Republic of Georgia
CAPITAL : T'bilisi (Tbilisi)
FLAG : Maroon field with a small rectangle in the upper hoist side corner. The rectangle is divided horizontally with black on top, white below.
ANTHEM : National Anthem of the Republic of Georgia.
MONETARY UNIT : The lari ( L ) was issued in 1995 to replace government coupons that were introduced in 1993. L 1 = $0.4629 (or $1 = L 2.16) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in force.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1–2 January; Christmas, 7 January; Independence Day, 26 May; St. George's Day, 22 November.
TIME : 3 PM = noon GMT.
The topography of Georgia is mainly mountainous, with the great Caucasus Mountains in the north and lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south. The Kolkhida Lowland opens to the Black Sea in the west and the Kura River basin lies in the east. Good soils occur in the river valley flood plains and in the foothills of the Kolkhida Lowland.
Georgia's climate along the Black Sea coast is Mediterranean. Farther inland the climate is continental, with warm summers and cold winters. July's mean temperature is 23°C (73.8° F ). The mean temperature in January is -3° C (27.3° F ). The annual rainfall in Georgia is 51 cm (20 in).
The population was 70.1% Georgian at last estimate. The leading minorities were Armenians with 8.1%; Russians with 6.3%; Azeris with 5.7%; Ossetians with 3%; Abkhaz with 1.8%; and various other groups making up the remaining 5%.
Georgia was admitted to the UN on 21 July 1992. The country is a member of the FAO, IAEA, ICAO, IFAD, ILO, OSCE, IMF, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO, WIPO, and the World Bank, and is applying for membership in other international organizations. Georgia joined the CIS in 1993, and became a member of the WTO in 2000.
The Black Sea and Kura River are the main sources of the domestic catch. The total catch in 2000 was about 3,600 tons, with marine fishing accounting for 63%. Anchovies made up almost 58% of the total catch in 2000. Commercial fishing is not a significant contributor to the economy.
About 44% of Georgia is covered with forests or woodlands, but the mountainous terrain inhibits forestry production. Timber production is primarily for domestic use; exports of forestry products amounted to only $11.9 million in 2000.
Georgia's insurance system is largely inherited from government-controlled Soviet institutions. The civil war impairs growth of the insurance sector.
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
Georgia has an open trade regime, with most commodities carrying tariffs of either 5% or 12%, although automobiles have considerably higher rates. Some goods, such as grains, humanitarian goods, and aviation fuel, are exempt from carrying customs tariffs. Imported goods are also subject to a value-added tax (VAT) of 20% and an excise tax of 5-100% is levied on luxury goods.
Georgia has no territories or colonies.
Dolphin, Laurie. Georgia to Georgia: Making Friends in the U.S.S.R. New York: Tambourine Books, 1991.
Giannakos, S.A. (ed.). Ethnic Conflict: Religion, Identity, and Politics . Athens: Ohio University Press, 2002.
Nationalism and History: The Politics of Nation Building in Post-Soviet Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Centre for Russian and East European Studies, 1994.
Streissguth, Thomas. The Transcaucasus. San Diego, Calif.: Lucent Books, 2001.
Transcaucasia, Nationalism and Social Change: Essays in the History of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996.