The Republic of Georgia — located between Europe and the Middle East — is home to a population of over nine million citizens. The nation ranks 116th in GDP per capita with a poverty rate of about 30 percent.
Infrastructure in Georgia has slowly improved over the last few years, and according to research done by the World Bank, Georgia has also worked to facilitate trade and increase their value proposition as a transit country.
Electricity and Infrastructure Improvements
Electrical transmission lines cover up to 11,297 kilometers in Georgia already, and plans to expand capacity are underway. Georgia is also adding 1,700 Km of new lines by 2022 while simultaneously upgrading cross-border transmission capacity that could reach up to 5,000 MW by 2022.
Infrastructure in Georgia is becoming the central focus of the government’s plan to improve economic conditions in the country. In fact, the nation contains an abundance of untapped resources that explicitly appeal to the booming digital sector.
Financial Aid and Investments
The 1996 U.S financial backing of the local startup Sanet Network led to the first internet service provider of the modest nation, as well as the rise of four others. Since 2008, however, telecommunication infrastructure investment has plateaued while software piracy has also reached alarming levels that frighten away foreign investment in technology.
Lack of IT investment also holds back other industries like hospitality, energy, manufacturing and real estate. In the digital age, these industries rely on data centers, telecom hubs and energy distributors, who in turn rely heavily on infrastructure that can operate on scalable and flexible distribution models.
Georgia’s Location as Potential Hub
Although challenges exist, Georgia is geographically well-positioned and could, in theory, become a mega-hub for interconnectivity and a major power provider for its neighboring countries. Potential for growth definitely exists in the energy sector from hydro resources, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass sources. These untapped businesses could lead to ample financial gains for foreign investors who could then accurately implement energy, data center and telecom infrastructures.
Technology companies are now also interested more than ever in being closer to their end-users. Georgia’s multi-bordering capability can cede mass future cloud deployments. Cloud providers would have more flexibility and reliability, and also add the highly sought out redundancies to their cloud.
Mega-Moves in the Digital Infrastructure in Georgia
Deployment of Magti telecom infrastructure gave internet connectivity to 2,000 schools — a move that brought over 700,000 new users to the web. Cross partnerships between providers and government agencies (such as the Ministry of Education in Georgia) has improved academia in urban and rural areas, which also serves as an important advance in alleviating poverty.
BitFurry, a global bit-coin blockchain service provider, recently had success with data centers located in Gori; Georgia anticipated spending over 100 million dollars in infrastructure to deploy its next hub at a new technology park that was funded in part by Georgian Co-Investment fund.
But the new 100 Mega-Watt bitcoin mining data center is expected to develop on 185,000 square miles of land procured by the Georgian National Agency of State Property called the “Special Technology Zone,” aimed at attracting foreign research and development.
Infrastructure Betters the Nation
Poverty decreased for a fourth consecutive year in the country, although one-third of Georgia still lives under the poverty line; favorable business activity has been the driving force of that reduction.
With only 25 percent of its renewable energy resources exploited, Georgia could also see improvements through sales of excess energy. Georgia’s beautiful high-mountains and fast-flowing rivers are low-cost generation sources.
The digital frontier has opened possibilities for many around the world, and helping countries find ways to self-cure poverty is an excellent tool for sustainable poverty reduction.
Investment into infrastructure in Georgia can have significant positive effects for the sprawling country. Mutually beneficial business ideas can open doors for further innovation and propagate an inclusive digital world economy.
– Hector Cruz