Covering a territory of about 70,000 km2, Georgia is slightly smaller than Austria. Over half of all employees work in agriculture, which, however, only accounts for nine per cent of gross national product. For the most part, enterprises operate at subsistence level. Government investments in modernising agriculture aim to change that.
IMPROVING CONDITIONS OF LIFE
Austrian Development Cooperation with Georgia aims at supporting national economic development and democratisation. Besides making tangible improvements to the conditions of life for the people, the central concern is convergence with European institutions, standards and values. Together with representatives of Georgia, the Austrian Development Agency has specified agriculture and forestry and good governance as priority sectors of cooperation.
FOREST MANAGEMENT AND SPATIAL PLANNING
Forty per cent of Georgian territory is made up of forestland. The forests are not just put to economic use, they also perform important functions for erosion prevention, climate protection and water retention. With support from the Austrian Development Agency, projects and programmes are implemented in agriculture and forestry and improvements made in administration. For example, a survey is being conducted on actual forest resources and their condition as a basis for regular forest inspections.
Georgia has been a priority country of Austrian Development Cooperation since 2011. The Austrian Development Agency maintains a field office in Tbilisi as of 2013.