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Country Reports

Georgia Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Successive Georgian governments have pursued greater integration with both the EU and NATO. Development of EU links has accelerated after the entry into force of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU in 2016, which was followed by the introduction of a visa-free regime with the Schengen Zone in 2017. The incumbent Georgian government is pursuing a comprehensive policy of approximation towards the EU, aiming to facilitate Georgia’s eventual EU accession. Georgia’s pro-Western stance over the last decade has provoked violent adverse reaction from Russia, resulting in the loss of one-quarter of its territory, including the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The five-day Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 increased Russian control over these areas and led to a breakdown in diplomatic relations. The current Georgian government has normalised trade relations with Russia, but Russian military and political support for the separatist territories prevents a resumption of diplomatic ties.We expect inflation to accelerate until the second quarter of 2019 to reflect the recent sharp depreciation of the lari exchange rate, with the average CPI rate projected to rise to 3.8% in 2019 from 3.1% in 2018. The lari’s external value has been hit by contagion from the weakened Turkish lira and Russian rouble, and is likely to suffer further periodic instability. However, the NBG is running its flexible exchange rate policy regime skilfully, assisting the maintenance of its external balances. Georgia is likely to prove particularly vulnerable to the Turkish slowdown: some 10% of its goods exports were directed to Turkey in the first half of 2018. Also, growth from Russia, another key export market, is expected to moderate in 2019 notwithstanding strong oil prices, with negative implications for Georgian export demand. Accordingly, we project GDP growth to moderate from 4.8% in 2018 to around 4% in 2019.
Last update: May 15, 2019

Operational Outlook

The Georgian government is keen to attract foreign investment into the economy, with particular emphasis on developing hydropower resources, agriculture, transport and tourism. Georgia's commitment to the Association Agreement with the EU is gradually bringing its regulatory and institutional framework into compliance with European standards. The breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are not under the control of the central government, present persistent security concerns, but the resumption of war with either is unlikely at present. The government is focused on infrastructure improvements and normalisation of trade relations with Russia.

Last update: December 28, 2018

Terrorism

Elevated

Terrorism risks stem from breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is increased risk of kidnapping, shootouts and low-level IED attacks near de-facto borders separating these regions from Georgia proper. As the anti-terrorism operation in Tbilisi in November 2017 demonstrated, terrorism risk in Georgia stemming from likely transit of North Caucasian militants fleeing the Islamic State's collapse in Iraq and Syria is slightly increasing. The limited outflow of radicalised youth from Georgia's Muslim minorities has largely stopped and those, who returned, have posed no security threats. Greater socio-economic integration of Muslim minorities, including Chechen communities in Pankisi Gorge, is likely to mitigate terrorism risk.

Last update: December 28, 2018

War Risks

The likelihood of interstate war with Russia over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is currently low. The Georgian government has unilaterally renounced the use of force to return these territories. The presence of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) on the Georgian side of the de-facto border with both secessionist territories contributes to the stabilisation of the situation. Georgia has been trying to normalise relations with Russia while pursuing closer relations with both EU and NATO. Relations with other neighbouring states – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey – provide no cause for military confrontation.

Last update: December 28, 2018

Social Stability

High

Heightened risk of economically motivated social unrest in the one-year outlook stems from the steady deterioration in economic conditions due to the negative influence of external factors, including the economic slowdown in Russia, which drastically reduced the remittances that sustain many households. Large-scale infrastructure projects occasionally elicit opposition on the local level, but such protests are typically short-lived and do not disrupt project timelines significantly. The presidential election in December fuelled polarisation of society because its outcome was not recognised by the majority of opposition forces, increasing the likelihood of anti-government protests.

Last update: December 28, 2018

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

The country is also periodically struck by floods. In June 2015, a flood killed more than a dozen people around Tbilisi.

Landslides can also occur following heavy rain, especially in the more mountainous regions of the country.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The climate, along the coast of the Black Sea is subtropical with hot and humid summers and mild winters. Inland, temperatures are cooler and winters are cold and snowy. The west of the country receives more precipitation that the east.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 995
Police: 022
Ambulance: 01 or 03

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019