By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 9 July 2014:
Libyan businessmen are being invited to invest in a little known autonomous region of Georgia . . .[restrict]whose population is largely Muslim.
The Georgian embassy in Cairo is offering Libyan entrepreneurs places at an international investment forum to be held this September in the port city of Batumi, the regional capital of Ajaria which, historically, enjoys autonomy within the Georgian state.
Organised by the Georgian National Investment Agency and the Ajaria government, the two-day event is designed to show off the region’s potential for foreign investors. Besides livestock and the cultivation of tobacco, citrus fruits and avocados, local value-added industries have developed processing tea and tobacco as well as canning fruit and fish.
Most manufacturing is centred on Batumi, which also has shipyards and is a major export terminal for oil piped from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The port is, in addition, a major transhipment point for trade with landlocked neighbour Armenia.
Ajaria has become a major tourist destination, not simply for its beaches but for the dramatic scenery of its foothills to the Caucasus mountains.
Officially known as the Autonomous Republic of Ajaria, the region, which has a population of some 400,000, lies in the southwestern corner of Georgia, bordering Turkey. When Turkey ceded control of the area to Georgia in 1921 as part of the Treaty of Kars, the condition was that the Muslim population should maintain a high degree of autonomy. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ajaria became part of the newly-independent Republic of Georgia.
The forum, Invest in Batumi 2014, will run between 4-5 September. Registration for the event is free and the presentations will be given in English. See www.investinbatumi.ge/forum.