The draft law, which determines the rules of the sale of agricultural land to foreign citizens, will be submitted to the Parliament in the near future.
Currently, the project is still under development, and representatives of the Government are consulting with various stakeholders.
Business ombudsman of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia has comment regarding the draft law.
According to him, it’s naturally that the discussion of the project has been going on for several months, as it is a very important and sensitive issue for society.
“As for the specific comments, we oppose the rule that provides for the possibility of dependence of land acquisition by a foreign citizen on the positive recommendations by local municipalities or the Ministry of Agriculture. This will create additional bureaucratic barriers and the danger of corruption. We also have a claim to the establishment of a maximum limit of 100 hectares. The limit will hamper the development of agriculture, in particular, make problematic the implementation of major projects, which will be unprofitable in the case of adoption of this law, because sometimes 100 hectares are too small for a successful project, “- say in the Business Ombudsman’s Office.
Business Ombudsman is also against the rules providing for the sale of agricultural land only to those foreign nationals who have 5 years of experience in the agricultural sector of Georgia – in his opinion, any additional requirements will complicate procedures for investors who will not be able to start business activities in the country.
The bill also provides for a ban on the sale of land to legal entities registered abroad. According to the Ombudsman, the international organizations such as the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, the German Development Bank, World Bank, etc should be allowed to farmland as an exception.