|Gulf Emirate to Develop Free Economic Zone in Poti|
|April 14, 2008|
April 14, 2008
The Georgian government announced tender on leasing Poti Port and 400 hectares of adjacent land for 49 years so as to create a free economic zone there last October. Twelve companies made there bids initially and four were shortlisted in January.
PM Lado Gurgenidze said on March 27 that a preliminary agreement was reached with Ras Al Khaimah’s investment fund.
Initial terms of the tender were also revised, as it was reported that RAK was buying 51% of the port’s shares with the Georgian government retaining the remaining.
He also said that in addition the RAK would build a new port terminal on 100 hectare plot of land in Poti. PM Gurgenidze pointed out that USD 200 million would be invested in development of the project in next three years.
Speaking at a meeting with local residents in Ozurgeti in western Georgia on April 14, President Saakashvili said free economic zone in Poti would foster “revival” of entire western Georgia.
“Tomorrow we will launch a project of free economic zone in Poti. What does this project mean for me? This is project is not simply one more investment for me. I know for sure that this is revival of western Georgia and Poti itself,” Saakashvili said. “We will hardly recognize Poti in few years – there will be skyscrapers in Poti like in Dubai, there will be new docks and the railway will be expanded, tens of thousands of new working places will be created in Poti. For me, Poti means helping of Guria, Adjara, especially several mountain regions, and Samegrelo out of poverty once and forever.”
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