Caucasus Business Week #123

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November 23, 2015 #123

November 23, 2015, Issue 123

caucasus business Partnerweek News Agency


Ilia Tsulaia: Despite Economic Challenges in Region, Archi Group Plans to Broaden Field of Activity in 2016 Pg. 4


PASHA BANK – SPONSOR OF GEORGIA AGRO FORUM 2015 Tbilisi hosted the first Georgia Agro Forum 2015 supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, the Georgian Agricultural Projects Management Agency (APMA), the Georgian Farmers Association, the Shepherds Association of Georgia, and other organizations. Pg. 8

Pg. 5

LOAN INTEREST RATES GROW Expected Effect of Bank Sector’s Credit Policy on State Economy


Commercial banks have tightened crediting conditions by increasing loan interest rates and introducing conservative loan-issuing regulations. Commercial banks still consider the commerce and trade field as the target sector for crediting, but similar considerations do not foster the sector development. Moreover, the National Bank of

Toyota’s both official dealers in Georgia – Toyota Center Tbilisi and Toyota Center Tegeta have introduced a new LC200 model in their showrooms. For many years, in Georgia this Toyota vehicle has been associated with comfortable driving and refined lifestyle that stress the owner’s special status. Pg. 11

Georgia (NBG) has ceased growing the refinancing loans volume and commercial banks have to increase interest rates on deposits to draw the GEL resources in this way. In the third quarter of 2015, the credit portfolio’s annual growth rate declined and marked 12.8% in September, excluding the exchange rate effect.

According to the NBG report, the growth in the credit portfolio was balanced through issuing retail and corporate loans. Annual Growth in retail crediting volume has declined quarter on quarter after the economic activity slipped and the demand for imported goods diminished amid the exchange rate devaluation, the NBG says.


Pg. 14







International Monetary Fund Mission Visits Georgia

PM GARIBASHVILI: HIGH CHANCE GEORGIA WILL GAIN VISA FREE REGIME THIS YEAR The meeting, held at the Government’s Administration in Georgia’s capital, gave Garibashvili the chance to speak about the country’s visa liberalisation efforts and he stressed the current leadership had fulfilled all its obligations to be offered a visa free travel regime with the EU.

A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is visiting Georgia to discuss the country’s economic outlook with local officials. Structural reforms planned by the Government of Georgia, the country’s current and next year’s state budget as well as macroeconomic parameters was discussed at a meeting between Georgia’s Prime Minister and IMF representatives. The sides also discussed cooperation details between Georgia and IMF. The meeting was held yesterday in Tbilisi. The IMF mission, led by Mark Griffiths, visited Georgia last week. The aim of IMF’s visit was to actively cooperate with Georgia’s state institutions.

Over the past three years we have done our utmost to meet all the obligations. I want to thank all Georgian state bodies for this,” Garibashvili said.

Georgia Healthcare Group Appears on London Stock Exchange The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is continuing to attract Georgian companies. After TBC Bank, Bank of Georgia and Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation, another Georgian company is now listed on the LSE. As of today, Georgia Healthcare Group began to sell its stock for the first time to the public on the London stock market. The Georgia-based medical insurance and hospital provider was valued on the stock market at about £260m. The Georgia Healthcare Group attracted $100 million USD new capital by listing on the London Stock Exchange. Georgia Healthcare Group has already opened trading on the LSE. Tomorrow the Group’s shares will be officially listed as a premium listing and the price of shares will be revealed. Georgia Healthcare Group is owned by EVEX medical corporation and Imedi L insurance firm. Georgia Healthcare Group officials said the investments attracted by trading on the LSE would be spent on developing the EVEX medical corporation. Georgia Healthcare Group was the first company from the region to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Georgian Government Steps up Support For Tea Industry The Government of Georgia is launching a state program to rehabilitate the country’s tea plantations to encourage development of tea production in the country. Within the Georgian Tea state program, 7,000 hectares of tea plantations will be rehabilitated step by step in Georgia. At the same time, the state will support small tea processing business and launch certification programs together with donor organisations to ensure tea production in Georgia meets high standards. All these efforts will make it easier for Georgian tea to be exported to European markets. The Georgian Tea program was created by Georgia’s Agriculture and Economy Ministries. On a similar note, the Government will also establish a state program that supported tea storage facilities to expand the country’s tea season and allow tea products to be better stored. Georgia’s Agriculture Minister Otar Danelia said every year Georgia lost 15 to 20 percent of fruit and vegetable harvest due to a lack of storage facilities and he did not want the same happening to Georgia’s tea production.

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caucasus business week


he Prime Minister of Georgia is confident the country will be offered a visa free regime with European Union (EU) countries by the end of the year.

There is a very positive attitude in the European Union to Georgia and during my last visit to Brussels we

received information that by the end of the year, with high probability, Georgia will hear a positive solution in terms of visa liberalisation with EU states,” said Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili today at a Governmental meeting in Tbilisi.

He noted it might take several months for the EU to grant Georgia a visa free travel regime due to the current complicated situation in Europe. Additionally, all 28 EU member states must agree and confirm the organisation’s decision to grant Georgia a visa free regime before it can be implemented. Garibashvili told his Government that establishing visa free travel to the EU was not on the agenda of the previous leadership. He went on further to say some current members of opposition United National Movement (UNM) were against Georgia being offered visa liberalisation under the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition Government. The process of deeper our assimilation with Europe was launched under our Government. Moldova launched the process earlier and received visa liberalisation,” Garibashvili stressed, and noted UNM members Davit Bakradze and Giorgi Kandelaki tried to persuade Georgia’s foreign partners not to grant the country a visa free regime.

What can this action be called, if it’s not treason to your people and homeland?” Garibashvili questioned. However, he stressed Georgia was on a oneway path towards visa liberalisation and said the EU remained positive to Georgia and its current authorities.



eorgia’s investment environment, implemented economic reforms and future cooperation prospects were the focus of a meeting between Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Richard Weber, president of Eurochambres. Eurochambres is the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. With his guest Garibashvili talked about the steps Georgia had taken to develop local production. He highlighted the state programs that had been implementing in Georgia to support middlesized businesses in the country. Weber confirmed his support to Georgia and positively assessed the reforms Georgia had carried out and planned to carry out in the future. Eurochambers strives to improve the general conditions in which businesses operate, to facili-


The Editorial Board Follows Press Freedom Principles Publisher: LLC Caucasian Business Week - CBW Address: Aleksidze Street 12 Director: Levan Beglarishvili Mobile phone: +995 591 013936 WWW.CBW.GE Email:

tate access to markets within and beyond the EU and to ensure the availability of human, financial and natural resources. Eurochambers represents over 20 million businesses in Europe through 45 members (43 national associations of chambers of commerce

and industry and two transnational chamber organisations) and a European network of 1700 regional and local chambers. More than 93 percent of these businesses are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Chambers’ member businesses employ over 120 million.

Editor: Nino Gojiashvili. Mobile phone: 595 050404 Reporters: Nutsa Galumashvili; Lazare Gvimradze; Shiva Parizad. Designer illustrator: Giorgi Magradze. Technical Assistant: Giorgi Kheladze


PUBLICITY November 23, 2015 #123

caucasus business week



INTERVIEW caucasus business week

November 23, 2015 #123

DESPITE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES IN REGION, ARCHI GROUP PLANS TO BROADEN FIELD OF ACTIVITY IN 2016 The current year was found quite effective for the construction market. The demand on newly-built apartments has increased. The number of customers has grown and respectively, before making their final decision to buy an apartment the customers pays a particular attention to every single detail, such as: the legal documentation, requests for recreational zone around the building, energy-efficient materials and European standard of living conditions. It is interesting what the Archi Group offers the population in this regard. The interview is suggested with the general director of the company, Mr. ILIA TSULAIA.

USD, after three months 30% of the price and afterwards the 10 years of installment are made.

- Mr. Tsulaia, Archi Group is one of the leading construction companies in our country; it has started an active business in the period when the construction market in Georgia was significantly decreasing. What makes your business so successful? - Archi Group is distinguished by the quality and completion of construction activities in due terms.

