In the coming years, Georgia is able to fill a substantial niche in the olive oil market. According to experts, if today the country has just begun to implement a new unique program for growing olive trees, then tomorrow it will be able to claim to become one of the leading exporters in the world.
Evidently, the olives are still a new business segment for Georgia, but those who take a chance of investing in it now, will receive decent dividends in the nearest future. Moreover, as the analysis of the olive business in Georgia shows, it provides an opportunity for profitable investments to both large companies and private investors.
More importantly, today it is Georgia that, unlike other countries where the olive business has already been established, can make unique offers, allowing even individuals, not to mention small and medium-sized companies, to have their own profitable business ensuring regular and constantly growing income. The fact that Georgia has earned the image of a country of successful reforms, where bureaucracy and corruption are no longer a hindrance for entrepreneurs, inspires much optimism. This has created investor confidence, and trust is the key to long-term planning.
In the "ease of doing business" rating of countries of the world, which the World Bank prepares annually, Georgia ranks 6th, ahead of economic giants such as the United States, Great Britain and China. Moreover, according to two criteria out of ten, on the basis of which the rating is compiled, - the simplicity of business registration and investors protection - Georgia is the 2nd in the world. In business circles, the data provided by such a reputable institution as the World Bank is a clear signal, indicating where it is worth investing in, and which countries to stay away from.
At the end of 2018, the amount of foreign investment in the economy of Georgia amounted to 1 billion of US dollars. This is about USD 280 per person. In Italy, this figure is, for example, USD 215, in China - USD 251, in Greece - USD 267.
At the same time, the exports to other countries grew by 24%. This is the evidence that Georgia is viewed as a reliable trading partner, and entrepreneurs have been convinced that doing business in Georgia is easy and safe.
In many respects, growth indicators are related to the fact that the Georgian government correctly sets priorities in economic policy and selectively supports individual sectors, triggering a powerful development. Growing olives is one of such industries. When in 2010, 20,000 olive seedlings were planted first in modern history in Georgia, it was emphasized at the government level that this would become a new segment in the country's agriculture and allow the villagers to earn a good income.
The unique situation is that ten years ago, olive plantations in Georgia were only mentioned in historical chronicles. Today it is not a myth, but a real commercial product.
At the present stage of economic development in Georgia, they started systematically and purposefully developing the olive branch of agriculture. And at present, hundreds of hectares in Kakheti have been not merely planted, these are the so-called "investment" fields supported by the state. In other words, everyone investing in the olive business today will be able to convert their investments into serious profits and almost unlimited export opportunities in the coming years. At the same time, being under the protection of the state and having the full support from the government.
"Olives is a new crop in Georgia, it is important to promote it, since it is very much in demand in almost all countries. Georgia has great potential for growing perennial crops. That is why the state implements the Plant the Future program. Such programs promote the cultivation of perennial crops in Georgia, the development of fruit growing, which is important in terms of the country's economic progress," Georgian Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili said.
The basis for the prosperity of the olive business is the climate perfect for growing this crop. Kakheti is at the same latitude with such countries as Greece, Spain and Italy, where the cultivation of olives has become cultish. No wonder that these countries are leading in the industry. Moreover, with an average yield of mature olive trees from 60 to 80 kg per a tree, here the figures can reach 100 kg, including due to the use of irrigation systems by local farmers at a very early stage, when the trees are very young and are just beginning their development.
The fact is that productivity depends on many factors from a technological point of view - the distance between the trees, tree watering and care, the type of olives grown, soil fertility, etc. In Kakheti, owing to investments and involvement of qualified international specialists, state-of-the-art technologies are used, which make it possible to produce a competitive product of the highest quality.
Investors who have already entered the olive market in Kakheti note another important detail. When planting properly selected seedlings, and with a proper care, the crop can be harvested starting from the 4th year. Therefore, the return on investment can be forecast and assessed as rather high. Businessmen even admit that it was the olive business in Kakheti that substituted for bank deposits and investments in real estate as a source of passive income. Figuratively speaking, money simply grows on trees.
In addition, olives and olive oil today are one of the most liquid goods, considering the increased demand in the world. In the past olive season, which traditionally lasts from October to October, in just two months the imports of olive oil to China grew by 65%, to Australia by 42%, to the USA - by 5%. The upward trend in the demand is noted by almost all leading economic platforms. Therefore, no one is surprised that dozens of millions of dollars are invested today in the olive business of Georgia. And since this business is still quite young, it has a great potential.