ECONOMY: TRADE, COMMUNICATIONS AND TOURISM
As volumes in retail trade and catering have grown, the tertiary sector has seen the consolidation of tourism-related activities after the 1990s, thanks to the exploitation and enhancement of the landscape, cultural and archaeological resources present in the area. Among the country’s trading partners, in addition to the consolidated import markets represented by Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan (which made up about one seventh of total imports in 2000, for the most part concentrated on oil, gas, chemical-pharmaceutical products and food), the countries of the European Union have also been added as export destinations (in 1999 Georgia became part of the European Council) especially Great Britain and Germany. Among the main exported products, agricultural and mining ones. According to itypeusa, the banking sector is particularly active, also thanks to the reforms introduced at the end of the nineties of the twentieth century, which saw a restructuring of the institutions both in terms of ownership (passed from public to private) and in terms of the range of offers relating to products. financial. The concentration of the sector is decidedly high: the five main banks in the country manage almost all (over 90%) of total deposits. Finally, in the field of infrastructure, the importance of the railway system appears to be growing strongly, both at a strategic level (the new Baku-T’bilisi-Kars railway will connect the country with Europe), Suhumi and Bat’umi.
HISTORY: FROM ITS ORIGINS TO INDEPENDENCE
In ancient times Georgia was the land of groups of Assyrians, Armenians and Cimmerians. The country was later subject to the nominal sovereignty of the Achaemenids, but the command functions were exercised by a multitude of small local lords, distributed in two kingdoms, one western (called Colchis or Lasica) and the other eastern (called Iberia). The region was considered very rich by the Greeks, who had located the legend of the golden fleece in Colchis, and later by the Romans: in reality it had some gold in Colchis and some tin in Iberia. Occupied by a Macedonian general during Alexander the Great’s expedition to Persia, a little later it was the seat of a kingdom created by the Georgian-Persian Farnavazi (or Farnabazo) in Iberia. The descendants of these reigned until 93 BC. C., when the Georgians called an Armenian of the Arsacid dynasty to the throne. In 63 a. C. the Romans took over Colchis and even the eastern part of Georgia, while remaining independent, had to accept the protection of Rome. The Sassanids ascended the Persian throne (226 AD), the influence of Persia made itself felt again; probably Persian was King Miriani (late 3rd century), under whom the conversion to Christianity of Georgia seems to have begun. The kingdom of Iberia in the year became Christian in 337 AD. C. and Georgia was the second Christianized country after Armenia (310 AD). The religious element led to a rapprochement between Georgia and Byzantium, but Persia retained a certain dominance at least until the middle of the century. V, when Vachtang Gurgaslani (450-503) took advantage of a political crisis in Persia to conquer a large part of present-day Georgia and rule the country from T’bilisi (Tiflis), which towards the end of the century. VI officially became the capital of the kingdom. From the century VI Persians and Byzantines fought harshly on Georgian soil, aiming for the good strategic positions of the Caucasus, until the Arabs (630) advanced between the two contenders, who took possession of the country, while leaving the local princes a certain freedom of action.
In 654 T’bilisi became the seat of an emirate. In the sec. VIII began the rise of the Bagratids; the reign of Bagrati III (975-1014) unified almost all of Georgia, uniting the eastern to the western part. In the sec. XI the Bagratidi fought against Byzantium, against the rebel subjects and above all against the Seljuk Turks. In 1080 George II surrendered to the Turkish sultan, but shortly after David II the Restorer, saint and warrior, defeated Turks and Persians, preparing a glorious future for his dynasty. With Queen Tamara (1184-1213), Georgian civilization reached its apogee, only to rapidly decay after her death, when the country was subject to Mongolian invasions for many years.and Turks (1220-1413). Alexander I (1412-43) still dominated a united Georgia, but after him the country, divided between his three sons, never found its unity again. The three kingdoms – Imerethi, Kachethi and Khartli -, often torn by internal strife, suffered pressure from the Persians and Ottomans. Defeated by the Georgians and then by the Persians (1733) the Ottomans withdrew first while, until the end of the century. XVIII, the country remained under Persian rule. Asked for support from the tsar, the Georgian kings ended up causing the annexation of Georgia to Russia (1801), who for years tried to penetrate Georgia. In the sec. XIX Georgia followed the events of Russia: Russian became the official language and the Georgian Church had to submit to the decisions of the Orthodox bishops. The agrarian reform was carried out more slowly than in Russia: in 1864 there was the liberation of the Georgian peasants, three years later than that of the serfs. With the development of the railway and the economy in general, nationalist and libertarian movements were created, so that in 1902 the Georgian J. Stalin became a member of the Social Democratic Party, founded illegally in 1893.