REPUBLIC OF ABKHAZIA
The Republic of Abkhazia is Apsny (translation from Abkhazian is “Country of soul”), with rich history within more than 1000 years. In the VIII century it was the Abkhazian kingdom headed by Leon II. The Abkhazians are the native population of Abkhazia, one of the ancient nations of the world. As any other small nation, Abkhazians during its history had to fight with large countries for preservation of its national identity, culture, language, statehood and its physical existence.
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the aggravation of contradiction between Georgia and Abkhazia and to the war between them. As a result of the war (1992-1993) the Georgian occupation troops were defeated and left Abkhazia.
Today the Republic of Abkhazia is an independent state.
In 2008, sovereignty of Abkhazia was recognized by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.
The Republic of Abkhazia is situated in the northwestern coast of the Black Sea at the border of Europe and Asia. It borders on the north with the Russian Federation and on the east with Georgia.
Coordinates: in latitude 43°01′00 North and at longitude 41°02′00″east
Total area is 8.7 Km²
Length of land boundary is 418.2 Km
Shoreline is 220 Km
The climate is damp and subtropical. The average air temperature in January on the shore is +4+7, in the mountains from +2 to -2 C, in July +22+24C. There is 1300-2400 mm of precipitation per year.
Mountains cover 64% of the territory- the main Caucasian, Bzybski, Gagrski, Chkhaltski, Kodori redges and their prongs. The highest height is 4046 m (Dombai – Ulgen).
Karts caves: Novy Aphon, Snow, cave-gulf on the edge of Arbaika is the deepest in the world (1860 m).
Rivers: the Psou, the Bzyb, the Gumista, the Kodor, the Aldzga, the Ingur and so on.
Lakes: the Ritsa, the Amtkel, the Inkit, the Blue, the Bebeisir.
Soil is mountain, podzolic , red and zheltozem.
55% of the territory is covered by forests (oak, beech, hornbeam, chestnut, fir). Subtropical greenery is on the shore.
Pitsunda–Myusersky park 3.761 thousand ha
Ritsa 16.289 thousand ha
Pskhu – Gumistinski park 40.018 thousand ha
Abkhazia has reserves of coal, peat, dolomite, marble, granite, limestone, gabbro-diabase, chalk, tufa, barite, lead, silver, a variety of materials. There are small fields of oil and gas on the shelf of Abkhazia. Total area of agricultural lands is about 421.6 ha. Abkhazia has abundant fresh water resources and is in the first place in the world: per square kilometer there are more than 1.7 million cubic meters of runoff per year. The total length of 120 rivers is more than 5 thousand km. Basically, this is the swift mountain streams, which is the potential development of small hydropower.57% of the territory of Abkhazia are forests (497 ha); the estimate of the total stock of wood is about 83 million cubic meters.
The flora of Abkhazia includes more than 3500 species of plants. 180 species are presented by arboreal and shrub shapes but the rest are presented by herb plants. About 400 species are endemic of the Caucasus and more than 100 species are met only in Abkhazia.
The Republic of Abkhazia is a popular health-resort zone. In the Soviet period, Abkhazia was one of needed and prestigious health resort. The unique nature and historical sights of Abkhazia attract tourists’ attention. The flow of tourists increases annually. The number of tourists is 1000 000 per year.
Today, there are more than 70 objects of resort complexes in Abkhazia. There are more than 80 travel agencies and tour operators. There are more than 14500 beds.
