Country Profile: Georgia
Georgia is a transcontinental country in the South Caucasus region of Southwest Asia, bordered by the Russian Federation to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, Armenia to the south, and Turkey to the southwest. The history of Georgia can be traced back to the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia, and it was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity as an official religion early in the 4th century. At the beginning of the 19th century Georgia became a part of the Russian Empire. After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922, but independence was restored in 1991.
Archaeological research demonstrates that Georgia has been involved in commerce with many lands and empires since the ancient times, largely due its location on the Black Sea and later on the historical Silk Road. Gold, silver, copper and iron have been mined in the Caucasus Mountains, furthermore the ancient tradition of wine making is still extremely prevelant today. Throughout Georgia's modern history agriculture and tourism have been principal economic sectors, due to the country's climate and topography.
For much of the 20th century, Georgia's economy was within the Soviet model of command economy. Since the fall of the USSR in 1991, Georgia embarked on a major structural reform designed to transition to a free market economy. However, as with all other post-Soviet states, Georgia faced a severe fear of economic collapse, but they would previal and become an extremely important member of the European Business community.
The education system of Georgia has undergone sweeping modernizing reforms since 2004.The adult literacy rate in Georgia is apparently 100%, this is extremely high, as education in Georgia is mandatory for all children aged 6-14. The school system is divided into elementary (6 years; age level 6-12), basic (3 years; age level 12-15), and secondary (2 years; age level 15-17), or alternatively vocational studies (2 years). Students with a secondary school certificate have access to higher education. Only the students who have passed the Unified National Examinations may enroll in a state-accredited higher education institution, based on ranking of scores he/she received at the exams. Most of these institutions offer three level studies: a Bachelor's Programme (3-4 years); a Master's Programme (2 years), and a Doctoral Programme (3 years). There is also a Certified Specialist's Programme that represents a single-level higher education programme lasting for 3-6 years. Georgia is seeking to be an eduation leader throughout Europe.
Georgia will continue to grow economically out of the shadow of its Soviet days, and in doing so reform its government and policies. It will build on its strengths, such as education and an extremely high literacy rate, and also strengthen weaknesses such as lack of exports and finshed goods. Georgia will also join the rest of Europe in research and studies for the policies and solutions in regard to climate change and global warming.
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