The Land Portal published a new country portfolio for Georgia as part of our Country Insights initiative. The initiative seeks to expand knowledge about how countries govern their land, the challenges they face, and the innovative solutions they find to manage land tenure issues. Each portfolio comes with a detailed description of the land governance context and a collection of related blogs, news, publications, statistical datasets and more.
Georgia is a small country situated in the south-eastern corner of Europe, bordering Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and the Black Sea. Its geography is diverse, including mountains that cover at least half its area, subtropical lowlands, wetlands, plains, semi-deserts, forests, and glaciers.
Georgia voted for independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, with Zviad Gamsakhurdia elected as the first president. He was ousted in January 1992, shortly followed by violent civil confrontation and armed ethnopolitical conflicts in two Georgian regions – Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which lasted until the late 1993. This devastated the national economy, which contracted by 65%.
Economically Georgia was one of the most prosperous Republics during Soviet times. Its subsequent movement to a free-market economy was complemented with the privatisation of much land. Despite the initial economic contraction, there has been growth during the last decade, instigated by economic reforms during the post-Shevardnadze era. In 2014, the country signed an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU), which included a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. It has reached middle-income status, although growth is focused in urban areas, leaving behind a stagnant rural economy. Traditionally a core sector, agriculture suffered from post-independence political conflicts, the loss of an all-Soviet market and a lack of investment. Despite the population drop, the country became a net food importer.