Caucasus Business Week #172

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December 5, 2016 #172

December 5, 2016, Issue 172 -

Econo-mix Development Companies Dissatisfied with the Government’s Initiative Pg. 4

Real Estate Alliance Center The Significant Step Forward In Real Estate Pg. 6

PR “Break out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way” Pg. 8 Whether Regulation of Online Loans May Bring Positive Results

Content Borrowers, Discontent Economy Government to Carry out Radical Reforms

Campaign against online loans has gained momentum. Namely, issuance of online loans will be banned or curbed by regulations. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced this decision at a government meeting several days ago. Later, vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dimitri Kumsishvili noted that this sector would be subdued to state regulations. “Nobody plans to ban loan offers in Internet space. Under internet loans we imply the business model, which comprises annualized 200, 300, 500, 800, 1000% yields. We have fundamentally analyzed the issue within our team and taken a final decision that similar business model brings negative outcomes for our population rather than positive effect, while it is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of our citizens. Therefore, we will follow the consumer rights protection policy and, with much probability, we will introduce a due package in this direction. Pg. 7

Battle for Tangerines

Pg. 4

A strong smell of Georgian tangerines under the Christmas tree became my New Year feeling for ever. Therefore when I found myself in Georgia in 2013 and the Russian market simultaneously had been opened for Georgian citruses I joyfully rushed to tangerines business. With no a second doubt and being absolutely sure that Russians with their deep USSR nostalgia will buy everything. But a market is a very good doctor: very soon I realized that my tangerines in Georgian are more expensive than their competitors from China, Morocco and Israel in Moscow. Moreover, they turned out to be bigger by size and better by quality. In a month we “joyfully” jumped out of business, having lost 10 thousand dollars for each truck sent to Russia. But since then we paid a lot of attention to tangerines seasons, providing logistic and broker services to Georgian exporters and Russian importers. Pg. 11


NEWSROOM Georgian alphabet added to UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity UNECSO’s official webpage says the evolution of Georgia’s written language has produced three alphabets – Mrgvlovani, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli.

EU report: Georgia making headway in implementation of Association Agenda The document focused on key developments and reforms, undertaken in line with the strategic priorities agreed between the EU and Georgia.


Georgia’s Economy Grew 1.3 pc in October According to preliminary estimates of the National Statistics Office, real GDP growth rate in October amounted to 1.3 per cent. In 10 month GDP average growth rate made only 2.5 percent.

Excise duty rates for tobacco, oil products and imported vehicles to increase in Georgia An increase in excise tax on tobacco, oil products and imported vehicles will take effect starting January 1. The abovementioned measures will promote upgrade of car fleet and reduce health risks.


Two New Members are in the Supervisory Board of NBG The parliament has approved three members in the Supervisory Board of NBG. Murtaz Kikoria, Archil Mestvirishvili and Robert Singletar are elected for 7-year term in the Board.

Russia’s Alfa Bank Enters Georgia Alfa Bank buys the assets of the Caucasus Development BankGeorgia and the audit service has entered into the bank. The NBG has revoked the bank’s license in September this year, as a result of which, the bank moved to liquidation regime.


Online Loan Companies Seeking Status of Microfinance Organizations Major online loan companies have spread a special statement regarding the November 29 decision passed by Government of Georgia and Prime Minister about regulation of online loan market.

EU market to Open for Georgian Honey EU completed all the formal procedures and now Georgia is the third country in the lists from where honey will be exported to EU.


First Georgian Whiskey Made in Qvevri Released to the Market First Georgian whiskey “Alexander” has appeared on the local spirits market. The product was released to the market in November and is made in a wine bar “Sancho” in Tbilisi.

December 5, 2016 #172

Georgia’s PM: We’ll continue intensive and targeted reforms


n behalf of the Georgian Government, I want to convey sincere gratitude to the EU and you personally for the unwavering support to my country and our striving to come closer to the EU as much as possible, - Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said at a joint press-conference with European Council President Donald Tusk. ‘Our commitment remains unchanged - we continue intensive and targeted reforms to bring our country in line with the best EU norms and standards. We look forward to the revised Association Agenda that will guide our work for the next four years to come,’ Kvirikashvili has remarked. ‘On this line, I would like to refer to the first Association Implementation report on Georgia published by the EU a few days ago, which provides a valid proof of Georgia’s substantial progress towards political association and economic integration. Concrete achievements in consolidating democracy, strengthening the rule of law and judicial inde-

pendence, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, stabilization and economic growth, increased investments and trade with the EU have created a solid foundation for further success stories on this path. Let me reaffirm that we are committed to activating the full potential of these ambitious relations, which is in the interest of Georgia and the EU alike. The EU’s engagement in this process through providing strong incentives is critical in line with the differentiation and meritbased more-for-more approach, which are the core principles of the Eastern Partnership. This brings us to the issue of the visa liberalization, which carries strong transformation effect in terms of wide-scale reforms and provides tangible benefits directly to the citizens. As Georgia has successfully fulfilled all the requirements, we expect that the EU will honour its share of commitment and introduce short-term visa free travel regime for citizens of Georgia. I would like to take this oppor-

tunity and thank President Tusk personally for helping Georgia on this path! Georgia is a key ally for the EU in the security sector and this was specially highlighted in the report. We continue contributing to the EU crisis management operations; we are willing to take our cooperation forward in order to meet the shared vision spelled out in the Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy. We highly value the EU’s firm support for Georgia territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The EU’s engagement through the EUMM, the sole international presence and active mediation in the Geneva International Discussions is a solid guarantee for maintaining peace and stability on the ground. This is especially critical against grave security and humanitarian consequences of the occupation Georgian historic territories by Russia. To conclude, I would like to once again express my appreciation for President Tusk’s warm welcome and interesting exchange of views,’ – Georgia’s PM has declared.