We have reliable and influential foreign business partners, who share our perspective and put their trust in us. We made up our mind to start acting when everyone was inactive – in 2008. This was a quite daring step, but the risk was justified. When one overcomes such a difficult period, long-standing experience is guaranteed. Besides our own constructions, we made investments in the constructions which were stagnated during the crisis time and which are nowadays completed. We implement projects in almost every district of Tbilisi. We are ready to offer customers apartments in any price categories. Hence, everyone who wishes to purchase an apartment in Archi Group will definitely find the apartment designed at his own choice in the desirable district with reasonable price. - How many projects are currently being implemented by Archi Group? - As I have already mentioned, we are constructing in almost every district of Tbilisi, the overall area amounts to approximately 80 000 sq.m, that is quite impressive index in construction sector. Archi Tower is a premium class product, which is handed over to the customers with complete repairs in Chavchavadze 37. The trade zone of complex has been opened more than a year and is operating with full capacity. The block is distinguished by high standard of infrastructure, residents will have a chance to host their guests in lobby, to use the swimming pool specifically

meant for them, spa-salon and gym. The construction of dwellings in Bagebi and Paliashvili Str. will be finalized by the end of this year. The beautiful dwelling house of salon type is already completed in Tsinamdzgvrishvili Str. As for Dighomi Palace complex, the construction started in 2011. This is a residential building of six blocks which will be equipped with its own recreational ecologically clean zone. The construction of first three blocks is already finished,

This is very favorable condition for every family having stable income who wishes to purchase a new apartment; one can live in a new apartment and pay the price by small amount of installments. - We should definitely mention the topic related to energy efficiency, all leading construction companies including yours use energy efficient materials, which ensures the high quality construction, what are other advantages of this type of materials? - Thank you for this question. I have mentioned numerous times that one of the strongest motive powers of Archi Group is social responsibility. The energy-efficient materials are developed with this philosophy in European construction sector, they realize the paramount importance of saving energy

“We made up our mind to start acting when everyone was inactive – in 2008. This was a quite daring step, but the risk was justified” the two new blocks are now under construction and the next year the last new block will be added. Overall Archi Group will start the implementation of four new projects by the end of this year which will encompass the areas of Saburtalo, Avlabari and Isani. - As we are aware, the present sale offers of the company is exceptional. Please, tell about this. - I agree. The present offer of Archi Group is truly exceptional. 10 years of internal installments without the confirmation of incomes and only on the basis of ID cards, besides this, which is also very important the first installment amounts to the price of 1 sqm. Customer is guaranteed with three months of grace period for 30% installment.

In simple words, today you pay in the price of 1 sq.m, for instance 500

and living in ecologically clean environment, and our goal is to offer Georgian customers this type of living standard. For this evidence it is even sufficient to claim that our houses are built with high quality of “Ytong” blocks made by modern manufacturing technologies. Ytong is a German brand, the construction materials of which are widely used all over the world. Comparing with ordinary concrete construction block Ytong block has 6 times less heat conduction. The wall built with this block maintains the room temperature for longer time and hence approximately less than 40% energy is consumed for heating and cooling off the building. Besides the energy-efficiency, Ytong block is ecologically clean material, which ensures the healthy environment in apartments and which is necessary for inhabitants’ health. - As we know you own the hotel chains named “Sunset”, do you plan any expansions in this respect?

- Under “Sunset” brand we operate two hotels in Shovi and Kvariati. Sunset Shovi is the first hotel of European standard in Racha region. It has been operating for already two years. The infrastructure is being permanently developed and the care for making the best comfort to customers is also permanent. The hotel offers diversified entertainment programs and equipment for the visitors: billiard, entertainment centers for kids, playground, periodically the horse riding and other adventure- perceptual tours are organized towards the direction of upper Racha.

In regard with Sunset Kvariati, this is a hotel-type residential complex, which is located in only 50 meters from the sea. Apartments are repaired with high quality, equipped with furniture and techniques. Sunset Kvariati is highlighted for high quality of service and programs made in benefit of customers’ interests, which creates the maximum comfort and best relaxation conditions. It ensures the guaranteed annual income for apartment owners. Nowadays the boutique-type hotel “Silver 39” is being constructed in old Tbilisi. The investment to be made is one million and half USD. The hotel will come into exploitation in the end of 2016. We also plan to start building a new hotel comprised of 150 rooms, which will be managed by international company. - What is the main goal of your company and why customers must choose you? - Today Archi Group is signified by broad trust, by the quality of suggested products and by wide range of options. We try our best to encompass all segments, to offer them a wide range of options for districts and reasonable payment terms. - What are your predictions, what projects are going to be implemented and what do you plan for the next years? - I think the construction market will be more active in 2016. The quality of constructions is being improved, which influences the customers to purchase the newly-built houses. Our goal is to make it affordable for more customers to purchase an apartment in Archi Group and to ensure the living in European and energy-efficient houses. For that reason our motto is – Archi Group your European house. Moreover, we start building the Ytong factory of German energy-efficient construction block with our partners. Up to 20 million Euros will be invested in this project.

November 23, 2015 #123



caucasus business week

LOAN INTEREST RATES GROW Expected Effect of Bank Sector’s Credit Policy on State Economy

Commercial banks have tightened crediting conditions by increasing loan interest rates and introducing conservative loan-issuing regulations. Commercial banks still consider the commerce and trade field as the target sector for crediting, but similar considerations do not foster the sector development. Moreover, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has ceased growing the refinancing loans volume and commercial banks have to increase interest rates on deposits to draw the GEL resources in this way. In the third quarter of 2015, the credit portfolio’s annual growth rate declined and marked 12.8% in September, excluding the exchange rate effect. According to the NBG report, the growth in the credit portfolio was balanced through issuing retail and corporate loans.

Annual Growth in retail crediting volume has declined quarter on quarter after the economic activity slipped and the demand for imported goods diminished amid the exchange rate devaluation, the NBG says. Corporate crediting volume continues stable growth. It is worth noting in September, as compared to June, GEL denominated business loans with floating interest rates (i.e. loans affixed to the refinancing loan interest rate) increased by 17%, but its ratio in total business loans still remains small (7%). As to currencies, the credit portfolio largely increased because of GEL denominated loans issued. In September, the annual growth of foreign currency denominated loans portfolio declined to 6.5% after commercial banks tightened regulations for issuing business loans and the upturn in the GEL denominated loans portfolio marked 22.3%. In September the retail credits portfolio rose by 250 million GEL, compared to June, as a result of the exchange rate volatility to a considerable extent. By excluding the exchange rate effect, the retail loans growth is considerable anyway, 95 million GEL. As to bank products, excluding the exchange rate effect, the volume of mortgage and consumer loans increased by 57 million GEL and 52 million GEL, respectively, compared to the previous quarter. As to currencies, the mortgage loans volume increased because of USD denominated loans issued (17 million USD and 20 million USD), while consumer loans portfolio increased because of GEL denominated loans issued (60 million GEL).

Similar extreme upturn in consumer loans volume may be hazardous for the state economy. Therefore, the government should take certain decisions, jointly with the NBG, to tighten issuing consumer loans, economic experts assert. Consumer loans are in much demand in our population, despite their incomes grow very slowly. This process is driven by the general demand to live good today, without waiting for tomorrow. Moreover, the borrowers lack for banking education and therefore, they fail correctly appraising their solvency potential. At the same time, commercial banks do not request for mortgage provision for consumer loans. This sort of loans is an unguaranteed loan or no real estate is required as a guarantee. All these factors have driven a growth in consumer loans portfolio. The volume of express installment loans and credit cards has declined by 30 million GEL. This category of bank products mainly finances the imports. Consequently, the diminished growth in the volume of these products reflects the contraction in demand for imports and, on the other hand, fosters a downturn in demand for foreign currency. However, an extreme growth in consumer loans stimulates the imports and makes negative effect on the GEL. A contraction in the volume of credit cards is largely related to the decisions of commercial banks. Contrary to the past years, commercial banks carry out aggressive policy of issuing consumer loans and issue less credit cards to the clients. As to legal entities, in September the annual growth in their credit portfolio declined by 0.3% compared to June and made up 14.5%. According to the research of credit terms, in the third quarter of 2015, commercial banks tightened interest and noninterest terms again after the economic expectations worsened amid the external shocks.

A growth in business loans from the sectors point of view was driven by issuing credits in the housing, commerce, agriculture and processing industries, while an insignificant upturn was recorded in the transport and power sectors. The bank sector players have positive expectations for a growth in demand for business loans in the coming quarter and they expect an upturn in GEL denominated loans volume and a growth of issuing credits to the commerce sector, the NBG representatives noted. A part of analysts expects problems in this



President of the Association of Banks of Georgia (ABG)

Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Caucasus Business Group, JSC.

The bank sector always provides realistic assessment about the ongoing economic processes in the country. Therefore, the bank sector always demonstrates adequate reactions in relation to bank product interest rates. Reactions are not made immediately and it always takes a certain period. This refers to loan and deposit interest rates. The fastest reaction follows to the changes in the refinancing loan rates, because the loans affixed to the refinancing instrument grow in value. The bank sector’s decisions always reflect the ongoing economic developments. The sector always mirrors the economic situation. Therefore, commercial banks always provide suitable credit and tariff policy. Legislative amendments also considerably affect the bank sector’s policy, because commercial banks have to handle higher risks and the loan accessibility narrows. Naturally, all these factors affect the bank products’ interest rates.

