Georgia is an independent nation that is situated in the Caucasus area of Eurasia. Georgia occupies an area of about 26,911sq miles with a population of over 3.718 million. Tbilisi is the largest and capital city. Georgia was part of the Soviet Union until April 1991 when they gained their independence. The country’s GDP dropped sharply after the Soviet Union collapsed, but recovered during the mid-2000s. Currently, the Georgian economy is an emerging free-market.
The Biggest Industries In Georgia
Metal mining in Georgia began with copper in the sixth-fifth millennia BC. The Georgians also mined gold, bronze, brass, copper, and iron during ancient times. Copper mining thrived during the eighteenth century in Kartli while silver mines were the primary source of income in Imereti. A wide range of minerals was mined in Georgia during the Soviet era including Zinc, zeolite, manganese, lead, copper, coal, barite, and arsenic, among others. Georgia was a major producer of high-grade manganese ore for over a century. Georgia has over three hundred explored mineral deposits, but only 50% of them have been brought into production.
The Georgian agricultural sector has employed over 55% of the workforce through subsistence farming. Georgia’s soil and climate have made the agricultural sector one of the most productive parts of their economy, which contributes about 8.1% of the country’s GDP. During the Soviet era, the arid areas were salvaged by a unique irrigation system while the swampy places were drained, making it possible for the country to increase its food production tenfold from 1918 to 1980. Over 35% of the Georgian arable land was sown in 2011. The agricultural sector was profoundly affected by the civil unrest after the fall of the Soviet Union, but it is improving with winemaking and viticulture being the most crucial parts of the sector. Over 85% of the cultivated land in 1993, except the tea plantations, vineyards, and orchards, was dedicated to grains. Wheat was planted in 37% of the Georgian territory while corn grew on 40%. Georgia is one of the oldest world producers of high-quality wine.
The tourism sector is an important part of the economy, which contributed to 6.7% of the country’s GDP and provided $1.94 billion of revenue. The country received over 8.7 million visitors in 2018 with foreign exchange amounting to $2.6 billion during the first three-quarters of the year. All international visitors stay in the country for an average of 6.5 days. A huge percentage of the tourists came from Russia (1,404,757), Azerbaijan (1,424,610), Turkey (1,098,555), and Armenia (1,268,886) in 2018. The country has invested heavily in basic infrastructure, development, and renovation of tourist destinations. Georgia plans to host over 11 million visitors and improve its revenue to over $6.6billion by 2025.
Georgia has an extensive hydropower capacity which gives them a serious potential to be the leading supplier of hydropower in the region. Out of the 26,000 rivers in the country, 300 are significant in energy production. Alexander Khetaguri proposed numerous hydroelectric projects that would transform Georgia into the second-largest hydroelectric producer on the planet. Georgia produced 8.34 billion KWh in 2007 while consuming 8.15billion kilowatt-hour locally. Hydropower accounted for over 86% of the electricity generated in 2005. Georgia became the biggest export of electricity in the Caucasus having exported 1.3 billion KWH in 2010.