Georgia Increases the 2017 State Budget by GEL 1.2 Billion


arliament begins to consider the country's main financial document which will be approved after the committee hearings. The government submitted the 2017 draft budget yesterday. According to the country's main financial document, the 2017 budget will increase by GEL 1,270 billion compared with 2016. According to the draft, the state budget allocations totaled GEL 11 415.5 million, including: budgetary funds – GEL 10 338.3 million, grants- GEL 154.5 million and credits- GEL 922.7 million. the number of employees in the budget organizations increases by 1 001 people. However, the remuneration is reduced by GEL 49.8 million. This year a total of GEL 1,443 billion are allocated for the salaries. As for the allocations, they are as follows: Labour, Health and Social Affairs – GEL 3. 415 billion (in 2016 - GEL 3,162 billion); Defense Ministry - GEL 748 million (2016 - 670 million;) Interior Ministry – GEL 585 million (2016 - 595 million); Regional Development and Infrastructure Ministry - GEL 1,258 billion (2016 – GEL 950 million);


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Ministry of Education and Science GEL 1,116 billion (2016 - 977.8 million); Ministry of Agriculture – GEL 257. 9 million (2016 - 321.3 million); Ministry of Finance – GEL 82.3 million (2016 - 90 million); Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 370.4 million (2016 - 95.1 million); Ministry of Energy – GEL 132.3 million (2016 - 135 million); Ministry of Justice - GEL 65.6 million (2016 - 70.5 million); Ministry of Corrections, Probation and Legal Assistance- GEL 139.1 million (2016 - 153.8 million); Foreign Ministry – GEL 110.6 million (2016 - 110 million); Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection - GEL 99.6 million (2016 year-97 million); Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs – GEL 136.8 million (2016 - 90 million) Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection - GEL 35.7 million (2016 - 42.1 million); Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees - GEL 84.7 million (2016 - 85 million); Office of the State Minister for Reintegration - GEL 1.2 million (2016 - 1.35 million); Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European & Euro-Atlantic

Integration – GEL 2.8 million (2016 - 3.1 million); The State Security Service, according to the draft budget, will get GEL 118 million next year, that is 18 million more compared to 2016. According to the draft budget, the funding of the Public Broadcasting increases from GEL 44.1 million to 46.4 million. GEL 60 million will be allocated to Parliament next year, the President administration's funding will remain unchanged and will total GEL 9.8 million. According to the draft, the Government Administration will get GEL 16.5 million for the next year. The reserve fund, according to the primary project, will receive GEL 40 million next year instead of GEL 50 million in the departing year while GEL 5 million will be allocated to the President's Reserve Fund. The Central Election Commission next year will receive GEL 60.5 million instead of GEL 58.5 million this year. Funding of the State Audit Office remains unchanged – GEL 14.5 million. Funding of the Office of Public Defender will increase from GEL 4.5 million to 4.8 million. The Patriarchate will traditionally receive GEL 25 million next year from the state budget.

Editor: Nutsa Galumashvili. Mobile phone: 595 380382 Reporters: Medea Samkharadze; Mariam Kopaliani; Merab Janiashvili; Maria Bakh. Designer illustrator: Ilia Chrelashvili. Technical Assistant: Giorgi Kheladze


December 5, 2016 #172





Content Borrowers, Discontent Economy

Development Companies Dissatisfied with the Government’s Initiative

Government to Carry out Radical Reforms


Merab Janiashvili Economic Analyst

Finally, it should be noted that the Authorities are trying to hide a considerable growth in taxes through populism steps. On the one hand, the Authorities announced prohibition of online loans, which is impossible to implement, in practice, but grows taxes, on the other hand


ast week, at a government meeting, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted that quick economic growth could not be achieved without radical decisions. He also expressed hopes that the Georgian society would meet new reforms with understanding for attaining economic breakthrough and progress. The reforms are approved by international organizations, the Prime Minister said. However, one thing is what the government offers and another is what our economy will receive in reality. First of all, we introduce reforms announced at the government meeting: 1. Prohibition of online loans; 2. Growth in gambling business duty; 3. Starting January 1, 2017 loans up to 100 000 GEL will be issued only in national currency; 4. Mortgage loans taken in USD before January 1, 2015 will be converted due to the then exchange rate minus 20 points; 5. Growth in tobacco and oil products excise; 6. Growth in vehicle imports excise; 7. Price of any good or service must be published in GEL; 8. 10% Contraction in salary budget and administrative expenditures. New government initiatives may be divided in 3 parts: First, everybody approved initiatives for growth in gambling business duty and the 10% reduction in government’s salary budget and administrative costs. However, it should be also noted that in several days after introduction of new government initiatives, the Authorities submitted a new bill to the parliament, under which government’s salary budget will decrease by only 3.4% instead of announced 10%. According to the 2017 budget bill, 116 000 persons employed in the state sector will receive 1.39 billion GEL, down 3.4% compared to 2016. Second, Georgian citizens perceived a part of reforms in different way, for example, prohibition of online loans and mortgage loans taken before January 1, 2015. The mortgage loans will be converted due to the then exchange rate minus 20 points. Government will subsidize this 0.20 GEL from the state budget. This decision has caused criticism of economic experts. It is difficult today to ban legal business, but later it was clarified that



ome construction companies say the government’s initiative will be impediment to the real estate market development - in particular, the obligation to use the national currency in advertising primarily by construction companies which specify property prices only in dollars - including in ads. “A construction company can indicate the price per square meter in any currency, including the dollars, but it must specify the price in laris as well. As a result, the population dependent on foreign currency will reduce and fluctuations in the lari rate will not have such serious consequences, “- said the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The representatives of the construction business consider the initiative very risky and believe it will harm the real estate development industry. According to Director of the company “RedCo Development” Malkhaz Kunelauri, any artificial intervention in business affairs is always a bad thing. “The intervention of the authorities in the construction business will cause great harm. In the local market production of building materials is very limited, basically we have to work with imports, especially when it comes to premium real estate. Companies buy materials for dollars and are very dependent on foreign currency. To sell the apartments for laris especially in a situation when the rate changes every day is practically impossible. This is a very big risk, “- he says. He notes that investors make their money in the construction business in dollars, respectively, they need a profit in dollars. “The risk is very high. Maybe real estate prices will rise. It depends primarily on the intensity of the devaluation of the lari “- Malkhaz Kunelauri points out. In the words of the head of the construction company “Ator” Beso Tkhelidze, the Prime Minister’s initiative will not change anything in the country, as sales in the construction sector were carried out mainly in the national currency, and companies buy construction materials in the local market for the national currency. “All the building materials, including imported, we buy in the local market for the national currency. We define the price in US dollars for convenience, but the actual payment is carried out in the lari. Under the law, we have no right to take payment in dollars,”- he explains. In his opinion, it would be better if the government takes measures to solve other problems faced by the construction sector, for example, problems associated with obtaining a building permitt. “New regulations are useless and will hinder the economic development of the country,”he says. According to Director of the development company “Archi Group” Nino Gogoberidze, the government’s initiatives will contribute to the growth of sales as they will simplify calculations. “If this measure is enacted, people will actively buy apartments, as they will not be afraid that tomorrow will have to spend more in the laris for the apartment bought for dollars, “- she notes. With regard to the construction business, in some cases the initiative can hurt it, but on the whole balance will be observed and will ultimately have a positive effect both for business and for consumers.

