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Georgia: Detangling the Business Web

A EurasiaNet Book Review

Foreign investors, be forewarned: In Georgia, politics is everything, and everything is political.

That is the biting insight contained in a recently released guidebook from anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Georgia on the murky relationship between business and politics in this dynamic South-Caucasus country, long viewed as one of the few market-reform prodigies of the former Soviet Union.

Yet, even amid reforms, politics and clannish networks of family and friends still play an all-important role in the business sector.

From battles over the airwaves to questionable privatization in the mining sector, the book uses Transparency International reports and Georgian journalists’ investigations to examine the links that emerged between Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) and various politically sensitive businesses after Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution.

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The Open Society Georgia Foundation provided financial support for the publication of “Who Owned Georgia: 2003-2012.” EurasiaNet.org operates under the auspices of the Open Society Institute-New York, a separate part of the network of Open Society Foundations. Molly Corso is a freelance journalist who also works as editor of Investor.ge, a monthly publication by the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia.

Georgia: Detangling the Business Web

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