The effect on the ultimate interest rates for borrowers, both individual and commercial, of the recent hike in the benchmark rate by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), has, so far, been marginal. Apparently, the dominant price determinants for funds provided by the commercial banks are supply / demand balance and the riskiness of a borrower. The reported decline in the credit market for businesses is due to the decrease in the economic activity and the corresponding decline in demand for funds. Furthermore, banks perceive increased credit risks, hence tightening their credit policies, resulting in decreased crediting activity. On the other hand, reportedly, there is no decline observed in a consumer loan activity, stimulating local sales and import. The later is a pressure for the local currency exchange rate, on the other hand, and might affect a quality of the bank credit portfolios. Reportedly, on the deposit side, there is an increase in interest rates for deposits in local currency. This is due, in particular, to the need for compensation for the high volatility of the currency exchange rate - required by the account holders.

respect, because commercial banks make focus on crediting the commerce sector and avoid crediting the industrial sector. Naturally, commercial banks expect profits from the commerce sector, as they issue short-term loans with comparatively higher interest rates and they receive much profit in the short period. According to the research on crediting terms, in the third quarter of 2015, as compared to the previous quarter, crediting terms were tightened for the retail and corporate sectors. Namely, both interest rates increased and credit-issuing conditions were also tightened. Commercial banks have tightened the conditions because of economic tendencies, increased expenditures on financial resources and cessation of smooth monetary policy, the NBG representatives noted. It should be noted, in September, compared to June, interest rates on the loans issued to the small and medium-sized business sectors increased by 0.5% to 13.8%, while interest rates on corporate loans rose by 0.2% to 11.6% and interest rates on retail loans increased by 0.1% to 17.5%. According to the expectations of the inquired experts and specialists, noninterest conditions of crediting will not change in the next quarter, but interest rates on GEL-denominated loans may further increase. As to the deposit interest rates, as compared to the previous quarter, interest rates on GEL-denominated deposits increased by 0.7% to 8.1%, while interest rates on foreign currency denominated loans declined by 0.1% to 4.3%. The inter-

est rates on GEL denominated deposits increased because of tightened monetary policy rate and the declined demand for GEL denominated deposits. According to the research on credit conditions, in the next quarter, the bank sector players do not expect the expenditures on USD resources to change, but interest rates on GEL denominated loans may further increase amid tightening the monetary policy rate and intensification of demand for GEL denominated loans. When criticizing the extreme growth in the volume of refinancing loans, analysts have stressed commercial banks were to draw GEL resources themselves through stimulation of growth in interest rates to increase the volume of deposits. At this stage, because of increased interest rates on refinancing loans, this resource may be unattractive for commercial banks. As reported, in November the monetary policy rate rose by 0.5% to 7.5%. Therefore, in the third quarter of 2015, as compared to the previous quarter, interest rates were raised on state securities with all maturity periods because of inflation expectations and tightened monetary policy rate. Besides all these factors, the NBG also stages “incorrect” criticism over commercial banks. By the way, the Finance Ministry took a decision on reducing issuance of state securities because of increased interest rates. Interest rates on T-bills hit 11.5%, while interest rates on bonds marked 13.6%. Consequently, the state budget has to pay extremely increased expenditures to serve the internal liabilities.


November 23, 2015 #123

“Georgia is in the middle of carrying out its healthcare reform right now. We are here to assist Georgia and share our experience as to how France reformed its health care system” came here by Georgia’s Health Minister’s initiative. He invited me to come to Georgia and assist the country to successfully carry out its healthcare reforms.”


ernard Kouchner’s involvement in Georgia’s health care reforms provides international support and access to a global experience for the country. Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner arrived on a working visit to Georgia. French diplomat held meetings in Georgia under his mandate of the Chairman of Supervisory Board of Global Alliance, the international consulting firm that advises Georgia’s Ministry of Healthcare on the Universal Healthcare Reform. The central goal of Kouchner’s visit to Goergia is to assess the rate of healthcare reforms taking place in the country. Health Minister David Sergeenko and Global

Alliance president Jean-Elie Malkin met Bernard Kouchner at the Tbilisi Airport. “Some time has passed since my last visit to Georgia. I am glad to be back, not only because of my memories associated with Georgia, but also because I am glad to be working with you,” Kouchner said.

“I am the Chairman of Global Alliance, the advisory group that works on healthcare and social issues. I


Mr.Minister held a meeting at Tbilisi State Medical University with Georgia’s students and talked about current and future prospects of Georgian healthcare system. Kouchner was awarded as honored professor, by the Rector of TSMU, Zurab Vadachkoria. Georgia needs to resist a very big pressure, because of past soviet heritage, changing this is difficult and expensive, but Mr.Sergeenko has desire to change that and fully adjust the health system. The first obstacle is conservatism, doctors are sometimes conservative and you have to change.

Georgia is making progress in healthcare system, and i would say that you are on a good way. Kouchner, who is the board chairperson of the Global Alliance health organisation and co-founder of the union Doctors without Borders, arrived to Georgia today after being invited by the country’s Health Minister Davit Sergeenko. Minister of Health David Sergeenko noted on meeting that Bernard Kouchner’s involvement in health care reforms will provide Georgia with access to world health care experience and getting international support. Kouchner will also participate in the conference Healthcare Challenges in the 21st Century -Georgia and the World. The ex-politician will remain in Georgia for three days. Apart from attending meetings and the conference, Kouchner was expected to lay a wreath at the Memorial of Fallen Heroes at Heroes Square in the heart of Tbilisi.

“I will not go into details; I have a business meeting with the Minister David Sergeenko. Your country is need of reforming its health care system. Georgian population’s social conditions are very important. A proper healthcare reform is one of the ways of improving the population’s social conditions,” he added. “Georgia is in the middle of carrying out its healthcare reform right now. We are here to assist Georgia and share our experience as to how France reformed its health care system”. The Minister of health David Sergeenko noted that Bernard Kouchner has performed great service for Georgia, particularly, the French diplomat visited Georgian in 2008 – in the most critical days of the Georgia-Russia war and helped bring peace to the country. In addition, Bernard Kouchner’s involvement in health care reforms will provide Georgia with access to world health care experi-

ence and getting international support. Mr. Kouchner is a doctor and has implemented a number of very important projects, which currently undergo successfully in France. We now have the opportunity to cooperate with Mr, Kouchner and take advice from him during implementation of our reforms. He was appointed as the Chairperson of the Global Alliance which is Georgia’s contractor consulting company in the field of Healthcare. Kouchner will be our consultant in public health and, in general, health care reforms. I think that this visit will be the basis for a new step in strategic planning for the Georgian healthcare system. This is the beginning of a new cooperation, which I am sure will be successful. Cooperation with the “Global Alliance”,began in April. During this time we saw this cooperation took place. While in Georgia the former French official was scheduled to hold meetings with Georgian Government members and take part in a joint committee meeting between Global Alliance and Georgia’s Ministry of Health. Kouchner also participated in the conference Healthcare Challenges in the 21st Century -Georgia and the World. The ex-politician remained in Georgia for three days. Apart from attending meetings and the conference, Kouchner was expected to lay a wreath at the Memorial of Fallen Heroes at Heroes Square in the heart of Tbilisi.


Bernard Kouchner: Georgia is the first county to eradicate Hepatitis C

The Ministry of Health together with international consulting company Global Alliance hosted conference Healthcare Challenges in the 21st Century – Georgia and the World. Georgian authorities’ as well Georgian doctors attended the conference. Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili opened the conference and stressed out the importance of implemented programs in healthcare and for overall welfare of society. The Minister of Health David Sergeenko noted that Georgia has overcome the main challenges and implemented reforms successfully. On the joint conference the main directions and challenges of Georgia’s healthcare reforms were discussed. Ex-French Foreign and Health Minister who visits Georgia under his mandate of the Chairman of Supervisory Board of Global Alliance, the international consulting firm that advises Georgia’s Ministry of Healthcare on the Universal Healthcare Reform, assessed Hepatitis C elimination,

universal and primary healthcare programs and talked about other future prospects. “You are already working to make progress in medicine; Georgia is the first country in the world in the way of eradication Hepatitis C and you already not only started but more than 5000 patients are receiving drugs and are clear from virus. Georgia is also on the way to fully implement the C hepatitis elimination program, but I would like to mention that uniting public and private sectors efforts is important for getting better investment opportunities. However Georgia needs more regulations, to be in balance.” On the conference President Jean-Elie Malkin, The Minister David Sergeenko and Chairman Bernard Kouchner held a discussion and answered few questions, regarding reforms, main challenges, private/public sector and cost issues in Georgia’s health care. Mr. Kouchner shared his experience with Georgian doctors and authorities.

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caucasus business week

METRO CITY TO OPEN METRO CITY FORUM SHOPPING MALL ON JULY 1 The Next Year Batumi will Acquire Its First Biggest Shopping Mall Batumi will meat the 2016 tourism season with a new multifunctional project. The Metro City complex unites a five-star hotel and apartments with own swimming pools, indoor and outdoor panoramic restaurants, casino, spa center, a shopping mall, sports club, movie theater, bowling center, children playground and yacht club, golden sand beach and the South Caucasus’ biggest conference halls for 1500 participants. The complex construction works started in February 2015. The Metro City project calls for constructing Batumi’s first biggest shopping mall between the building of apartments and Euphoria hotel. The Metro City Forum will be located on a 16 000 square meter space and will unite about 100 brand stores. A JOY hypermarket will function at the first floor of the Metro City Forum. JOY brand will appear for the first time in the Georgian market. The Ajara Business Week (ABW) has interviewed Metro Atlas Georgia director RAUL KAKHADZE about the Metro City project and the Metro City Forum shopping mall.