December 5, 2016 #172

the Authorities plan not to ban, but regulate online loans. Therefore, those citizens, who have bitter experience of relations with credit organizations, have welcomed this decision. Meanwhile, economic experts have staged criticism on the government. And this reaction was foreseeable, because subsidizing the loan of a part of citizens from state budget is injustice. Mortgage loans inflicted losses to many people in 2008-2009 and they were demanding for assistance for many years and the government was rejecting their demand avoiding involvement of budget funds in problem resolution issues. And now the government has decided to use budget funds anyway for other part of citizens. Moreover, statements that starting January 1, 2017 loans of about 100 000 GEL will be issued in only GEL, grows pressure on the national currency exchange rate. As a result, GEL exchange rate against USD has dropped to 2.55 point and if this process continues, the 20 tetri subsidization will become useless. The third part of government reforms comprises changes that will concern everybody and will make the life more expensive. Therefore, this part of initiatives have caused much criticism. For example, imports tax will increase on vehicles, tobacco and oil products. Excise tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase by 60 Tetri starting January 1, 2016, while excise tax will double on petrol, up 25 Tetri per liter. Excise is an indirect tax and is paid from the consumer’s pocket, i.e. it is directly reflected on the product price. Consequently, starting 2017 price of tobacco, fuel and vehicles will grow, in considerable amount. This signifies the government plans to assist 33 000 borrowers, one the one hand, and makes living conditions expensive for the remaining part of Georgia, on the other hand. Finally, it should be noted that the Authorities are trying to hide a considerable growth in taxes through populism steps. On the one hand, the Authorities announced prohibition of online loans, which is impossible to implement, in practice, but grows taxes, on the other hand. Growth in oil product prices will be reflected on other products too. Thus, the country will not have the hazard of deflation and we have to think of more expensive life.

“We have worked out 10-point plan, which focuses on three main directions: First is increasing Lari lending affordability which implies long term loans, and as many of you know in recent years long term GEL mortgage loans have appeared on the market. Second direction is adequate distribution of currency risks throughout the country”

Archil Mestvirishvili Vice President of National Bank of Georgia

December 5, 2016 #172





November December28, 5, 2016 #171 #172

ALLIANCE CENTER THE SIGNIFICANT STEP FORWARD IN REAL ESTATE Grand Opening of an A - Class business center in Tbilisi on Freedom Square is planned for the first quarter of 2017. The beginning of the year is already marked on the calendar of international and local market players as the period of relocation to the Alliance Center, this will be the leading A - class provider of workspace, with prime location, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for tenants including some of the most successful, recognizable, business leader companies and corporations.

Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown (CW|VB) have been appointed to lead the sales and marketing campaign related to Alliance Center. “We are pleased to welcome all local and international companies to Alliance Center, based on our experience and global outreach. We are delighted to bring our international and local expertise and market knowledge to the most prestigious project, we are glad to offer the tenants the most desirable address in Tbilisi”, Said George Japaridze, the Partner | Investor Services at CW|VB. He has shared the information regarding the upcoming Alliance Center and gave comprehensive analysis regarding office sector in Georgia. - What Are The Unique Advantages That Alliance Center Offers? - Alliance center will be the most recognizable A - Class Business Center in Tbilisi, located on Freedom Square, that has long been a hub of remarkable cultural, historical and political movements and this spirit continues to this days. Business Center features 5,530m2 prime leasable office space. It benefits with its proximity to the Parliament of Georgia, The Governmental House of Georgia, Public Service Hall (House of Justices) proximity of dining’s and the vicinity to most of the upscale hotels of the city. The developer offers turnkey delivery, tailored to the requirements and the needs of the tenants. • Landmark location in the heart of the city • Highest quality of internal fit-out finishing and materials • Reception services • 24/7 security • 24/7 regime of back-up power and water supply • Technical control of elevator • Technical control of ventilation and conditioning system • 15 minutes drive to the airport Based on our experience and what we see in other business centers, we have sophisticated our approach and made sure that all the important criteria of international A – Class standard is met in the Alliance Center. We are glad that many local and international companies have planned

to relocate their businesses here. Alliance Center shall have strong and diverse business community. We have tailored our proposals to the needs of every potential tenant and besides mentioned we all acknowledge that the most important factor is our asking price that is why we keep it competitive and adequate. - How Would You Estimate The Development Of Office Sector In Georgia? - I was a tenant in different A - Class business centers for many years. I do believe that there was made enormous success on annual basis, in terms of getting closer to what A - Class business center standards really mean. Thanks to the demand from international companies, supply has become more competitive. Even though, there are multiple decent business centers in the pipeline, I do believe that there is no similar project that we may consider as competition. We fully answer to the A –Class criteria according to our internal fit out quality and services, as well as the most important - location. - Could You Specify Main Charactaristics Of A - Class Business Centre That Alliance Center Has? - First and most important is its landmark location and the quality of the building; We use high-quality building materials in every detail, beginning from construction to the finishing. Alliance Center has exceptional internal planning and the façade, the center also benefits with the modern engineering system, communications and other networks, which are in alliance with international standards. We have air conditioning system, autonomous heating with temperature regulation in separate premises, suspended ceilings with ventilation air ducts and fire detection system, raised floors with the interior cabling and underground parking. We have been waiting for Alliance Center for a long time. On behalf of the Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown I would say that we strongly believe that we will be the leaders within the office space supply in Tbilisi.


December 5, 2016 #172


Whether Regulation of Online Loans May Bring Positive Results Campaign against online loans has gained momentum. Namely, issuance of online loans will be banned or curbed by regulations. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced this decision at a government meeting several days ago. Later, vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dimitri Kumsishvili noted that this sector would be subdued to state regulations. “Nobody plans to ban loan offers in Internet space. Under internet loans we imply the business model, which comprises annualized 200, 300, 500, 800, 1000% yields. We have fundamentally analyzed the issue within our team and taken a final decision that similar business model brings negative outcomes for our population rather than positive effect, while it is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of our citizens. Therefore, we will follow the consumer rights protection policy and, with much probability, we will introduce a due package in this direction. This business model must set a reasonable margin. Similar business models bring negative outcomes for our citizens rather than positive effect and the Government is to protect the rights of our population», Kumsishvili noted. The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired position of companies over this issue. Initially, a part of them noted that this initiative of Prime Minister was unconstitutional. Sandro Lomidze, head of company, noted that a prohibition may imply many aspects and this segment cannot be abolished entirely. “Let’s ban sales of wine, bread, internet trades. What does this prohibition imply? Government may introduce a certain type of regulations, but I cannot understand a full prohibition. We operate in 7 countries of the world and issuance of online loans has not been banned anywhere”, Lomidze noted. Later, Georgian Association of Online Nonbanking Credit Companies responded to the initiative of Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. According to the association’s statement, online loans market should be regulated. “In the name of major online loan companies, the association finds the government decision on the sector regulation to be acceptable. At the same time, the association urges the Government to mediate before National Bank of Georgia (NBG) for accelerating the process of granting the status of a microfinance organization to online loan companies. It is the interest of healthy and valuable actors of the market to act under NBG regulations and offer financial products with appropriate standards. We believe that the government’s initiative is a necessary precondition for further development of online loans market and implementing structural investments. We should stress that online loans market regulations is the interest of not only consumers, but also this business sector. This decision will improve the sector’s reputation and degree of confidence”, the association statement reads. The statement was signed by the association members:,netcredit. ge,,moneyman. ge,,,minicredit. ge,, Gia Tarieladze, head of online loan company, noted that the association member companies have already submitted a statement to NBG for obtaining the status of a microfinance organization. “We are waiting for government’s mediation before NBG to timely complete this process”, Tarieladze noted.

