. These resulted in some growth.
Primarily, the construction and mining industry experienced
economic growth. Alongside these are also chemical, food,
textile and fertilizer industries.
Prior to independence, the country's trade was almost
entirely focused on other sub-republics within the Soviet
Union; In 1991, about 90 percent of exports went to these.
After independence, efforts were made to widen the market
for the country's products. Exports mainly consist of
vehicles, metal products and artificial fertilizers, while
imports are mainly oil, vehicles and machinery. The most
important trading countries are the Russian Federation,
Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Tourism and gastronomy
Prior to independence, Georgia was a popular tourist
destination for travelers from other parts of the Soviet
Union. After independence, internal unrest and financial
problems led to a decline in tourist flows, but in the 2000s
the tourism industry has recovered. In 2012, the country was
visited by 4.4 million tourists. The majority still come
from the former Soviet Union, but the number of tourists
from the EU is steadily increasing.
With the varied natural landscape, the subtropical
climate in the west and the interesting cultural history,
Georgia has good conditions to become a major tourist
destination. The country has from fine beaches along the
Black Sea coast to the vast mountain masses of the Caucasus
and in between hilly landscapes with vineyards, tea and
tobacco plantations. In addition to the possibility of
bathing, the warm climate provides an exciting flora and
fauna; Georgia has large forest areas with rich plant and
Culturally, Georgia is a melting pot of impulses from
Turkey (including all the cultures that existed before the
Turks came), Persia and Russia. Georgian cuisine, which is
said by lyrical writers to "float milk and honey", is
unusually rich in raw materials due to its geographical
location. The many ethnic groups have retained their
traditions and eating habits, and many restaurants around
the world boast of having just Georgian food. The variety of
vegetables (tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers
and cabbage), fruits (apples, tangerines, figs and
pomegranates), herbs (basil, oregano, cinnamon, cloves and
coriander), dairy products, nuts, honey, bread and tea is
the most significant.
Among the dishes are soups such as Chartjo (with
meat, onions, garlic, tomato puree and salt cucumber),
Tjachochbili (stew with poultry meat), satsivi
(dish with chilled walnut sauce), skewer (mtsvadi),
cheese bread (chatjapuri), patties, pickles trout,
salmon, carp, geese, marmalade, disturb, washed down with
the notable Georgian wine or the local tea with honey in it.