Georgia is blessed with a strategic location, beautiful physical features and historical treasures, as well as talented, energetic people. In recent years, a democratically elected, forward-looking government has created an empowering, laissez-faire business environment to complement these natural endowments as well as an atmosphere in which business can flourish. Recognizing that this combination of assets and opportunity is rare in the world, the U.S. Government wishes to strengthen, deepen, and institutionalize these developments to ensure continued peace, stability, and democratic political and economic growth.
USAID designed and procured the Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) – a four-year USD 40.4 million program – to build upon this context of opportunity. Its broad goal is as follows:
“EPI will improve enterprise, industry, and country-level competitiveness by identifying and targeting key external and internal factors to enhance the growth rates and productivity of enterprises in the economy, thereby enhancing the economic well-being of workers in the economy.”
EPI contract sections “Component 2 – Improve the Competitiveness of Targeted Agriculture Sectors” and “Component 3 – Improve the Competitiveness of Targeted Non-Agriculture Sectors” require the evaluation of agriculture and non-agriculture sectors to be carried out, that ICT be one of the sectors evaluated, and that value chains be selected from priority sectors. When the EPI was mobilized in late October 2010, teams of value chain analysts began the process of prioritizing economic sectors by their potential in achieving the goal above, and in meeting various high-level EPI targets of productivity, employment, investment, access to finance, and exports.
This document details the initial research that led to the priority agricultural sectors, non-agricultural sectors and “cross-cutting” sectors. Value chains within these initial priority sectors will now be assessed in greater detail to determine priority value chains that EPI will partner to support Georgia’s competitiveness growth.