“ Business has a margin of its liquidity, while online loan companies want to make tenfold and twenty-fold profits. In reality they do not create any product. Nobody knows who they are, where they come from, what objectives they serve, how they plan to collect money. Therefore, regulations should be tightened and top margin should be introduced

Let’s ban sales of wine, bread, internet trades. What does this prohibition imply? Government may introduce a certain type of regulations, but I cannot understand a full prohibition. We operate in 7 countries of the world and issuance of online loans has not been banned anywhere

How correct is this government initiative regarding online loans and how may it effect economy? Experts provide various positions regarding the mentioned issues. Economic Expert Gia Khukhashvili: Economic expert Gia Khukhasivili agrees that certain reactions or certain regulations were to be introduced in the sector. It was unserious, when initially the Prime Minister announced prohibition plans and later the Finance Minister pratically changed the Prime Minister’s statement and made accents on sector regulations, instead of prohibition. This is an evident sample of uncoordinated activities. As to the initiative in itself, the government has not unveiled its specific details and therefore, it is difficult to say whether these plans will bring positive or negative effects, Khukhashvili noted. As to transformation of online loan companies into microfinance organizations, renaming will change nothing, Khukhashvili noted. The key problem consists in desperacy of a part of our citizens, who are ready to accept any conditions, which may further deteriorate their financial situation. Regretfully, certain actors of the market misuse this situation. Therefore, they provoke growing social risks instead of their reduction. «It does not matter whether they will be called microfinance organizations or not, even more so top margin yields run in microfinance organizations too. When a person has a vital need, he/she may accept any condition and this does not signify that somebnody should make fortune of this heavy situation. Therefore, all these aspects should be analyzed and corresponding regulations should be introduced. Regretfuly, today the Government has not specified how to tackle this problem», Khukhashvili said. In response to the question whether similar attitude and statements should be appraised as pressure on online loan business sector, Khukhashvili said that he do not consider similar organizations to be businesses. “Business has a margin of its liquidity, while online loan companies want to make tenfold and twenty-fold profits. In reality they do not create any product. Nobody knows who they are, where they come from, what objectives they serve, how they plan to collect money. Therefore, regulations should be tightened and top margin should be introduced”, Khukhashvili noted. Economic Expert Paata Sheshelidze: Government remains determined regarding its own decisions, economic expert Paata Sheshelidze said. In whole, the statement was irresponsible and ambiguous. Prime Minsiter should not make so unprepared and unclear statements, Sheshelidze noted. As to the fact, it is an unconstitutional decision when Prime Minister bans this or that field to operate, Sheshelidze pointed out. «Moreover, these companies have to fulfill obligations, while this decision will lead them to bankruptcy. The Prime Minsiter’s statement was a direct address to borrowers not to pay online loans», Sheshelidze said. “It is an absolutely shameful initiative regarding online loans. It is unimaginable to protect consumer rights by restricting the chance of taking loans. If loans are abolished, naturally, companies will close. Clients of these companies used to take loans under quite expensive conditions, because it was impossible to get similar services elsewhere. If they lose the source of taking online loans, they will have to take loans under more expensive condi-

tions, or they will not be able to take loans at all, because other companies did not issue loans to this category of clients previously and now this category will not be able to take loan in this sector either. I would not call this initiative to be a mechanism for protection of consumer rights”. Naturally, all restrictions hits particularly those people, who are in desperate situation. Similar decisions hit the category that cannot take loans elsewhere”, Paata Sheshelidze noted. Initiative Group of Activists, doctor of economics, professor Rati Abuladze: Doctor of economics, professor Rati Abuladze explains that today contemporary financial institutions make focus on Internet services and they shift a major part of their transactions into the Internet space. In developed economies, Internet systems for financial services (including issuance of loans through online channels) comprise significant economic values and high-level social responsibility. In developing economies the existing economic regime cannot make influence on issuance of high-yield online loans and protection of rights of Internet consumers. Consequently, a distinct company misuses the existing situation on online financial market and violates ethic norms., Abuladze said. The above-mentioned challenges were generated by the following factors: - Loan is an in-demand product amid low economic activity, while banking sector does not satisify the demand for micro loans. Consequently, lack of money, low economic activity, high interest rates make Georgian citizens poorer. - Quantity of citizens who need loans is very impressive. At the same time, internet platform for taking loans does not analyze potential revenues and employment records of applicant citizens. The fact is that an unemployed borrower faces difficulties with fulfilling the Agreement-determined obligations; - The country lacks for legislation for pricing policy for internet market and electronic business regulation; - Low income and volatile exchange rate do not enable our citizens to make savings. All these factors frustrate a growth in public welfare. To avoid «persecuting» online loans by the Government (because commercial banks also isuse loans through online channels), it is better to: - confine the current high interest rates within acceptable rates; - Protect financial interests of internet community; - shape margin interest rates policy for online credit operations and online loans by use of legislative and market instruments, based on justice princples; - Finally, the above-mentioned challenges will be resolved through attainable bank loans and credit resources adapted to economic condition of citizens. A part of specialists note that quantity of online loan companies grows at high paces and currenty we do not know precize number of similar organizations in Georgia. A part of Georgian citizens has also spread a special petition for banning online loan companies. This statistics does not exist in Business Registry. Association of Online Loan Companies does not have similar indicators either. “There is no specified information on quantity of online loan companies in Georgia”, the association uniting only 10 online loan companies noted.



