Buying and Selling

flag Georgia Georgia: Buying and Selling

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | E-commerce | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier

 

Market Access Procedures

Non Tariff Barriers
Georgia is considered to be one of the most open countries in the world regarding the creation of companies. The greatest barrier to doing business with Georgia is the chronic political instability of the region, especially the diplomatic imbroglio with Russia, or the border disputes with Russia and Armenia.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Between 0 and 12% according to the product.


Customs Classification
Customs duties to be paid by the foreign importer in Georgia vary according to the type of product.
Import Procedures
Importing requires a minimum of a declaration, an invoice, and a certificate of origin bearing the confirmation of the Customs authorities in the country of export. The documentation accompanying the product must prove that it complies with Georgian technical standards of quality and security.
Importing Samples
Samples must be declared on entering the country. They are totally or partially exempt from import charges (but they are subject to Customs duties) for a certain period. The temporary import procedure must not exceed 2 years.
 
 
For Further Information
Georgian Customs

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Georgia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing opportunities

Main Advertising Agencies
McCann Erickson
Havas Media

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
According to Colliers International 2017 Report, the retail trade (excluding motor vehicles and motorcycles) is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in Georgia. In 2016, retail trade turnover volume amounted to GEL 10.6 billion (at current prices). When compared to the same timeframe in 2015, this reflects an 8% increase. A massive growth was recorded in 2013, when the figure increased by 20%. The number of employed persons also grows steadily in the sector. In 2016, this figure amounted to 95K, which reflected an 8% growth compared to the previous year. With an 81% share, Tbilisi dominates Georgia’s trade economy. The average annual growth rate of the trade sector in Tbilisi was 12% during the last three years. Adjara and Imereti are other significant trade regions with 6% and 3% shares, respectively. In Adjara and Imereti regions, the average annual growth during the last three-year period amounted to 18% and 17%, accordingly.

Although some importers still handle their own distribution, several distribution companies have established networks for food, cosmetics, and consumer goods. A significant part of retail stores are sole proprietorships with one outlet, especially in the regions outside Tbilisi, but there are a growing number of market chains such as Foodmart (SPAR’s Georgian partner), Goodwill, Loli, 2Steps, Fresco, Smart, and Nikora.  Carrefour, which currently operates 8 stores in the capital, is planning to open new stores across the country. Retail chain shops sell Western brands of cosmetics, household goods, clothing, and electronics.
Market share
Georgia with 4,8 million population and 8,4 billion dollars of total retail sales are one of the country in central Asia that had an increasment in retail market in these years. Georgia has a solid per capita spending growth over the past five years, and an underpenetrated retail market.

Georgia remains attractive for retailers across all categories. Despite growth and expansion in food retail, modern formats still represent only 30% of the market, with most key players considering traditional market their strongest competitors. Carrefour and local Goodwill remain the only hypermarket players, while the minimarket playing field is a bit more competitive. SPAR (with 42 stores as of today) entered the Georgia market in the summer of 2014 by acquiring Populi, the third-largest retail chain, with plans to rebrand and expand its network from 51 to 80 stores by 2018. Local food retailer Nikora reinforced its leading position by acquiring a small regional chain of 12 supermarkets in December 2014.
Retail Sector Organisations
Georgia Retail Association
Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

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E-commerce

Internet access
With a population of almost 4 million, Georgia has a relatively low internet penetration rate, at 52.9%. According to the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), density of internet users (number of physical subscribers divided by the number of families or residents in a certain area) in Tbilisi constitutes 101%. The most popular web search engines in Georgia are Google (85.4%), Yahoo (6.2%) and Bing (4.2%).
E-commerce market
According to the U.S. government market intelligence unit, electronic transactions in Georgia have increased significantly over the last 4 years. Payment of utilities through the internet is widespread, particularly in larger cities. Cross-border e-commerce is still not common: As an example, in March 2017 Georgians carried out 14.4 million transactions by payment cards worth US$ 630 million, 96% of which were in-country transactions. Amazon.com counts among the most popular e-commerce sites, together with Alibaba, Aliexpress, Ebay and MyMarket. Preferred payment methods include credit/debit card payments or PayPal. Georgia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (MoESD) is currently engaged in developing a draft law on e-Commerce. Furthermore, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia signed a deal on June 1 2017 to assist their small- and medium-sized enterprises in securing easier access to the global e-commerce market. The most popular social network in the country is Facebook. Instagram has an estimated 520,000 users in Georgia, of whom 80% are aged between 18 and 44.

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Georgia has 20 229 km of asphalted roads.

 

The country also has a rail network inherited from the Soviet period.

As far as its airspace is concerned, Georgia has an international airport (T'bilisi) which is served by 14 airline companies, including British Airways and Lufthansa.

At the maritime level, the country has 2 ports on the Black Sea: Poti and Batumi.

Georgia is one of the countries where the oil pipeline passes between Baku (Azerbaijan) and Ceyhan (Turkey).

Ports
Port of Poti
Port of Batumi
Airports
T'bilisi International Airport
Kutaisi Airport
Sukhumi Dranda Airport
Batumi Airport
Air Transport Organisations
Georgian Air Navigation

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
For the resources for businesses on managing the manufacturing and the supply chain risk due to the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, please consult the report COVID-19: Managing supply chain risk and disruption (Deloitte Canada, 2020), as well as the insights on COVID-19: How to fortify your supply chain (Kearney, 2020).
The World Economic Forum's COVID Action Platform provides useful information on the latest strategic trends regarding COVID-19 implications for businesses, including manufacturing and supply systems. The report Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact (World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Harvard Global Health Institute) offers insights on handling coronavirus by businesses and strategies for effective response and resilience.

Georgian industry is diversified. It includes the extraction of timber, food processing, fertilizer production and coal, the extraction of magnesite, non ferrous metal metallurgy, and the assembly of aircraft, ships and locomotives.

The industrial sector is being modernized, and modern managerial practices are being progressively introduced.
Manufacturing represents 70% of industrial production, while the supply of water, electricity and gas accounts for 22%, and mines has a 9% share.
Building and Public Works will surely see considerable development.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Market - Business directory and trade center
 

To search directories by industry in Georgia, check out our service Business Directories.

 
Professional Associations by Sector
1 professional associations listed for Georgia.
 
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia
Portal on investments in Georgia
General Professional Associations
Georgian Employers' Association
 
 

Learn more about Service Providers in Georgia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Learn more about Sales in Georgia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Latest Update: April 2022