The agriculture of Abkhazia is one of basic directions of economy of Abkhazia. The area of agricultural branch is 421.6 ha. Today, the agriculture suffers from difficulties of its development after the war 1992-1993 in spite of its positive natural conditions for the development of the branch. Traditionally, tea, tobacco, citrus, nut, grape, animal breeding are developed in Abkhazia. Today, all efforts are directed its recovery. The government pins its hopes on this sector. Grapes, tea, tobacco, citrus plantations, areas for kiwi are restored. Farming, fishing, poultry factories are restored too. It is considered to build different factories on processing of agricultural products for further realization of production on the territory of Abkhazia and exportation to other countries. All these sectors require investments. The basic exported goods are citrus(mandarins, oranges, lemons) – 25 250 thousand tons, grape – 121 tons, hazelnut – 27.2 tons, tea – 704.4 tons, corn – 11 262 tons, bay – 4 tons, feijoa – 38 tons, kiwi – 42,5 tons, ebony – 13 thousand tons, vegetables – 1317.5 tons, potato – 335 tons, watermelons – 3305 tons.
Nationality – Abkhaz(ians)
Population: 240 705
Ethnic groups: Abkhazians – 50,71%, Armenians – 17,39%, Russians – 9,17%, Georgians – 17,93%
Urban population: 121 334
Rural population: 119 371
The official language of the Republic of Abkhazia is the Abkhazian. The Russian language is the language of state and other agencies. The State guarantees the right to all ethnic groups living in Abkhazia to use free their native language.
Level of education: 98.6%
Compulsory secondary education is 11 years.
Abkhazia is a country of early Christianity. Christianity began to penetrate into Abkhazia from the middle of the I-st century. Three of twelve Disciples of Christ (St. Andrew the First-Called, the Apostle Simon the Zealot and the Apostle Matthew) propagated in Abkhazia. In the beginning of the IV century the first church institute was established in Abkhazia – the Pitsundskaya bishopric. The bishop of Pitsunda Stratofil took part in the I Ecumenical council in 325 year. The Abkhazian Orthodox Church existed in the middle of the VIII-th century and lasted till the end of the XVIII-th century. Today, Abkhazia is a Christian country, about 70% of its population is Orthodox Christians and the rest population propagates Islam (16%), Catholicism (4%), Heathenism (5%), Judaism (2%) and other religion (3%).
Name of the Country:
Republic of Abkhazia – Apsny Akhuntkarra (abkh)
Brief name: Apsny, Abkhazia (abkh)
Capital: Sukhum - Akua
Administrative division:7 districts
Abkhazia is subdivided into seven administrative districts such as : Gagra, Gudauta, Sukhum, Gulripsh, Ochamchira, Tkuarchal, and Gal.
September 30, 1993 (independence from Georgia).
August 26, 2008 is the day of recognition of independence and statehood of Abkhazia.
The national flag of the Republic of Abkhazia consists of alternating green and white stripes: four green and three white stripes symbolize the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians. In the top left corner, enclosed in a red rectangle, is an open palm, symbolizing peace, kindness, hospitality, openness and friendliness. It is surrounded by seven stars symbolizing seven regions (seven historical oblasts, seven modern regions and seven cities). Seven is a sacred number for Abkhaz.
Form of Government:
The Republic of Abkhazia is a presidential republic. The head of state is the president who is elected within 5 years. The legislative power is presented by the National Assembly of the Republic of Abkhazia and consists of 35 deputies who are elected within 5 years. The head of the executive power is the President.
The President is Raul Khajimba
The Vice – President – Vitaly Gabmia
The Prime-minister – Beslan Butba
The last elections – 26.08.2014
The last parliamentary elections – 10.03.2012
The war with Georgia in 1992-1993 damaged the Republic at the rate of about 13 billion $. After the war Abkhazia was in economic blockade from the CIS countries till 2000 and after reversal of blockade the economy of Abkhazia began to make the first steps of its development. The recognition of independence of Abkhazia in 2008 became an impact for it and the economy of Abkhazia began to develop impetuously. Today, the economy of Abkhazia is on the trajectory of stable, progressive economic growth. Transport, communication, industry, trade, power system, infrastructure and other branches are developed in Abkhazia.