- Will the Metro City shopping mall attract only famous brands or any designer will be let open a boutique to offer competition to foreign brands? - There is no competition in the City in this respect, as various brands have thoroughly saturated the market. One brand is located in the one part of the city, the second operates in the second part and so on. There is a problem with vehicle parking issues too, but we will resolve this problem: All brands and stores will be assembled into one space and our parking zone will serve our clients and guests. - There are brands that operate in Tbilisi, but not in Batumi. Will the new shopping mall attract new brands? - I believe the shopping mall will attract many new brands and their interest will increase. In March 2016, all spaces will be leased and the mall will officially launch operation by July 1, 2016.

The big shopping mall, as a rule, embraces a big hypermarket and Carrefour is a similar brand in the Georgian reality. Will a Carrefour hypermarket open at the mall, even more so, Carrefour has unveiled plans for establishing business in Batumi. - No, we have not conducted negotiations with Carrefour, but a hypermarket will definitely function in the mall and this will be an alternative network. I will divulge in advance that a new trading network will operate in the mall that had not been represented in Georgia before. It should be noted the Metro City project has acquired much and historic importance for Batumi and the Ajara Region, in whole. I do assert that the very project has inspired the New Boulevard development. Investors are interested in discharging the historical part of Batumi and their interest is redirected from the city center for developing new projects. The space on 38 000 square meters will unite

464 apartments, the South Caucasus biggest conference hall for 1500 participants. The project also unites a huge casino and a hotel with at least 430 suites. Negotiations with a hotel brand have been finished, in practice. We have already sealed an advance agreement and a final contract will be signed in the near future. - Does the hotel meet the requirements of

celerated because of this reason. We had made real calculations, but the reality turned out different. The construction process proceeded faster and we have changed the project inauguration date twice. As to the first part of your question, we have certain obligations before the Finance and Economy Ministry of Ajara and the faster we finish the construction works and fulfill these obligations,

“Our shopping mall will unite all brands that currently operate in Georgia. We have already finished negotiations and reached agreements with 90% of them” the mentioned brand and will any corrections take place in the project? - The hotel meets the brand’s requirements. The interior will be corrected a little. No significant changes will take place and consequently, this issue was not discussed at the meeting with the brand’s representatives. In the process of planning the hotel construction, we made focus a five-star hotel brand and naturally, we did not expect corrections and revisions. - When will be the complex inaugurated and when will the hotel, the shopping mall and apartments open? - The project’s investment value makes up 125 million USD. Initially, official inauguration was planned by the end of 2017, as determined by the agreement between the investor and the Georgian Government, but later we rescheduled the date and the project will be officially unveiled on July 1, 2016. Initially, we planned to open only apartments and the shopping mall, but we have already decided to open the whole complex on July 1, 2016. - This question is a joke in half. When an investor violates the agreement obligations, he/she is fined, but when an investor finishes the project ahead of schedule, like your company, is there any preferences and benefits? What factors have preconditioned the ahead of schedule completion of the project? - We were carrying out construction works at high paces and the project implementation was ac-

the worthier our project will be. - When do you expect to return the investments? - Various factors determine this issue, but we expect to return the investments in 3 to 5 years. - What special preferences do you offer to the customers, different ones from your competitors, to raise their interest in purchasing your apartments? Why should I buy your apartments and not others’? - We offer 36-month internal installment payment scheme. Unlike all other projects, our project is a special one for its multifunctional character. You cannot name any other complex in Batumi that gathers everything in one space. - You noted the Metro City project will

have the South Caucasus’ biggest conference hall. Why did you decide to arrange a big conference hall in Batumi? Was there the demand for a similar facility? - In Georgia you will not find anywhere a conference hall for 1500 attendants. I agree with you, there is much demand for similar conference halls in the market.

We consider Batumi to be a 12-month tourism destination, not only 3-month holidaymaking city. - Does this signify the company will join the MICE Tourism? Will you make offers yourselves or apply to partner travel companies to make offers? - Naturally, we are conducting certain negotiations and we expect positive results in this direction. - As to casino, casino business is justified in Ajara, but what factors make your casino different from other casinos? - Our casino will be operated by Casino XO Club. The casino without poles will be the biggest one the South Caucasus. This is a famous brand and our multifunctional complex have raised their interest. As reported, the full complex of Metro City is located a 2 kilometer way from Batumi International Airport and a 500 meter way from the Batumi center. The location of the complex harmonizes with picturesque views to the Ajara highlands and the sea space.



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MAKING THE MOST OF THE DCFTA FOR GEORGIA, UKRAINE AND MOLDOVA Interview with Nino Samvelidze, Manager of the Project, EU Programs Manager at PMCG. International development consulting company PMCG recently organized a knowledge sharing conference in Chisinau, Moldova Making the Most of the DCFTA. The event was supported by International Visegrad Fund and aimed to assist Moldavan and Georgian businesses, entrepreneurs and Government bodies to strengthen their dialogue on the opportunities presented by the signature of the Association Agreement (AA), potential costs and benefit of the implementation of DCFTA, and the resolution of practical issues related to accessing European markets. Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for trade, Luc Devigne, Head of EU Commission unit Russia, CIS, Ukraine, Western Balkans, EFTA, EEA and Turkey, also other high-ranking officials and people actively involved and having sound experience in DCFTA implementation process from Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Ukraine, also international development partners and institutions - EC, USAID, WB, EBRD, IFC, GIZ, UNDP have shared their experience and opinion about the process of EU approximation.

- What was the major outcome of the conference? - The conference stressed that implementation of DCFTA will be beneficial for Georgian, Moldovan, Ukrainian SMEs in terms of possibility to generate higher incomes due to new business possibilities and increased export opportunities. Although there are several questions to be considered as the economic approximation is associated with several risks and challenges as well. DCFTA has large political meaning for these countries and its proper implementation is important, it is essential to have permanent consultations with the private sector, in order to have clear understanding of business needs and interests.

Awareness and capacity of SMEs have to be further strengthened. DCFTA largely incorporates adoption of European norms and standards it is essential to empower capacity of and awareness of private sector in understanding of the compliance requirement and understanding of the changes required Although, knowing the rules and regulations does not necessary mean that SMEs can adopt the necessary changes right away to their business, including investments required. External assistance is needed to develop a strategy and implementation plan for compliance with the new legislation applicable specifically for the product they produce or sell. - What major challenges were stressed for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to overcome in the approximation process? - One of the challenges stressed by Visegrad countries was about lack of possibility of local SMEs to catch up increased competition. To deal with this challenge, Visegrad countries advised Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova to introduce reforms aimed to make economies liberal and to effectively use financial support of EU and international development organizations. There are three main types assistance that donors offer: 1. Budget support: International donors give money to governments and they allocated

resources according to their priorities and needs. 2. Technical assistance: Support to enhance skills of local SMEs to catch the opportunities DCFTA suggests. Most often it can be access to foreign expertise via international consultants with in-depth understanding of the process. 3. Credit Lines: In this case international banks like The World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and etc. give large amount credits to the banks operating in the local markets, aimed to be allocated within SMEs with lower rates. The main key to deal with these challenges is to raise awareness of SMEs about the opportunities DCFTA offers, via permanent communication and dialogue between Public and Private sector. - How such conference will benefit business community in Georgia? - DCFTA implementation may bring quick legislative approximation process, which will in the end hinder the liberal economic development of the country. First of all, DCFTA implementation will bring the world’s largest 500 million market, which is stable so local businesses will obtain easier access to lower rate investments. On the other hand, Georgia will become more attractive for other countries which don’t have

access to European market to bring here production, so it’ll obtain the function of hub to largest market. Finally, in the mid and long term it will be positively reflected on local economies and the living standards of the citizens. International donors attending the conference clearly declared that their priority is to support these countries in the process of EU integration. Adding that they are ready to enhance local SMEs with their financial support. Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for trade and Luc Devigne, Head of EU Commission unit Russia, CIS, Ukraine, Western Balkans, EFTA, EEA and Turkey recommended Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova to make the most of the opportunities DCFTA offers to these countries and implement respective reforms so that so that business environment is improved and businesses are encouraged to export on European markets.. Conferences and meetings like this one held in Moldova, play important role in this process, as they provide a platform for an open dialogue between key stakeholders, including: Governments, business community and international development organizations. As form our part, we are proud to be part of this process and assist institutions in capacity development and economic reform agenda. We continue to support of EU approximation agenda of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and to provide policy advice in various areas of Association Agenda.



n November 19, 2015, Tbilisi hosted the first Georgia Agro Forum 2015 supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, the Georgian Agricultural Projects Management Agency (APMA), the Georgian Farmers Association, the Shepherds Association of Georgia, and other organizations. The Forum, organized by APK-Inform Agency, is a largescale event for the agricultural sector of Georgia, which brings together up to 200 Georgian and foreign industry representatives as delegates, and present the highly topical business and networking program. Being a regional bank providing corporate and investment banking services to large and medium-sized enterprises, PASHA Bank views the agribusiness sector as one of the most promising areas for investment and is strongly interested in supporting agro business development in the country. The event was aimed at fostering growth of the agribusiness sector, by showcasing the investment opportunities to the potential investor base and facilitating the B2B interaction. A diverse selection of agricultural enterprises active in manufacturing, processing and trading of agricultural products partook in the event. Representatives of foreign businesses - suppliers of raw materials, equipment and wide range of material, technical and educational resources for agribusiness industry, importers of agricul-

tural products, logistics companies, investment companies with agribusiness focus, financial institutions, industry bodies, government agencies from Georgia and other countries also were in attendance.

