Country Overview

Geographical Location

Georgia is situated at the strategically important crossroads where Europe meets Asia, in the Caucasus. The country has a unique and ancient cultural heritage, and is famed for its traditions of hospitality and cuisine. To the west it is bordered by the Black Sea, to the north – the Russian Federation, to the south-east – Azerbaijan, to the south – Armenia and Turkey.

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Georgia is the country of ancient civilization. This area was inhabited 1.7-1.8 million years ago. This fact is proved by Homo erectus (human) skull and Anthropos lower jaw discovered in Dmanisi territory, in the south-east of Georgia, in 1999. Nowadays Dmanisi people are regarded as the oldest inhabitants of Eurasia and even called “The first European”.

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Ethnic Groups

The likelihood is great that the Georgians, whose name for themselves is Kartveli (“Georgian” derived from the Persian name for them, Gorj), have always lived in this region, known to them as Sakartvelo.

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Many Georgians are members of the Georgian Orthodox Church, an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. In addition, there are Muslim, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Jewish communities.

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Settlement Patterns

Population density in Georgia decreases with increasing altitude. The population of Georgia is concentrated in the narrow valley between the Greater Caucasus mountains in the north and the Lesser Caucasus in the south and along the coast of the Black Sea to the west.

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Georgia is the country of an ancient and rich culture, which is indicated by cultural sites and various art works created in ancient period. Still BC, in Georgian states (Iberia, Colchis) jewelry and architecture was developed, (Vani, Uplistsikhe), Georgian tribes produced metal in neolith era. According to Greek sources and myths, Colchis was rich in gold.
During various time, Georgian cultural traditions were merged with foreign traditions enriching local culture more.

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Economy (GDP, Growth)

The Georgian economy includes diversified and mechanized agriculture alongside a well-developed industrial base. Agriculture accounts for about half of the gross domestic product and employs about one-fourth of the labor force; the industry and service sectors each employ about one-fifth of the labor force.

After independence the Georgian economy contracted sharply because of political instability (which discouraged foreign investment), the loss of favorable trading relationships with the states of the former Soviet Union, and the civil unrest in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where key pipelines and transport links were sabotaged or blockaded.

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