Gross domestic product: 22.6 billiard rubles
Gross domestic product per head: 83 201rubles
State Banks: The National Bank, Joint stock commercial bank “Savings Bank of Abkhazia”
Commercial banks: CB “Amra-Bank”, CB “Sukhum-Bank”, CB “Garant-Bank”, CB “Universal-Bank”, CB “ Financial Investment Bank”, CB “Chernomorsky Bank of Development”, CB “Kibit-Bank”.
Currency: Russian Ruble (RUB)
The Republic of Abkhazia is situated at the slope of the Bolshoi Caucasus and Colchisky lowland and is washed by the Black sea. The Republic may exercise transit of goods in all directions thus increases economic effectiveness of transportation for countries used this corridor. We should note the developed transport infrastructure of the Republic with two airports and three sea ports. The transit highway and automobile lines of Abkhazia have a great strategic meaning.
The total length of railway is 221 km. The main line spreads through the whole Republic from the stop platform of Psou ( the Abkhazian – Russian border) till the stop platform of Ingur (the Abkhazian – Georgian border) till the Black Sea coast and the branch line within 26 km ( Ochamchira –Tkuarchal).
The length of highway is 187 km, M27. It is the highway from the Psou river till the Ingur river. The highway is asphalted.
Airports: Babushara, Bambora
Babushara is an international airport of the Republic of Abkhazia in the Sukhum city. There is a national air company of Abkhazia – the Abkhaz air lines in the airport. The frontier post and customs work there. The airport has been in unsatisfactory state for a long time and needed in capital repair. In 2011 the airport was partially reconstructed. The leadership of Abkhazia is planning to begin flights in autumn 2012. The landing is exercised from two sides. The airport is year-round may accept all kind of planes in any weather. The airport is of class A 2 (Runway 3640 х 45, mass 75t and more).
The Bombora airport is in Gudauta. It is one of the biggest airports of Transcaucasia. The length of airport runway is 4 Km. The airfield may receive all kinds of battle and military transport planes.
The unpaved airfields are in Pskhu and Pitsunda.
The main sea port of Abkhazia is Sukhum. There are three small ports in Ochamchira, Gagra and Novy Aphon. All of them belong to the state company “Abkhazian Sea Company”.
The Sea way of Sukhum-Trabzon is 245 Km, Sukhum – Istanbul - 1028 Km, Sukhum- Samsun - 418 Km.
The main producer of electric power in Abkhazia is the Ingur hydroelectric power station. It is located on the border between Abkhazia and Georgia. The Ingur hydroelectric power station supplies the nation's energy needs. Due to the fact that the dam is on the territory of Georgia and the underground power station is in Abkhazia. 60% of electric power flows to Georgia and 40% of electric power flows to Abkhazia. Power – 1370 megawatt, generation of electricity is about 3,2 billion kilowatt-hour (potential till 4,5 billion kilowatt-hour per year). The transmission lines are:
- lines 220 – 110 -35 kilovolt – 916 Km
- lines 10 – 0,4 kilovolt – 7,584 Km
The general energy balance of the Republic of Abkhazia is 1140 million kilowatt-hours per year. Price: 1 kilowatt – 30 kopecks
Investment of capital:
Today, Abkhaiza is a very attractive country for investment and creates all conditions for it. It is necessary to adopt laws for favorable conditions of investment and business development and develop security issues, political stability and protection of investors’ rights. It should be noted that Abkhazia and Russia cooperate closely and Abkhazia has been granted a preferential customs status in trade relations with the Russian Federation. Abkhazia comes in preferential zone with the Russian Federation facilities of customs duties questions under import/export of production made in the territory of Abkhazia. In connection with it the Law of the Republic of Abkhazia on foreign investments was passed in the Republic of Abkhazia which provides great privileges for investors.
In accordance with the Article 26 of the Law of the Republic of Abkhazia on foreign investments in the Republic of Abkhazia.
Article 26 Taxation.
1. Enterprises with foreign investments and foreign investors shall pay taxes provided by legislative acts of the Republic of Abkhazia.