“We see Georgia Agro Forum as an important industry gathering bringing together a wide range of industry participants and financing providers. Being keenly interested in funding the promising players in this sector we gladly accepted the opportunity to sponsor this event. – said Goga Japaridze, Commercial Director and Member of Board of Directors at PASHA Bank Georgia.



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The enforcement of the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) between Georgia and EU was expected to bring many positive results, including growth in foreign direct investments (FDI). A total of 2195 companies were registered in Georgia with a coparticipation of foreign parties YTD, but it is difficult to say whether this process is related to the fact Georgian products and goods have got opportunity to enter the EU market under zero customs tariffs, in case of satisfying certain requirements. Are foreign investors interested in Georgia’s new opportunities under the DCFTA and what are the main factors that hinder Georgia to become a potential regional center for trading with EU? There are many answers and unanswered questions around these issues.


eorgia-produced goods and services, that meet certain standards and requirements, have got a direct access to the world’s major market with 28 countries and more than 500 million consumers after the Georgia-EU DCFTA came into force on September 1, 2014. Georgia should become an attractive country for making investments in and draw more investments, create new job places, arrange new enterprises and manufacture more exports products; Moreover, Georgian products and services meeting the EU standards will be exported to the EU market under the zero customs tariffs. After the enforcement of the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, starting January 1, 2015 through September 2015, a total of 2195 companies were registered in Georgia with coparticipation of foreign parties (3 053 since September 2014, 4 830 in 2013, 4 335 in 2012). A major number of these companies was established in Tbilisi and the Ajara Region in 2012 to 2015. A short period has passed since the DCFTA enforcement and it is difficult to determine whether the latest foreign investments are related to the DCFTA factors, MARIAM GABUNIA, a deputy head of the Economy Ministry Department for Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations, said.

The DCFTA will bring benefits in the longterm period and the country should carry out certain reforms to make a full use of this agreement, Mariam Gabunia noted. This agreement will bring much benefit in terms of trade-commerce development and investment inflows, she added.

The Georgia-EU DCFTA enforcement was to raise the interest of investors and stimulate their motivation, but there are many global and domestic factors that shrink investment-making flows worldwide, economic expert AKAKI TSOMAIA noted.

“Naturally, there are problems with drawing capital, but it may be found somehow; We generally lack for knowledge, competence. We do not know how to get established in the EU market. Consequently, we cannot efficiently apply this opportunity. We mostly depend on foreign investments”, Akaki Tsomaia said. One year has passed since the DCFTA enforcement, but the country has not received a desirable effect, because the Authorities have made accent on return to the Russian market and the time, power and money were mainly spent on this direction, ZURAB JAPARIDZE, one of the founders of the new political center of Girchi (Pinecone), asserts. „Regretfully, there are many problems in terms of economic environment. For the last three years the state policy strives for not deeper liberalization of the economic environment, but for opposite direction. This trend has created very instable environment in the country.

First, the existing taxes should further decrease to create more competitive environment and increase our attractiveness. Regretfully, the Authorities just follow the current and avoid making decisive changes in the policy”, Zurab Japaridze said. FDI inflows grow in Georgia, but at low paces, while the DCFTA enforcement is to boost not only FDI inflows, but also production and exports potential, especially, in the private sector. As a result, the country can increase inflows of stable currencies, improve the tax balance and strengthen the national currency. Nevertheless, no progress is noticeable in this direction, Kakha Gogolashvili, the European Research Center director, noted. We will definitely receive benefits from the DCFTA, but not in one year or two. This is a long-term perspective that is determined by many factors. When you make investments in the country, this country should be stable in terms of political and security issues, while our region embraces high risks today. All these factors influence investors’ motivation”. The has asked Mariam Gabunia, a deputy head of the Economy Ministry Department for Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations, about the standards and requirements Georgia should satisfy so as the products manufactured by imported raw materials in Georgia be considered Georgia-manufactured products and enjoy zero customs taxes in the EU market. Mariam Gabunia answered that products of each indication must satisfy the production regulations that are described in about 300 annex to the DCFTA.

“For example, in the production sector, domestically manufactured value must be over 40% or, let’s say, over 30%, in some cases, over 90%. The ratio depends on specific product. In some cases, the product must be entirely produced in Georgia, for example, cattle. All products must satisfy different regulations of origin”, Mariam Gabunia noted. The state expenditures should be considerably cut, the state bureaucracy should be narrowed and the economy should be let breathe freely. At the same time, taxes should be further lowered”, Zurab Japaridze noted. “This decision requires bold political will and I do not believe this government will take similar risks. Cutting expenditures signifies that the sum should be extracted from the economy. Consequently, taxes should be lowered. Reduction of taxes is always a correct step in any time. Naturally, investors will find more interesting the economic environment, where higher profits may be earned. Let’s say an investor has to choose between Georgia and Czech Republic. Georgia may offer lower taxes compared to Czech Republic, but Czech Republic offers other preferences, for example, the workforce is cheaper, the market is more solvent and several other factors. If the investor sees that Georgia balances various restrictions through lower taxes, not all investors, but a certain part of the investors may take a risky decision and make investments in Georgia”, Zurab Japaridze said.



THE ROLE OF RUSSIA IN THE GEORGIAN ECONOMY months of 2015 it made USD 418 million, whereas in the similar period of 2014, it made USD 370 million. This was very much facilitated by the crisis in Ukraine, which yielded is position in trade relations with Georgia.


significant decrease in oil prices, geopolitical tensions and sanctions established by the western countries has resulted in retarding the pace of development of the Russian economy, which, on its part, has reflected on partner countries, among them is Georgia. In particular: a) The Georgian export to Russia in JanuarySeptember of 2015 has decreased from USD 212 to USD 112 million (by 47%) compared to the similar period in 2014, which was not caused by the deterioration of the quality of Georgian goods and/or reduction of production scales, but mostly by devaluation of the Russian Ruble and reduced demand on foreign goods in Russia. b) In the same period the amount of monetary transfers has decreased by approximately 40% (from USD 555 to USD 323 million). This process was also triggered by devaluation of the Russian Ruble and reduction of the amounts of incomes of the Georgian emigrants residing in Russia. In spite of the reduction of such scales, the monetary transfers made from Russia makes 2/5 of total transfers and therefore, it occupies the first place. c) According to the data of the first 2 quarters of 2015, foreign direct investments from Russia made USD 28 million, whereas the same index in the similar period of 2014 equaled to USD 43 million (less by 35%). In spite of the fact that Russia has never been distinguished by special amounts of foreign direct investments in Georgia, it should be indicated that the Russian direct investment in the given period has decreased not only in Georgia, but also in the whole world. At the same time, Russian import to Georgia has increased by 11%. Namely, during the first 9

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The Russian Economy Actualities I. According to the OPEC data of 12 November 2015, price of one barrel of oil made USD 40, 21 (please see table #1). As per forecast of International Energy Agency (IEA), the oil price per barrel will not exceed USD 80 in spite of the growing demand during the coming 5 years. According to the information of the same Agency, oil companies in the US, Canada and Brazil suffer the most because of the reduced prices on oil. At the same time, it should be stressed as well that in parallel to the reduction in prices on oil the fight for the oil market shares is being more and more intensified. Namely, Saudi Arabia is trying to retain its share on the European market, where the sales index has been reduced from 13% to 10% during the last 6 months. As for Russia, it should be noted that in 2015 oil extraction has reached its maximum in Russia. At the same time, after limitation of oil export from Saudi Arabia by China, Russia has simply gained a leading position at China’s oil market and it is one of the main suppliers of China since May. II. On 10 November the minister of Economic Development of Russia participated in the 18th session of trade-economic cooperation commission between Russia and China. It was mentioned during the meeting that in spite of the difficult period for the development of the world economy, also economic and internal political challenges as a result of which turnover of goods between Russia and China has been reduced to a certain extent during the recent months, China still remains Russia’s one of the largest trade partners. According to the statement of Russia’s minister of Economic Development made during the meeting, it is an ambitious goal of both governments to increase the turnover of goods between the countries up to USD 200 billion by 2020. It should be noted that in January-September of 2015 import from Russia to China made USD 21,

