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Georgia launches project to build new industrial zone

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili signed a document on Tuesday to launch a major national project to build a free industrial zone in the Black Sea port town of Poti.

Under the deal, Ras Al Khaimah, an investment company based in the United Arab Emirates, will build an industrial zone over an area of 1,000 hectares. “I am signing a document to establish a free industrial zone and to develop Poti. This is a golden opportunity for our country,” Saakashvili said.

Under the deal, Georgia will lease the port and the adjacent area to the Arab company for 49 years. Up to 500 companies will be given economic privileges in the free industrial zone. The Arab company will control 51% of the port, with the remainder to be owned by the Georgian government. Ras Al Khaimah will spend over $200 million on building a container terminal for the new port. The Arab investor plans to invest a total of $1.5 billion on the entire project. The presentation of the Arab project was attended by parliamentary speaker Nino Burdzhanadze, Prime Minister Vladimir Gurgenidze, government officials, diplomats and investors. (