2. Enterprises with foreign investments (except banks and other credit agencies) in the charted capital (fund) of which share of foreign participation is more than 30%.
Additional tax remissions set up:
a)If size of foreign investments in the charted capital (fund) of enterprise is from 250 000 to 500 000$ then reduction on imposed profit and rate of taxes on enterprises property within the first three years after granting of declared income (inclusively) is 25%.
b)If size of foreign investments in the charted capital (fund) of enterprise is from 500 000 to 1 000 000$ then reduction on 50% of imposed taxation and taxation rate on property of enterprise within the first three years after granting of declared income (inclusively) is 50%.
c)If size of foreign investments in the charted capital (fund) of enterprise is 1 000 000$ and more, then investor is free from payment of taxes on income and taxes on property of enterprise within the first three years after granting of declared income (inclusively).
The beginning of quarter is considered to be as the moment of granting of the declared income, according to results of which an enterprise with foreign investments shall present quarterly accounting financial report according to the Law of the Republic of Abkhazia in which for the first time from the date of state registration of this enterprise or from the date of state registration of changes in the established documents of enterprise according to which the rate of charted capital (fund) shall be increased prior to provided articles of rate, is reflected the income.
There is a liberal tax system in the Republic of Abkhazia. The rate of income –tax from the profit got by citizens from the exercising of obligations according to the labour contract is 10%, from the business owners’ activity-15%. The income of enterprises, agencies and foreign legal persons is taxed by the rate of 18%. The rate of income –tax from the profit from different kind of activity is fixed in the following rates: banking activity-25%, insurance activity-20%, mediatory operation of transaction-25%. Foreign legal persons shall pay taxes on incomes received from dividends, percents from shared participation in the businesses with foreign investments at the rate of 15%. Value added tax is 10%. The realization of goods on export by excises and on value added taxes is not taxed (except forest, metal and building materials). The rate of land tax is determined annually by the National Assembly of the Republic of Abkhazia in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Abkhazia “On Land Charge”. The rate size is varied subject to kind of activity and location. The land relations in the Republic of Abkhazia are regulated by the Civil Code of the Republic of Abkhazia (part I, chapter 17) and the Land Code of the Republic of Abkhazia in accordance with which the land is in the state property. Physical and legal entities are entitled to use land (including lease). Sale, gift, mortgage of land is prohibited. During importation of goods of national consumption is used unified rate of customs duty at the rate of 2% from goods value. The major part of equipment and techniques for production purposes has zero rate of import customs duty. The custom charge rate is 1% from customs fee. The electricity value is very low in the Republic of Abkhazia; it is 55 kopecks for 1kwt for commercial structures.
The banking system of the Republic of Abkhazia is presented by the National bank of the RA, 15 commercial banks including Savings bank of Abkhazia and 7 branches of commercial banks (one of the CB “Chernomorsky bank of Development” and six of the Savings bank of Abkhazia).
The bank of Abkhazia in 2009 held international interaction and cooperation with banks-nonresidents on opening and service of corresponding accounts of the Bank of Abkhazia. The Bank of Abkhazia exercises its international accounts in the RF rubles, USA dollars and EURO through its corresponding account in Sochi branch “Bank of Moscow”. In 2009 the Bank of Abkhazia for the first time exercised international audit of the Annual report of the Bank of Abkhazia for 2009 with involvement of international auditors from the Russian Federation («PKF Ltd)»). The interaction of the Bank of Abkhazia with the international audit allows confirming that an audit is valid and does not have any essential misrepresentations which could influence on the user’s opinion and on the decision taking by him during the use of the given auditing financial reporting. The credit organizations of the Republic of Abkhazia in 2009 exercised international cooperation on opening and service of corresponding accounts in the Russian Federation rubles, USA dollars and EURO through its accounts in the banks-nonresidents in Sochi and other cities of the Russian Federation and Turkey. Thus, banks of Abkhazia may exercise internal and international operations.