3 billion, whereas import equaled to USD 25, 5 billion. Members of the session have reviewed the processes of implementation of joint projects, also discussed the prospects of building a number of industrial, high-technology and innovative enterprises on the territory of the Russian Federation, also possibilities for the increase of supply of agricultural products (among them of meat products) to the Chinese market. III. Against the background of reduced oil prices and unstable exchange rate of the Russian Ruble, the Russian Federation’s annual budgetary revenue mobilization and expenditure dynamics is becoming more and more topical. In accordance with the law of Russia on Federal Budget, revenue target indicator is set at 12 540 billion Ruble and 15 215 billion Ruble - for expenditures. During January-September period of the current year, Federal Budget deficit of Russia made 789, 61 billion Ruble (1, 5% of GDP), whereas in October the deficit was reduced down to 21,21 billion Ruble. As per data of 10 months, the Federal budget revenues equaled to 11 trillion 323 billion Ruble, whereas expenditures totaled 12 trillion 92 billion Ruble. According to the forecast of the Ministry of Finance of Russia, the budget deficit for 2015 will be 3% of GDP. Reserve funds will be used as the main source for financing of the budget deficit. However, according to the statement of the minister of finance of Russia, reduction of reserves of Russia by approximately 3.1 trillion Ruble for financing the budget deficit means that 2016 will be the last year when Russia will be able to spend its reserves. IV. As per preliminary data of the federal service of state statistics, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been reduced to 4.1% in the third quarter of the current year, which is lower than the index (4.3%) forecasted by the Ministry of Economic Development. According to the forecast of the same ministry, Russia’s GDP will be reduced down to 3.8-3.9% in the fourth quarter of the current year. Dynamics (in %) of GDP of Georgia and the Russian Federation according to quarters of 2006-2015 shows that in 2008 and especially in 2009 the Russian Federation witnessed a sharp decrease in GDP in the indicated period (simi-

lar to Georgia), which was reflected in recession of the Georgian economy in this period and reduction in GDP by 3.7% instead of economic growth. This was mainly caused by the RussoGeorgian war, reduction in volume of foreign investment in Georgia and negative results of the world economic crisis. As for the current year, based on the diagram it could be indicated that the Russian Federation’s GDP dynamics is characterized by negative index, whereas Georgia’s GDP index show a little, but stable growth tendency. In particular, GDP grew by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2015, whereas by 2.5% - in the second quarter. At the same time, the volume of Russian GDP in the same period was reduced by 1.9% in the first quarter and by 4.6% - in the second quarter. V. Despite the fact on 9-10 November the Russian Ruble’s exchange rate was stable, the reduction in price of oil on 12 November have again reflected on the Ruble exchange rate. Therefore, on 13 November Ruble has devaluated and equaled to 65,4541 (against USD dollar) and 70,3370 (against Euro). However, it should be noted that the Central Bank of Russia is no longer trying to retain the rate and therefore, it avoids intervening through foreign currency at the market unlike it acted at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015. Moreover, current policy of Russia is not oriented towards the strengthening of Ruble, but on application of a certain export advantage got as a result of devalued Ruble.

Conclusion: Despite tense Georgian-Russian political relations, development of the Georgian economy very much depends on normalizing the economic situation in Russia, which, on its part, may pose threats to Georgia. KAVTARADZE NONA (PhD in Business Administration, Tbilisi State University) CHARAIA VAKHTANG (PhD in Economics, Tbilisi State University) DGEBUADZE SALOME (Student of Tbilisi State University)


On November 26, at 20 o’clock the events hall of the Funicular Complex (the 3rd floor) will host the solemn supper and award ceremony for businessmen and companies that have won the traditional Business Rating. The event is organized by the Georgian Times media holding and the Gorbi, the Georgian public opinion and marketing research company. SPONSORS: • BlackSeaGroup – Platinum Sponsor • SOCAR Energy Georgia – Gold Sponsor • Wissol Petroleum Georgia – General Sponsor • SMART, the network of supermarkets – General Sponsor PROMOTERS: 1. Tbilisi City Hall 2. The Ministry of Economy 3. The Ministry of Finances 4. The Ministry of Energy 5. The Ministry of Agriculture 6. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure 7. The Partnership Fund 8. The International Chamber of Commerce – Georgia (ICC Georgia) 9. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) MEDIA PARTNERS:

1. Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) 2. Imedi TV Company 3. DRO TV Company 4. TV3 TV company 5. TV8 TV Company 6. Saperavi TV 7. TV Pirveli 8. MusicBox TV Company 9. Obieqtivi TV Company 10. Radio Fortuna 11. AutoRadio 12. online newspaper 13. business portal 14. video portal 15. 16. The Kvira portal 17. 18. 19. 20. The Georgian Times English-language newspaper 21. The Georgia Today English-language newspaper 22. The Caucasian Business Week 23. The Svobodnaya Gruzia newspaper 24. The PrimeTime newspaper 25. The Vesria newspaper 26. The Qartuli Sitkva newspaper 27. The Tbiliselebi magazine 28. The Rating magazine The first business rating was held in 1995. The objective of the project is to determine the most successful sectors in the Georgian business, promote a dialogue between the business sector, the Authorities and the society, form a new image of the Georgian business,

introduce new perspective companies, ensure a rapprochement of Georgia-based businessmen, and the most important mission is to draw the interest of the international business community to the Georgian business. Not only the business circlers, but also the political establishment recognizes the merit and contribution the Business Rating has been making to highlighting and popularizing the Georgian Business. The Business Rating winner companies and businessmen since 1995: 1. TBC Group – Mamuka Khazaradze; 2. Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia – Temur Chkonia; 3, Kazbegi – Gogi Topadze; 4. Kazbegi – Gogi Topadze; 5. GWS – Levan Gachechiladze; 6. Samgori 94 ltd – Avto Tsereteli 7. TbilAviaMsheni ltd – Pantiko Tordia; 8. TBC Bank – Vakhtang Butskhrikidze; 9. United Georgian Bank (UGB) – Vano Chkhartishvili; 10. Samgori 94 ltd – Avto Tsereteli; 11. Geocell – Osman Turan; 12. Geocell – Osman Turan 13. Geocell – Osman Turan; Bank of Georgia – Irakli Gilauri; 14. SOCAR – Mayr Mammedov; 15. Bank of Georgia. The Revenue Service of the Georgian Finance Ministry has forwarded the list of companies to the Georgian Times and the Gorbi that transfer 1 million GEL and more to the state budget. Experts, economic reporters, representatives of NGOs, funds, associations of manufacturers and taxpayers, social research officers have determined the top 60 best and successful compa-

nies, of which 30 best companies were defined, and the leader of the leaders will be named at the gala evening. The winner will be handed over the Bolnisi Cross, the National Business Award, that is a transitional grand prix and is handed over to the winner for a period of one year. This handmade and exclusive composition is made of precious metals: Gold (31.5 grams) and Silver (12 grams), natural stones – brilliant (1 stone), blue sapphire (1 stone), turquoise (4 stones), zircon (2 stones), green purple (2 stones). The remaining companies will receive special diplomas proving their success in various nominations and their ranking in the 30 top best companies. The skilful and experienced jury staffed with distinguished and respectful persons, has appraised the best companies under the following criteria: Protection of Enterpriser Interests; Public Image; Efficient Management; Charity/ Philanthropy; Efficiency of Advertising Campaign; New Technologies; New Job Places; Stability of Operation; Growth and Success of Company; International Recognition; Public Relations (PR); Efficient Marketing; Financial Transparency; Level of Team Professionalism; Potential Investment Attractiveness. The Traditional XVI Business Rating’s solemn gala evening will be attended by members of the executive and legislative bodies, the clergy, businessmen, representatives of NGOs, intelligentsia, accredited missions and funds, domestic and foreign media agencies. With Deepest Respect The Georgian Times media holding For additional information, please, contact Irma Kvachantiradze: Cellular Pone: 571 11 12 33

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I Sparkle, the International Services arm of Telecom Italia Group, announces the expansion of its Global IP Backbone with a new IP PoP in Tbilisi, Georgia. This strategic development is also in accordance with Georgia’s main ISP Silknet’s vision of improving broadband internet access in the region. Located in a carrier neutral Data Center, this new point of presence will represent the first Tier-1 PoP in the Caucasus Region and will address the increasing demand of Tier-1 IP Transit service not only from underserved Caucasus and Caspian Regions but also from Middle East and Central Asia through Silknet’s and Turkcell Superonline’s fiber networks connecting the Tbilisi PoP to TI Sparkle’s IP Global backbone Seabone. The Tbilisi PoP is the result of a trilateral partnership between Global Service Provider TI Sparkle, Georgia’s main ISP Silknet and Turkey’s

leading Network Provider Turkcell Superonline. Once launched, the new PoP will be interconnected to TI Sparkle’s Seabone Global IP backbone through Istanbul and Frankfurt via diversified terrestrial routes and it will transform Tbilisi into a regional telecommunications hub by ensuring full redundancy. The new Tbilisi PoP will meet the demand from major ISPs, fixed and mobile operators, content and CDN players increasing TI Sparkle’s Global IP Backbone capillarity in East Europe. The Tbilisi PoP will further improve the performance of TI Sparkle’s Global IP Transit Service Seabone offered to ISPs, OTTs, Content and Service providers in the region, and at the same time will provide eyeballs with an overall higher Internet experience. Seabone ranks among leading IP networks in Europe, #1 in Latin America and in the Mediterranean. While consolidating its global role, Seabone is strengthening its regional positioning globally and especially in Africa and Asia where it has reached leading positions.



