Since the Georgian Dream coalition came to power in 2012, the then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili proposed setting up the Co-Investment Fund with focus on drawing foreign investments to Georgia and implementing large-scale projects.
The Fund united major investors from the very inception. The Fund was established two years ago and currently total investment value of the Fund’s projects portfolio is about 2 billion USD. A major part of the ongoing projects will be finished by the end of 2017.
The Co-Investment Fund’s executive director Giorgi Bachiashvili talks about the ongoing projects, their importance for our country and the plans.
– The Co-Investment Fund considers the power sector one of the priority directions and you are implementing impressive investments in this segment. What are the Fund’s plans for making investments in the power sector and do you intend to launch any specific project in the near future?
-The Co-Investment Fund of Georgia makes huge contribution to the Georgian economy development. In two years from the foundation, the total investment value of the Fund’s ongoing projects is about 2 billion USD. We are implementing large-scale projects in the power, agriculture, tourism, real estate and production sectors.
Georgia is one of the richest countries in hydro resources and a major part of these resources remains unemployed.
Currently, three investments projects are being implemented in the power sector: Mtkvari HPP, Cascade of Oni HPPs and Cascade of Tskhenitskali HPPs. It should be noted total annualized generation of all three power facilities makes up 34% of Georgia’s current power generation.
As to plans, we consider projects for making additional investments in the power sector. We will introduce several new projects to the society in the near future. Large-scale infrastructural projects, social programs will be carried out at various stages of construction of these HPPs and thousands of our citizens will be employed. Thanks to these efforts, Georgia will fundamentally increase the energy independence.
-What projects do you have implemented for the real estate and tourism development? As reported, the Co-Investment Fund considers Panorama Tbilisi as one of the considerable projects in this respect. Many supporters and objectors have already expressed their position concerning these plans. How important is this project for the development of Tbilisi and what economic results should we expect from the project implementation?
-The Co-investment fund is implementing weighty investment projects for promoting the real estate and tourism sectors development. In the aftermath of the 2008 developments and the financial crisis, the housing sector came to standstill. However, the Co-Investment Fund’s engagement has ensured resuming the long suspended projects and they are being carried out at high paces today.
Axis Towers – Georgian successful development company. In cooperation with Axis, we are constructing the highest twin skyscrapers. The Glass Tower will give room to a 5-star hotel of Pullman, a member of the Accor Group, and an A-class business center. The project’s total investment value makes up 83 million USD and it will be finished in 2017.
Architectural decision, functional load and quality of constriction works will make Axis Towers an exceptional project that will establish a new standard in the real estate market of not only Georgia, but the whole Caucasus Region.
Gallery Tbilisi – In 2015, the Fund purchased the building of the former universal store on Rustaveli Avenue, where an A-class shopping mall will function. The project’s investment value exceeds 70 million USD and it is to renew the inactive building in the center of Tbilisi and to resume the suspended project. The shopping mall’s total space makes up 22 000 square meters. The project implementation will be finished in 2017. The project has been introduced at the MAPIC 2015 real estate international exhibition in Cannes by Colliers International company.
Shekvetili Hotel and SPA Complex – the project was developed by the initiative of Bidzina Ivanishvili, one of the main contributors to the Co-Investment Fund, with the aim to promote the tourism sector development in Georgia and support the Black Sea resort zone development, to popularize the location and to extend the tourism season. The project’s total investment value makes up 50 million USD. The hotel will unite 220 suites in various categories, large conference halls and restaurants, a swimming pool penetrating into the sea waters in 150 meters, a winter garden and an aquarium. The complex will be operated by the Georgian company under the umbrella of an international brand. The project implementation will be finished in 2016.
The Panorama Tbilisi projects calls for constructing four multifunctional complexes. We believe the project implementation will bring big economic benefit to the capital city.
We will Implement 500 million USD investment project in Tbilisi. The construction works will employ 6 000 workers. After the project completion, 2 000 permanent job places will be created. The payroll fund will total 200 million GEL.
It is worth noting a major part of the investments will remain in Georgia, because we will promote the development and growth of Georgian production. Tbilisi will become capable for hosting large-scale regional conferences. In this direction the capital city lacks for due infrastructure. For example, recently the Silk Road Forum and the EBRD annual meeting were hosted at theaters because of absence of due facilities.
-The Fund plans to open BitCoin transaction processing datacenter in Gori. How interesting and viable is the digital mcurrency? And what specific effects will this project bring to the economic development?
-The Fund has made investment in BitFury, one of the leading companies in the BlockChain technologies. The company has arranged the world’s major processing datacenter in Gori. BitFury is implementing very interesting and successful projects in the field of innovative technologies. Our cooperation as part of the Gori datacenter project turned out very successful. We are glad the company has enlarged the investment activity in Georgia and launched an independent project for constructing a technological park in Gldani, Tbilisi. As a result, Georgia will receive 100 million USD FDI in addition and the country will attract the world’s influential IT field agents.
As to the potential of BlockChain technologies, it is considered the world’s weighty discovery, because it is an entirely new and innovative system to ensure protection of financial resources and assets at the highest level and to manage them efficiently. This technology will be installed in various consumer services, including, the bank sector.
The importance of BitCoin BlockChain technologies is proved by facts. Currently, more than 4 500 BitCoin startups operate worldwide serving 9 million consumers, up from 3 million users year on year.
– Drawing investments to the agriculture sector was named one of the priority directions in the process of establishing the Fund. It is interesting whether investors show interest in the Georgian agriculture sector. Do you have any specific plans for the sector advancement?
– The Fund provides active efforts in the agriculture sector too. We do our best to promote the production development in Georgia. We create competitive Georgian products and work on replacing the imports.
To this end, we are introducing the world’s best experience and we are trying to attract the field’s leading companies. The Fund’s greenhouse complex project is a good sample for that. The project is being implemented in the Gardabani Municipality, Kvemo Kartli Region. The project’s investment value is 40 million USD and it aims at developing a greenhouse complex on 35 hectare land plot.
The Fund also plans to carry out other interesting projects in the agriculture field, including for constructing a milk processing plant and a dairy farm.
– I would like to ask you to provide a general overview of the Fund’s plans and perspectives for drawing new investments and name specific measures and steps for attracting new investors.
-The management of the Co-Investment Fund of Georgia and the investment team have been providing intense job for outlining and developing new projects. In 2016, we will launch five new projects that will cover the Fund’s all investment directions. Total investment value of all five projects is about 1 billion USD. We have to fulfill a quite complicated mission, because so far no organization in Georgia has implemented such a number of projects with similar sophisticated character.
Our performance is directly reflected on the economic development of Georgia and welfare of our citizens. Therefore, our team has doubled efforts to ensure 100% fulfillment of the goals for which we established this Fund two years ago.
Opposition politicians and reporters frequently voice various ungrounded allegations. Many fraud TV plots and statements are also spread. We always show restraint towards similar attacks, because any interested party and body is able to see our investment projects and activities on specific sites and places.