Experience of Georgian free zones to accelerate economic recovery

An online webinar "The Road to Recovery: Free Zones Engines of Safety and Compliance” was held on July 27th initiated by the Hualing Free Industrial Zone in the framework of partnership with the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO). The webinar was dedicated to sharing knowledge and experience of free zones throughout post-pandemic recovery with stakeholders which represent more than 50,000 companies from 126 countries.

It was agreed at the event that Hualing and Poti FIZs will be involved in the WFZO Certification Program, which grants a free zone with the status of a “Safe Zone”, “Smart Zone” or a “Green Zone”.

World FZO is a global organization representing the interests of free zones around the world and is headquartered in Dubai.

The main speakers at the webinar were Vakhtang Chkareuli - Senior Executive of Business Analysis and Business Development at Hualing FIZ, Tornike Zirakishvili - Deputy Director of the agency "Enterprise Georgia", Davit Ebralidze - Director of Poti Free Industrial Zone and Dr.Mohan Guruswami – Chief Knowledge Officer World FZO, Fellow of Cambridge University Judge Business School.

"Given that the country is focused on disseminating more information about its investment potential, holding such online events is an important step and considers that despite the current crisis in the world, Georgia has coped well with this challenge and is ready to turn it into an opportunity." - Tornike Zirakishvili, Deputy Director of the agency Enterprise Georgia

“We can say that the webinar has met our expectations, as we already got a couple of responses from the side of participants. During the online conference, we introduced a general overview and a business model of free zones in Georgia and the investment opportunities of Hualing Free Industrial Zone. We shared our experience regarding the latest innovative approaches that we implemented throughout pandemic and are actively using in order to minimize the impact of economic downfall and keep track with our benchmarks. We also presented the results of our recent researches (at the micro and macro levels, by regions and industries), which helped us to identify a so-called cluster of the most attractive sectors where potential investors can benefit from Georgian FZ opportunities at best. I think that meeting was fruitful and together with our colleagues we once again introduced Georgia to the investment societies as one of the best investment destinations in the region.” - Vakhtang Chkareuli, Senior Executive of Business Analysis and Business Development at Hualing FIZ.

"During the webinar, we had the opportunity to jointly discuss the current challenges and the situation we face during the pandemic and its aftermath, to exchange our opinions about  overcoming the economic crisis due to Pandemic, as well as future plans how to deal with the new challenges in front of the world, the region, including FIZ-s in Georgia, as part of this global chain." - Davit Ebralidze, Director of the Poti Free Industrial Zone.

“World Free Zones Organization’s “Free Zone of the Future” (FZF), Free Zone 4.0 program is a unique initiative designed to make free zones around the world future-ready. Free Zone 4.0 program introduces an Index with appropriate metrics to measure and monitor all the key elements of the program. Implementing this program is recommended to free zones for faster recovery from the crisis-situation as well as develop capabilities to be more dynamic and resilient. In this regard, it was very interesting to share the experience of Georgia's free zones, what innovative approaches were introduced and developed by them during the pandemic, and how much this process contributed to economic recovery.“ - Dr. Mohan Guruswami – Chief Knowledge Officer World FZO, Fellow of Cambridge University Judge Business School.

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