oyota’s both official dealers in Georgia – Toyota Center Tbilisi and Toyota Center Tegeta have introduced a new LC200 model in their showrooms. For many years, in Georgia this Toyota vehicle has been associated with comfortable driving and refined lifestyle that stress the owner’s special status. Each new generation of Land Cruiser builds on the model’s 60 year history of outstanding reliability, durability and quality. Moreover, each new version of the model takes the driver com-

fort to even grater levels. In this respect, the new model of LC200 valuably continues traditions established for over years. At this stage, LC 200 fans will be surprised by pleasant innovations in interior and exterior design. The new model bears a more massive grille, the front optics, back lamps and bumper which gives more aggressive, tough and confident appearance to the vehicle. The front panel has considerably changed by adding a 9-inch full-colour touch screen monitor

in the center and a wireless phone charger in the central panel. The dashboard was also redesigned by adding a 4.2-inch Multi-information Display. The vehicle embraces the Front View Rotation system with four video cameras that is an irreplaceable system in off-road conditions. When driving up-hill, wide-angle camera is very convenient for controlling under tire condition. The new model has improved ecological indicators with reduced emission characteristics in compliance with the EURO 4 standards. Currently, Georgia-based showrooms have

introduced the LC200 model with 4.0 and 4.6 liter petrol engines and a 4.5 liter diesel engine, of which the diesel model is the most popular. Economical characteristics and high torque will make the model the Region’s bestselling vehicle. Toyota’s worldwide recognized quality and reliability standards make the LC200 model the most requested vehicle in the secondary market too. Consumers have the opportunity to purchase the LC200 model at both dealers – Toyota Center Tbilisi and Toyota Center Tegeta.


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WORLD NEWS caucasus business week



or anyone down on advertising, the Association of National Advertisers and The Advertising Coalition commissioned a study that highlights some of the industry’s big economic benefits. Namely, advertising contributed $3.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP last year, a figure that accounts for 19 percent of the country’s entire economic output. The study, done in partnership with IHS Economics & Country Risk, was also designed to analyze the impact a recent tax proposal would have on the U.S. economy. The proposal would allow businesses to deduct 50 percent of their annual advertising spending. “This new study underscores the essential nature of advertising in promoting both business and economic growth in this country. The very fact that this industry contributes nearly 20 percent to the nation’s GDP sends a powerful reminder to policymakers that advertising is an essential stimulus to the U.S. economy that should be promoted and not subjected to tax,” Bob Liodice, president and CEO of ANA, said in a press release.

Here are a few additional findings: • Advertising jobs reportedly made up 14 percent, or 20 million, of the 142 million jobs in the country for 2014. • Each industry job was said to support an additional 34 jobs across different industries. • The ad industry supported $1.9 trillion in salaries and wages, roughly 17 percent of all labor income in the U.S. • Advertising will support over 23 million jobs in the U.S. by 2019. • In the next few years, advertising spending rates are projected to grow 3.3 percent annually and will reach $349 billion by 2019. “Time and again, the data supports that advertising brings a unique benefit to the U.S. economy. When considering the impact the advertising industry has had on the output of goods and services in this country, and the creation and retention of U.S. jobs as a result, there are very few American industries that can compare in terms of across-the-board economic value,” Bob Flanagan, director at IHS, said in a press release.



ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT caucasus business week

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rom January 2015, Association of Young Economists of Georgia is running the project – “V4 Countries Reforming Experience for Georgia and Ukraine”. Georgia and Ukraine as the countries aspiring to the membership of EU has a lot to learn from Visegrad experience. Under the experience is meant those reforms in social and economic affairs that have been undertaken in the group of four countries: Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. Trade remedies, Public procurement, Competition and Transparency are non-exhaustive list of policy issues on that the experts from V4 will share their insights to their Georgian colleagues. Sharing of experience will be documented: under the project will be published collection of analytic articles involving international and national experts. Publication on Georgian and on English languages will make it usable as in Georgia as well as out of Georgia with special value to Ukraine and to other EaP countries. The Visegrad Group - A Central European Constellation is a vivid example of regional cooperation to the rest of the world. By the words of Czech writer and politician, former President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and the first President of the Czech Republic (19932003) addressing the Polish Parliament: “The years of similar destinies and struggles for similar ideals ought therefore to be assessed in the light of genuine friendship and mutual respect; … This authentic friendship - based on a proper understanding of the destiny imposed…, on the common lessons it taught us, and above all on the common ideals that now unite us - should ultimately inform a proper coordination of our policies in a process we both refer to as “the return to Europe.” These words from 1990 of known politician were not just a part of emotional speech

but rather strong policy direction that worked out it practice. Return to Europe has come in real. Now it’s turn for other countries aspiring to the membership of EU to take their mutual actions and return to Europe. The letter is genuinely true for Ukraine and Georgia. Thanks to International Visegrad Fund V4 experience is available for Georgia and for Ukraine via the project: Sharing Experience of Visegrad Countries at the forefront of EU Georgia Association agreement. V4 experience for ongoing matters and for future reformers is the approach that determined to hold several public lectures at higher educational and civil society organizations in Georgia and in Ukraine. The list of this activity covers the following organizations: • • • • • • •

Grigol Robakidze University Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Conference office of Association of Small Towns of Ukraine Office of Association of Young Economists of Georgia

Discussion of a Visegrad phenomena and the way this cooperation promoted the processes of EU integration of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland was of a special interest for young students and civil society representatives. For coming date on 11th of December, 2015 united conference gathering all project experts will be held in Georgia, Tbilisi, where project international and national experts will have opportunity to sum up their recommendations for better policy directions for Ukraine and for Georgia with one goal – speed up reformation process leading to the membership of European Union.

The project is funded by the Visegrad Fund (, Project # 21470096). Project Web: Project implemented by: Association of Young Economists of Georgia, Article prepared by the Project Expert: Giorgi Kuparadze (CIESR), giorgi.kuparadze@tsuge and Ana Chikovani (Regional Development Institute of Georgia (RDIG).

November 23, 2015 #123

Embassy United States of America Embassy 11 Balanchivadze St., Dighomi Dstr., Tbilisi Tel: 27-70-00, 53-23-34 E-mail:; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Embassy 51 Krtsanisi Str., Tbilisi, Tel: 227-47-47 E-mail: Republic of France Embassy 49, Krtsanisi Str. Tbilisi, Tel: 272 14 90 E-mail: Web-site: Federal Republic of Germany Embassy 20 Telavi St. Tbilisi Tel: 44 73 00, Fax: 44 73 64 Italian RepublicEmbassy 3a Chitadze St, Tbilisi, Tel: 299-64-18, 292-14-62, 292-18-54 E-mail: Republic of Estonia Embassy 4 Likhauri St., Tbilisi, Tel: 236-51-40 E-mail: Republic of Lithuania Embassy 25 Tengiz Abuladze St, Tbilisi Tel: 291-29-33 E-mail: Republic of Latvia Embassy 16 Akhmeta Str., Avlabari, 0144 Tbilisi. E-mail: Greece Republic Embassy 37. Tabidze St. Tbilisi Tel: 91 49 70, 91 49 71, 91 49 72 Czech RepublicEmbassy 37 Chavchavadze St. Tbilisi ;Tel: 291-67-40/41/42 E-mail: Web-sait: Japan Embassy 7 Krtsanisi St. Tbilisi Tel: +995 32 2 75 21 11, Fax: +995 32 2 75 21 20 Kingdom of Sweden Embassy 15 Kipshidze St. Tbilisi Tel: +995 32 2 55 03 20 , Fax: +995 32 2 22 48 90 Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy 20 Telavi St. Tbilisi Tel: 27 62 00, Fax: 27 62 32 People’s Republic of China Embassy 52 Barnov St. Tbilisi Tel: 225-22-86, 225-21-75, 225-26-70 E-mail: Republic of Bulgaria Embassy 15 Gorgasali Exit, 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia Tel: +995 32 291 01 94; +995 32 291 01 95 Fax: +99 532 291 02 70 Republic of Hungary Embassy 83 Lvovi Street, Tbilisi Tel: 39 90 08; E-mail: State of Israel Embassy 61 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tbilisi Tel: 95 17 09, 94 27 05 Embassy of Swiss Confederation’s Russian Federation Interests Section Embassy 51 Chavchavadze Av., Tbilisi Tel: 291-26-45, 291-24-06, 225-28-03 E-mail: Ukraine Embassy 75, Oniashvili St., Tbilisi Tel: 231-11-61, 231-12-02, 231-14-54 E-mail:; Consular Agency: 71, Melikishvili St., Batumi Tel: (8-88-222) 3-16-00/ 3-14-78 Republic of Turkey Embassy 35 Chavchavadze Ave., Tbilisi Tel: 225-20-72/73/74/76 Consulate General in Batumi 9 Ninoshvili Street, Batumi Tel: 422 25 58 00 Republic of Azerbaijan Embassy Kipshidze II-bl . N1., Tbilisi Tel: 225-26-39, 225-35-26/27/28 E-mail: Address: Dumbadze str. 14, Batumi Tel: 222-7-67-00; Fax: 222-7-34-43 Republic of Armenia Embassy 4 Tetelashvili St. Tbilisi Tel: 95-94-43, 95-17-23, 95-44-08 E-mail: Web: Consulate General, Batumi Address: Batumi, Gogebashvili str. 32, Apt. 16 Kingdom of Spain Embassy Rustaveli Ave. 24, I floor, Tbilisi Tel: 230-54-64 E-mail: emb.tiflis@maec.esRomania Embassy