December 5, 2016 #172

Interview with ELENE OTARASHVILI, head of JSC Château Mukhrani tourism department

“I am a very hardworking person and therefore, success comes in itself, in natural way”

“Break out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way” - What are you by profession? - I have graduated from Tbilisi State Conservatoire. I hold BA degree in musical studies. The conservatoire has seriously influenced my personal formation process. Later, I entered GIPA and currently I hold MA degree in Public Administration. I have passed many trainings in Georgia and abroad in fields of general management, leadership, tourism management and financial management. - Your first job place. - My career started at Public Broadcaster (then the First Channel), where I, as a zealous student of Conservatoire, was offered to lead Intermezzo TV program. This was my first contact with media sector. In this program we were carrying out PR of classic music. After graduating GIPA I started working at Social Insurance State Fund, at the department of Foreign Affairs. Then, I moved to McCann Erickson Georgia, where I gained much experience in planning and implementing marketing campaigns of international brands. I have worked for Business Intelligence Technologies for 5 years, where I used to ensure marketing and PR campaigns of Microsoft and other world’s leading IT brands. Later I also worked in nongovernmental sector, namely in IREX Georgia, a USAID-led project with focus on media development. - Current job and position. - Currently, I am running tourism department of JSC Château Mukhrani. My position calls for strategic development of this direction and positioning on both domestic and international markets. Our goal is to develop Château Mukhrani touristic capabilities in a way that is attractive to both foreign visitors and native Georgians alike. We achieve new levels of performance every year. For comparison, in 2011 we hosted 1000 visitors and 26 000 in 2016. We provide full management of tourism development and events – starting from an idea ending with its implementation. All these steps require huge job and devotion. It is worth noting that last year in the field of tourism and hospitality, we won the 1st national award ceremony in the category of Best Marketing Campaign in Tourism Wineries. Chateau Mukhrani has been recognized with a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site. It proves that we consistently received strong praise and ratings from travellers. This recognition helps travellers identify and book properties that

We have some special and successful PR managers. Naturally, international knowledge and experience are very important for a huge number of reasons

regularly deliver great service. - Your first success. - I am a very hardworking person and therefore, success comes in itself, in natural way. I achieved first success in my early years, I obtained the President’s scholarship. - Project that you are proud of even today. - I try to implement all projects at the highest level. I could name many of them. I would name Château Mukhrani’s annual event - Harvest Party that is a genuine fest for our company and our guests and this fest becomes more and more interesting every year. In this way we continue the tradition established by great person, Ivane Mukhranbatoni more than a century ago. - Field where you would never work. - I would never do uninteresting and boring job which does not need creativeness and critical thinking. - What factors make a person successful in this field? Besides knowledge, what special characteristics are required? - Ability to dream big, challenge assumptions and inspire team; know how to translate big ideas into concrete action and results. I think each person has to follow his own path to reach the ultimate goal. We are all different. Some of us communicate very well, but in stressful situations they can lose control that prevents them from taking the right decisions. Others are great leaders, they motivate teams but anyhow they fail due to the lack of organizational skills and common sense. As a Manager you should be quick and flexible. Problems that arise have to be solved fast and effectively. You need to knock the problems down and solve them before they grow. - Is it possible today in Georgia to study PR valuably and perfectly, or international knowledge and experience is necessary? - This field is being developed and improved in Georgia in continuous regime. We have some special and successful PR managers. Naturally, international knowledge and experience are very important for a huge number of reasons. - Is PR perceived and understood in Georgia in its classical nature? - In Georgia PR reflects global trends. Digital and social media have blurred the lines between marketing and PR functions, creating a need for more integrated communication roles. As a result, the PR umbrella has come to encompass paid media, including social media and content marketing. - How easily can you resolve crisis situations and

take decisions and does similar cases affect quality of working process? - Management of crisis situations is an inseparable part of working process. I always try to transform similar situations into opportunity. There`s always a way out. Sometimes you should break out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. - Interesting episode from your life (business) that has changed your life. - I would recall one episode, when in 2011 after passing tests and interviews of several stages I was employed at TBC Bank PR department. After my approval on the new position, Mr. Mamuka Khazaradze offered me to lead tourism department of Chateau Mukhrani. This episode has essentially changed my career. Under my management, a new business direction – Tourism & Hospitality Business was developed at Chateau Mukhrani. We shaped a business development strategy and staffed tourism department by professional event managers, sommeliers and guides. We have developed various interesting tourism packages for various target segments. Since then we permanently try to diversify our offers. We cooperate with strong domestic and foreign partners. - If not this profession, who would you be by profession and which field would you work in? - I would be a good diplomat. - What are strong features and characteristics of you, as a businesswoman? - I try to settle all situations without conflict, by emotional intelligence and negotiations. I am a multitaske, usually handle doing a lot of things at once. - What benefits do you gain from your employer company? What makes it interesting for you? - Chateau Mukhrani is a miraculous place. You will fall in love with it at a glance. It fills us with respect and pride from the very beginning and we feel happy we are Georgian. It is an inspirational feeling to have the chance to make contribution to this historical project. - What makes major discomfort in working process? - Irresponsibility and indifference in relation to business. Consistency is trait of the successful people, and it becomes a habit, as everything else. But without it, you won’t get far. - Where do you see yourself after 20 years? -My life is full of unexpected challenges. Therefore, it is difficult to make forecasts for such a long period. I would like to have my own successful company.



December 5, 2016 #172

Before succeeding in exports business, she launched household enterprise, but success came soon and she decided to expand business. Maia Mikava, Terabank business client, is our respondent today. She has passed very interesting business history.

Filbert Exports from Zugdidi to Europe


started filbert exports business by very small household enterprise, but later I realized expansion was necessary. Therefore, I contacted one of the foreign partners who was interested in growth in production and exports. We jointly built a big plant, but my partner’s expectations did not justify and our cooperation ceased and we decided to depart. I needed additional financial resource to return the stake to my partner. For some reasons, all commercial banks refused my

mark. Terabank has assisted me in buying off the stake in this company and currently I own 100% stake in the company. Georgian filbert is in much demand and I realize my business needs extra expansion, because this business is very successful and There is good opportunity to reach new heights», she noted. Maia Mikava applied to Terabank for financing business in 2013. She took two loans with 5 year maturity period for filbert business expansion and currently, she is one of the successful business

application. I applied to Terabank and they rendered much assistance to me. I bought off the stake from my partner and launched production independently. At this stage I export Georgian filbert to almost all European cities independently. I have also added a frying line, laboratory and expanded scales very much. I have also diversified business and created farmers assistance service center and now we are working in 24-hour regime. We export all varieties of filbert: unbroken, fried, cut, and so on. EuroHazel is our trade-

clients for Terabank. Like Maia, other businessmen have their own bankers in Terabank. SME bankers and SME analysts care to choose required and useful bank products for them, help them in taking adequate decisions and give beneficial recommendations for their business. After rebranding Terabank has arranged a business hub specially for businessmen. Cozy and comfortable interior jointly with profitable bank products is one of the advantages that Terabank offers to its business clients.

