Georgia’s Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri said he will be offering tax-free incentives to foreign software companies in efforts to attract more IT investment in the country.
Georgia’s chief industry is oil and it already offers tax-free status to its own companies if they work within the special industrial zones of Poti and Kutaisi, with plans for another in Rustavi, but now it is looking for outside support.
Other countries have offered similar incentives to technology firms in the past, successfully generating a hub of activity. Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economic boom was partly fuelled by such investment, with major technology players like Dell, Intel, and Google all setting up shop.
However, Ireland was a conveniantly located region to serve the European market, whereas Georgia is recovering from its 2008 war with Russia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia, making it an unattractive area for large IT firms. It is probably largely due to the financial strains that the recent war caused, along with the global recession, that has prompted this new proposal.