Georgian Startup Ecosystem Threatened by "Registration of Foreign Agents" Law
In recent years, Georgia has been working hard to establish itself as a hub for startups and technological innovation. Many local and international organizations have invested in the country's burgeoning startup ecosystem, recognizing its potential for growth and development. However, the proposed "Registration of Foreign Agents" law has raised concerns among many in the industry, including Guri Koiava, co-founder of Startup Bureau and co-organizer of Global Game Jam Georgia.
The law, which was approved by the Georgian parliament in December 2021, requires organizations that receive funding from foreign sources to register as "foreign agents" and disclose information about their activities and finances. The law has been criticized by many as a violation of free speech and an attempt to stifle civil society and opposition groups.
Koiava believes that the law will have a detrimental impact on the country's startup ecosystem, which relies heavily on funding from foreign partners. If the law is implemented, many organizations will lose their funding, which will impede their ability to grow and develop. This will lead to a decline in the ecosystem and the cessation of progress.
Furthermore, Koiava notes that the law will make Georgia less attractive to foreign investors, which could have serious consequences for the country's economic development. Many organizations have worked hard to establish Georgia as an attractive location for investment, and the adoption of this law could undo their efforts.
Overall, Koiava argues that Georgia should prioritize the protection of its democratic values and reject the "dangerous and harmful" law. The country's progress and Euro-Atlantic integration should not be hindered by the interference of external forces.