How to Take Business Loan Those, who plan to expand their business activities, reach higher levels or want to draw financial resources for unique idea will find this interview very interesting. We have interviewed Konstantine Makatsaria, head of micro, small and medium business department of Terabank, about business sector crediting and other business products of the bank. We have chosen Terabank, because, thanks to rebranding project, the bank has created a special business environment, the so-called business hub. - What is the objective of creating a business hub at Terabank? - Terabank’s business strategy makes special accent on small and medium business sectors. We offer a full package of bank services to clients of this segment so as their do business easier. We offer high-standard, flexible, quick services and provide business consultations. It is our interest to provide maximum benefits to clients and this is main precondition for business success

and development of our country. - What criteria should business project satisfy and what time is required for taking a loan at Terabank? - These criteria are very simple: business must have the history of at least 6 months and ir must be successful. We analyze business activities, study development dynamics and take decisions over crediting. One of the advantages of Terabank is that boutique-style bank treats clients much simpler and consequently, decisions are taken in quick regime. The time is individual for all projects. On average, 1-3 days are required for taking decision for a project. Business loan amount starts from 3 000 USD (equivalent in GEL), while interest rate is determined on individual basis. - Is any business direction priority or particularly interesting for Terabank? - We consider all business cases on individual basis at Terabank. Because, all business sectors have their pecu-

liarities, interesting and weak aspects. We consider idea of creating new enterprises especially positively. - Besides credit products, does your bank offer other products to business sector? - Our credit products are very flexible for business sector: long-term business loan, monthly or individual/seasonal coverage schedule; business overdraft for improving short-term liquidity of clients, in addition; short-term business loan for financial one-time operations; Along with business loans, we also provide document operations, that is bank guarantees, bill of credits and so on. Clients use these products very well, because in case of international trade, this is one of the safest payments methods. As to noncredit products, we have very good conditions for operational services and consequently, there is much demand for the mentioned services; - Why should business companies cooperate with Terabank? - Terabank provides highest-standard services. It does not matter what products business uses in our bank. All clients have service bankers and they can contact only one person for fulfilling any bank operation – personal SME banker. This person cares that business client be maximally content with Terabank services and feel the bank takes into account their interests. Besides high-standard services, a special environment has been arranged at Avlabari branch and we call it as Business Hub. Under the finance house concept, we offer very cozy and comfortable interior for clients. If necessary, our clients are able to use our meeting rooms for business needs.



December 5, 2016 #172

Few Events to Hold Against Stigma in Different Cities of Georgia In the frame of “Tuberculosis Educational Campaign”, few events took place against social stigma in different cities in Georgia. The meetings were organized in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Telavi. During the campaign, high school and university students presented different materials and presentation concerning tuberculosis and at the same time, took part in discussions and organize the conference. The project started in July, 2016. It aimed to implement Information-educational campaign focused on young generations. During the campaign, the experts organized seminars in Tbilisi and 25 public schools and 6 universities in the different regions. In the frame of the meeting, about 300 university students, 40 teachers and up to 1000 high school students became familiar with the topic and took part in the project. The seminars also were held for journalists in different cities who got full information about the disease, social stigma of tuberculosis and discrimination topic. The aim of the project is to raise awareness and education about tuberculosis in the population.



Glove to Assist Patients in Rehabilitation Process after Cerebral Accident – Winner Startup Idea to pass acceleration process and improve the product at IliaUni FabLab. About Project On average 15 million people is diseased by apoplexy. As a rule, a patient loses ability of moving legs and arms. Rehabilitation process aims to regenerate ability of moving legs and ams. At least 3-4 months are required to restore this ability and the treatment process requires huge financial resources (more than 10 000 USD). As part of MakeAthon project, Giorgi and Dimitri Tskhovrebadzes have created a glove that will assist patients in rehabilitation process and its prime costs is under 150 USD. Giorgi Tskhovrebadze, Iliauni MakeAthon participant: “Mirror Box is one of the methods of treatment that is to cheat brain by creating illusion. Patient puts damaged hand in a box that has a mirror on the side. The patient should take coins and drop them into box by healthy hand and watch into mirror during this process. This method is frequently used in rehabilitation process and research results prove that this

Ilia State University and IliaUni Laboratory for Industrial Innovations (FabLab IliaUni), as part of global entrepreneurship week, conducted MakeAthon – Your Startup Idea in Reality. Participant teams competed with each other in creating innovative and unique ideas in limited time. At the next stage, first prototypes of ideas will be created by use of IliaUni FabLab modern technologies and under mentoring of Georgian and foreign experts. According to jury decision, the victory was granted to a glove that assists a patient in rehabilitation after Cerebral Accident. The project authors are Giorgi

Tskhovrebadze, a student from Free University computer science and mathematics school (MACs), and Dimitri Tskhovrebadze, a student of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) electricity and computer science faculty). Beeline company has set an award for MakeAthon winner. The winner team will leave for Barcelona (Spain) in February 2017 for world congress of mobile technologies. This event is a final stage of Eurasian Mobile Challenge, Beeline’s mobile application competition. Beeline will fully cover living, transportation and participation costs for the winner team members, who will be also able



Noxtton –A New Georgian Company on World Market

Wasted Concept Store –Business of Six High School Students

There is a new Georgian company on the world market. Noxtton is the first Georgian Tech company, which aims to occupy international market. Noxtton was established by young professionals in August, 2016. The company offers technological services and products to its customers which includes: Mobile-web applications development, digital marketing, IT consulting, CRM and E Commerce platform development.

Wine Company “Badagoni” to Represent New Trade Mark “Badagoni” celebrates the 10th anniversary with a new wine brand. The wine company has submitted new trade mark – GAU5 and signed a contract on export of 5 million bottles wine on Chinese market. “I am sure, that GA5 will be successful on Chinese market as well. This is the biggest positive conditioned due to the diversification of the market. This will be absolutely stabile market for Georgia”, – George Kvirikashvili declared while visiting “Badagoni”.

Sopho, Iva, Phio, Nica and Natalia are 16 and 17 years old high school students started their business and opened the store on Phaliashvili Street, #32 on 19th of November. Friends choose clothes in the second hand shops and they offer the best of them in their own store at an affordable price. What kind of shop is it and how they started business, one of the founder Sopho Chikovani reveals in the interview. Tell us about your business, what is Wasted Concept Store and how is it different from other shops? Wasted Concept Store is a vintage clothes shop, which offers production to the costumers at an affordable price. Everyone wants to look unique; however teenagers don’t have their own income. Therefore, we offer them an alternative. They can wear what they want and look different from others and don’t have to worry about meeting people who wears the same outfit as them. Our second hand shop is different from other shops in sense that we choose the clothes which our peers will like and not only them. How did you come up with an idea to start this kind of shop and how did you start the business? We have been planning to open this shop for a long time; we wanted to open a shop with high quality of clothes which would be available for everyone. While trying to open the shop, the main difficulty was to get financial resources. We asked different companies for help, but we were refused. The only person who supported us materially was Lekso Askurava, who gave us the space for our shop for free. We thought about the name for a very long time. We had a lot of versions, but either the sound was not good enough or the meaning. In the end, we stopped at the “wasted”, which sounds good and the content also suits the concept of our shop. The painted Anastasia Akhvlediani helped us to create the design for the shop. The design inside the shop was created by us, independently. What are your expectations and future plans? We want to organize an event on Friday and Saturday where we will have a delicious wine, good music and sales on the clothes. We are also planning to renovate the interior every month. We hope that a lot of people will find out about us and we will improve our shop more and more