caucasus business week

7 Kushitashvili St., Tbilisi Tel: 38-53-10; 25-00-98/97 E-mail: Republic of Poland Embassy 19 Brothers Zubalashvili St., Tbilisi Tel: 292-03-98 Web-site: Republic of Iraq Embassy Kobuleti str. 16, Tbilisi Tel: 291 35 96; 229 07 93 E-mail: Federative Republic of Brazil Embassy Chanturia street 6/2, Tbilisi Tel.: +995-32-293-2419 Fax.: +995-32-293-2416 Islamic Republic of Iran Embassy 80, I.Chavchavadze St. Tbilisi, Tel: 291-36-56, 291-36-58, 291-36-59, 291-36-60; Fax: 291-36-28 E-mail: United Nations Office Address: 9 Eristavi St. Tbilisi Tel: 225-11-26/28, 225-11-29/31 Fax: 225-02-71/72 E-mail: Web-site: International Monetary Fund Office Address : 4 Freedom Sq., GMT Plaza, Tbilisi Tel: 292-04-32/33/34 E-mail: Web-site: Asian Development Bank Georgian Resident Mission Address: 1, G. Tabidze Street

Freedom Square 0114 Tbilisi, Georgia Tel: +995 32 225 06 19 E-mail:; Web-site: World Bank Office Address : 5a Chavchavadze Av., lane-I, Tbilisi, Georgia ; Tel: 291-30-96, 291-26-89/59 Web-site: Regional Office of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Address: 6 Marjanishvili St. Tbilisi Tel: 244 74 00, 292 05 13, 292 05 14 Web-site: Representation of the Council of Europe in Georgia Address : 26 Br. Kakabadze, Tbilisi Tel: 995 32 291 38 70/71/72/73 Fax: 995 32 291 38 74 Web-site: Embassy of the Slovak Republic Address: Chancery: 85 Irakli Abashidze St. Tbilisi, 0162 Georgia Consular Office: 38 Nino Chkheidze St. Tbilisi, 0102 Georgia Phone: 2 222 4437, 2 296 1913 e-mail:

Hotels in Georgia TBILISI MARRIOTT Tbilisi , 13 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 77 92 00, COURTYARD MARRIOTT Tbilisi , 4 Freedom Sq. Tel: 77 91 00 RADISSON BLU HOTEL, TBILISI Rose Revolution Square 1 0108, Tbilisi Tel: +995 32 402200 RADISSON BLU HOTEL, BATUMI Ninoshvili Str. 1, 6000 Bat’umi, Georgia Tel: 8 422255555 SHERATON METECHI PALACE Tbilisi , 20 Telavi St. Tel: 77 20 20, SHERATON BATUMI 28 Rustaveli Street • Batumi Tel: (995)(422) 229000 HOLIDAY INN TBILISI Business hotel Addr: 1, 26 May Square Tel: +995 32 230 00 99 E-mail: Website: BETSY’S HOTEL With Marvellous Tbilisi Views Addr: 32/34 Makashvili St. Tbilisi Tel: +995 32 293 14 04; +995 32 292 39 96 Fax: +995 32 99 93 11 E-mail: Website:

Restaurants CORNER HOUSE Tbilisi, I. Chavchavadze ave. 10, Tel: 0322 47 00 49; Email: RESTAURANT BARAKONI Restaurant with healthy food. Georgian-European Cuisine Agmashenebeli Alley 13th Phone: 555 77 33 77 CHARDIN 12 Tbilisi , 12 Chardin St. , Tel: 92 32 38 CAFE 78 Best of the East and the West Lado Asatiani 33, SOLOLAKI 032 2305785; 574736290 BREAD HOUSE Tbilisi , 7 Gorgasali St. , Tel: 30 30 30 BUFETTI - ITALIAN RESTAURANT Tbilisi , 31 I. Abashidze St. , Tel: 22 49 61 DZVELI SAKHLI Tbilisi , 3 Right embankment , Tel: 92 34 97, 36 53 65, Fax: 98 27 81 IN THE SHADOW OF METEKHI Tbilisi , 29a Tsamebuli Ave. , Tel: 77 93 83, Fax: 77 93 83 SAKURA - JAPANESE RESTAURANT Tbilisi , 29 I. Abashidze St. , Tel: 29 31 08, Fax: 29 31 08 SIANGAN - CHINESE RESTAURANT Tbilisi , 41 Peking St , Tel: 37 96 88 VERA STEAK HOUSE Tbilisi , 37a Kostava St , Tel: 98 37 67 BELLE DE JOUR 29 I. Abashidze str, Tbilisi; Tel: (+995 32) 230 30 30 VONG 31 I. Abashidze str, Tbilisi Tel: (+995 32) 230 30 30 BRASSERIE L’EXPRESS 14 Chardin str, Tbilisi Tel: (+995 32) 230 30 30 TWO SIDE PARTY CLUB 7 Bambis Rigi, Tbilisi Tel: (+995 32) 230 30 30

Cinemas AKHMETELI Tbilisi. “Akhmeteli” Subway Station Tel: 58 66 69 AMIRANI Tbilisi. 36 Kostava St. Tel: 99 99 55, RUSTAVELI Tbilisi. 5 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 92 03 57, 92 02 85, SAKARTVELO Tbilisi. 2/9 Guramishvili Ave. Tel: 8 322308080,

SH. RUSTAVELI STATE THEATRE Tbilisi. 17 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 93 65 83, Fax: 99 63 73 TBILISI STATE MARIONETTE THEATRE Tbilisi. 26 Shavteli St. Tel: 98 65 89, Fax: 98 65 89 Z. PALIASHVILI TBILISI STATE THEATRE OF OPERA AND BALLET Tbilisi. 25 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 98 32 49, Fax: 98 32 50

Galleries ART GALLERY LINE Tbilisi. 44 Leselidze St. BAIA GALLERY Tbilisi. 10 Chardin St. Tel: 75 45 10 GALLERY Tbilisi. 12 Erekle II St. Tel: 93 12 89

Real Estate International Real Estate Company (IREC) Tbilisi. 9 P. Aslanidi St. Tel: +995 32 238 058 Mob: 599 95 76 71 Email:

GSS Car rental offers a convenient service for those who are interested in renting car in Georgia. Rental fleet mainly consist of Japanese made SUV’s, the company has various models of cars including sedans and minivans which are in good technical condition. Contact information: Email: Address: Shalva Dadiani 10

Akhvledianis Khevi N13, Tbilisi, GE. +995322958377; +995599265432

Theatres A. GRIBOEDOV RUSSIAN STATE DRAMA THEATRE Tbilisi. 2 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 93 58 11, Fax: 93 31 15 INDEPENDENT THEATRE Tbilisi. 2 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 98 58 21, Fax: 93 31 15 K. MARJANISHVILI STATE ACADEMIC THEATRE Tbilisi. 8 Marjanishvili St. Tel: 95 35 82, Fax: 95 40 01 M. TUMANISHVILI CINEMA ACTORS THEATRE Tbilisi. 164 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: 35 31 52, 34 28 99, Fax: 35 01 94 METEKHI – THEATRE OF GEORGIAN NATIONAL BALLET Tbilisi. 69 Balanchivadze St. Tel: (99) 20 22 10 MUSIC AND DRAMATIC STATE THEATRE Tbilisi. 182 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tel: 34 80 90, Fax: 34 80 90 NABADI - GEORGIAN FOLKLORE THEATRE Tbilisi. 19 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 98 99 91 S. AKHMETELI STATE DRAMATIC THEATRE Tbilisi. 8 I. Vekua St. Tel: 62 59 73



PUBLICITY caucasus business week

November 23, 2015 #123