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Saakashvili 'Optimistic' About FDI Growth
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Oct.'10 / 00:22

President Saakashvili said on October 27, that foreign direct investment was picking up in last two quarters and he was optimistic about FDI's further growth.

He made the remarks in an interview with Bloomberg TV from Marrakesh, Morocco where he is attending the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa.

Inflow of FDI grew 11% year-to-year in second quarter of 2010 to USD 196.9 million, but FDI for first half of 2010 was still down by 6.38% year-to-year to USD 272.6 mln, according to the preliminary figures released by the Georgian state statistics office in September.

On the sideline of the forum, Saakashvili said, he was meeting with investors from Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attract FDI from those countries. He said Georgia had already received "more than USD 1 billion" FDI from UAE in recent years.

According to the Georgian state statistics office, up to now total FDI from UAE into Georgia was USD 613.7 million starting from 2003, when the first inflow of investments from UAE was recorded.

FDI from UAE started to increase in 2007 and it became the largest investor in Georgia in 2008 and 2009 with USD 306.5 million and USD 162.8 million, respectively. Investments were made through the UAE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah's state-owned investment fund, RAKIA, which purchased Poti port in 2008 and started several real estate projects in Georgia. No FDI from UAE was reported in the first quarter of 2010 and the state statistics office reported USD 12.6 million FDI from UAE in the second quarter of this year.

Saakashvili also told Bloomberg TV that he hoped "in two years from now we will have double-digit" economic growth again.

Georgia's real GDP grew 6.6% in the first half of 2010 year-on-year to nominal GEL 9.201 billion, according to preliminary figures, released by the state statistic office in September.

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