improves moving ability. Our glove will assist patients in rehabilitation process under the following principle – patient takes on the glove on damaged hand and performs joyful tasks by another and. The sensor perceives hand movement and makes the glove repeat the same movement. As a result, the patient moves both hands in the same way, while brain starts restoring functionality and the movement ability is improved. The glove treatment process comprises three stages. On the last two stages it is possible to use virtual reality mechanism. At this stage of treatment, when the patient’s condition is improved, the glove perceives power used by the patient and helps the patient to bow the arm. This signifies the glove alleviates moving arm and fulfilling any movement. Ability of moving arm is improved in the course of time and the patient gradually uses its force fully. Cheating the brain by virtual reality accelerates rehabilitation process and make its more efficient.

PASHA Bank – Traditional Sponsor of Georgian Panorama at Tbilisi International Film Festival The 17th Tbilisi International Film Festival officially opened on November 28th and this year again it offers its audience a wide range of international and local film screenings. The festival consists of several sections: European cinema, French collection, a country in focus, special screening, etc. Few years ago the festival laid the foundation for the national competition “Georgian Panorama”, in scope of which Georgian feature and documentary films are presented and the best directors are awarded. Third year in a row PASHA Bank is the exclusive sponsor of “Georgian Panorama”. “We believe that the progress of cinema industry will serve not only cultural but also economic development of the country and therefore we have been supporting the “Georgian Panorama” of the Tbilisi International Film Festival for three years already. I would like to use this opportunity and thank the festival team for their efforts and hard work that make this festival so engaging and unique.”- commented Shahin Mammadov, CEO and Chairman of Board of Directors at PASHA Bank. There are two official prizes for the categories: Best Film (Gold Prometheus) and Best Director (Silver Prometheus). Both are awarded to the winners in international as well as Georgian Panorama competitions. Last year the producer and director of the best Georgian film received special gifts from PASHA Bank - a trip to the Berlin International Film Festival.

Battle for Tangerines A strong smell of Georgian tangerines under the Christmas tree became my New Year feeling for ever. Therefore when I found myself in Georgia in 2013 and the Russian market simultaneously had been opened for Georgian citruses I joyfully rushed to tangerines business. With no a second doubt and being absolutely sure that Russians with their deep USSR nostalgia will buy everything.

Dr. Andrei Maximov Maximov&Partners LLC


ut a market is a very good doctor: very soon I realized that my tangerines in Georgian are more expensive than their competitors from China, Morocco and Israel in Moscow. Moreover, they turned out to be bigger by size and better by quality. In a month we “joyfully” jumped out of business, having lost 10 thousand dollars for each truck sent to Russia. But since then we paid a lot of attention to tangerines seasons, providing logistic and broker services to Georgian exporters and Russian importers. As a result we studied this challenging business both from within, and outside. Let me share my ideas with the readers. The main problem of tangerine business in the Western Georgian is an absence of repeat clients. According to my observations there was no serious buyer who arrived to Georgia the next season after his first experience. It’s a point deathful for Georgian tangerines which confirms a very weak competitiveness of the local products even at not too pretentious neighbor post-Soviet markets. For the last four seasons we tried to provide services to a number of significant clients, mainly from Russia. The biggest deal was a 2014 contract with one of Moscow government Directorates. We were offered to ensure logistics and brokerage for 1500 trucks with 30 thousand tons of tangerines, a credit line for 15 mln. US$ was opened. We were absolutely happy to get such a promising deal. At that moment we had no idea what adventures would start when the first cars reached Moscow. In front of mass media representatives big Moscow VIPs and TOPs opened the car and in full silence quickly closed: famous Georgian tangerines turned out to be as small as green. Our partners succeeded in escaping a scandal, but tangerines failed to become better because of that. When a bit later a Russian Ruble collapsed from 44 to 68 R per US$, this was used as a reason to cancel the contract. But the real reason was a bad citruses quality. As a result we sent only 77 trucks to Moscow, all project players lost serious money and Moscow Georgians became enemies to the local compatriots. In the Western Georgian there is no repeat clients as well as chain buyers, i.e. representatives of retail chain stores networks with their hundred or thousands of outlets. All over the world it’s the largest part of the market demand for perishable goods including citruses. But they offer very tough terms and conditions, always ask for consignment, demand serious penalties in case of contract violations. This season the General supplier of the Russian “Lenta” chain suddenly found himself in Guria. He is Ossetian adoring Georgia with many friends here, let’s name him Dato. He got the proposal he couldn’t refuse – the tangerines were offered at fabulously low price, obviously impossible to be



December 5, 2016 #172

true. Dato added 3 cents of his interest to the offered 40 cents, signed the firm contract with “Lenta” and sent a few trucks to Georgia to pick up a cargo in agreed volumes. These cars are waiting for loading for one day, for another, for the third day. Nothing happens. In a week Dato is informed that the farmers increased prices for unclear reasons and he should pay 55 cents instead of 40! Angry Dato asks about penalties and receives a very calm answer to be explained: everything will be OK, but it would be necessary for him to wait for 3-4 years before the Georgian court will make any decision. Dato found other suppliers with better prices, but met another headache. A standard demand of chains regarding the weight is as follows: all boxes should have the same weight – 14 kg +- 100 grams. An unsolvable task for the Western Georgia where boxes traditionally are being loaded “approximately” as it will turn out. Now poor Dato sits, having clasped the head with hands, and repeats the same mantra again and again: “why I haven’t listened to the experienced people, who told me: don’t enter Georgia, you will damn everything in the world!”. We know a lot of such stories working in the Western Georgian already for the fourth season in a row. However, every year the number of the beginners ready to risk decreases and their ambitions are much less, than a few years ago. The western Georgia managed to earn reputation of the unreliable supplier, and I believe that if not to take radical measures, next tangerine season none of serious players will come here. This year we started providing services to 3 relatively big buyers from Moscow already on November 15th. Each of them planned to export 1,5-2 thousand tons. It was a great success of the local procurement base which we work with. Active owners succeeded in negotiating one of Georgian banks to finance purchases of tangerines against export-import contracts. It allowed them to settle at least one sharp problem and offer consignment terms to the Russian buyers what is a standard norm at this market. It was a good idea to take a revolver credit to buy tangerines for 10-15 trucks and after the buyer gets and pays for the delivered cargo to put received money to the purchases again. As they say in Russian, “It was smooth on paper, but they forgot about ravines...” Everything was perfect until the trucks arrived Moscow once again. My logistics Director lost his voice trying to persuade the workers to do sorting in a proper way. But they only asked him being bewildered “what do you want? What you’re worried about? It’s not your money!” His answer “all of us lose the work” failed to sink. As soon as first cars reached the clients (we succeeded in sending 15 cars), all next deliveries had been stopped. The buyers acted in different ways, but always with extremely negative consequences for the Georgian exporters. The first one opened and closed the car and informed Georgia that he isn’t going to unload the cargo as it doesn’t correspond to the contract terms and conditions, you’re welcome to do with tangerines anything you like. The second - Food City – placed the car to the fruits market and promised to pay in an indefinite future only when/ if the tangerines had been sold. The

third client, the most peace-loving, started sorting tangerines himself and promised to pay only for the part of cargo where tangerines correspond to agreed size and quality. No idea how the base is going to return bank money. And, above all, I don’t understand why with such maniac persistence it is necessary “to step on the same rake”. It’s a fierce circle. We’re doing business in logistics, therefore we know everything about different stages of tangerine business, including players’ costs from the garden to the shelf. We understand perfectly well, that the bases are looking for incredible and unrealistic profit rate. Until recently it allowed them to survive even with a good success, because each year unlucky newcomers (never to come again) will pay for their costs and ensure an impressive margin. But there is always a danger that tangerines will remain in the gardens after the

We know a lot of such stories working in the Western Georgian already for the fourth season in a row. However, every year the number of the beginners ready to risk decreases and their ambitions are much less, than a few years ago. The western Georgia managed to earn reputation of the unreliable supplier, and I believe that if not to take radical measures, next tangerine season none of serious players will come here.

season, or will be sent to the factory for 20 tetri per kilo (10 tetri is covered by the state, by the way) to produce a concentrate. I still remember many days queues in Kobuleti 2013, when we tried to get 20 tetri for perfect standard tangerines we’ve bought earlier for 60 tetri. We failed and gave tangerines to the neighbor in the queue for only 5 tetri. Before the next tangerine season I’m planning to develop an ideal export base and with numbers and calculations in my hands to persuade its owners that effective control and financial responsibility systems with a reasonable margin and competitive export prices will produce a perfect clients base and long term reliable sources of income. And launch largescale marketing campaign for the neighbor external markets. And finally in the end of the season to look at the results. When peasants, farmers and procurement bases will see that such a work with no deception will be much more profitable for them in long term, there will be no problem to distribute such an experience for the whole Western Georgia. But with one compulsory condition: any deception should be punished by real money and all losses of importers should be compensated at the cost of these violators. The punishment should be inevitable.

This Tbilisi Kindergarten Uses Play-Based Curriculum to Support Children’s Learning - Ms. Eliso, how would you describe your kindergarten? Who and when has it founded? Do you have already started teaching process? - Our kindergarten Kids Planet is located at a 3-floor and accommodated house in Dighomi, Tbilisi. The kindergarten has a big safe yard. We founded the kindergarten in 2014 and started teaching process immediately. I and Khatuna, my mother, who is a philologist by profession and has spent the whole life in pedagogical sector, have founded this kindergarten. She has many deserves and awards in this field. - How many persons does the kindergarten employ and what criteria do you use for staff selection? - The kindergarten staff consists of 7 persons: director, psychologist and methodist – Khatuna, two teachers, two nurses, cook and I, a marketing manager. Staff is selected by Khatuna. First of all, we make focus on skills of communication with a child, knowledge of individual approaches, knowledge of languages (English and Russian) and pedagogical art. Our pedagogues are positive, creative and they love their profession. - What age categories and how many children go to kindergarten? - Age of children range from 2 to 6 years old. Junior Group involves 2-4 year old children, and the senior group consists of 4-6 year old children. There are 10 children in each group. Currently, we have two groups. In whole, our kindergarten will have three groups, i.e. 30 children. - There is much competition between kindergartens on the market. We should also take into account social environment, when a majority of families gives preference to free of charge public kindergartens. What makes your kindergarten special and what are your plans about market positioning? - Sure, there is much market competition and existing social conditions do not create positive environment for private kindergartens, but we possess several strong advantages in service field. First, our kindergarten works for 24 hours and on weekend too. Parents are able to take their children when they get free from all everyday affairs. Our kindergarten is located in an ecological district, we breathe fresh air, children have meals on demand and when they demand. Daytime sleeping is voluntary. Children do well, entertain much and walk outside.

Eliso Janashia Founder and Owner of Kid’s Planet

- Children are able to stay at the kindergarten for several weeks, if necessary. How do you manage to obtain maximum confidence among parents? - Sure, we have this service. We had similar cases. We provide full package of services for children for 24 hours. Comfortable night sleep. We attain this by creating home atmosphere for them. Parents also feel this. They are very quiet in the period when their children stay at our kindergarten for a long period. Children like our kindergarten very much, parents see and feel that their children are very comfortable here, in family environment. Therefore, we have no problems with confidence among parents. - You have said you have exclusive upbringing method; what special program and approaches do you provide for children and are they recognized on domestic or international level? - Authorship method is based on the following principles: there is a goal and program – what a child should know at the end of a certain period and there are diverse and changeable ways of attaining the objective, based on character, skills and interests of children. This signifies our learning process is based on specific situations. This method alleviates ability of picking up materials, improves information perception quality and maximally simplifies cognitive process. For example: this week our topic is My City and all disciplines circulate around this topic throughout the week. Today one child brought two toys from home and he wanted to get respective attention. And the teacher used this situation in a very creative way. The teacher used these two toys for developing the working theme and reached maximum level of transfer and perception of information in this way.



December 5, 2016 #172

December 5, 2016 #172



“ “Speculators have been building up big long dollar, short bond, and long stock positions in [a] relatively shortterm period.”

Every time we start a new project, we always ask ourselves the same question: What can we do better and different?

“Innovation is crucial to increase Europe’s competitiveness and to address global challenges such as climate change or sustainable Ricardo Guadalupe development”

BTK Railway Dollar taps fresh 13-year high after U.S. data add to to Connect Azerbaijan to rate-hike case


he dollar flirted with fresh 13year highs on Thursday, before backing down slightly, after solid U.S. economic indicators and Federal Reserve meeting minutes underpinned speculation for an interestrate rise. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.03% , which measures the buck against a basket of six currencies, last traded around 101.56 after closing at 101.68 late Tuesday in New York. The index marked fresh 13-and-half-year highs in early European trade, climbing as high as 102.05. On Wednesday, the dollar index hit 101.78, its highest since April 2003. The index got close to its March 21, 2003, high of 102.15, noted Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets. “Basically, the dollar has been consolidating for a couple of days, but the market had a new leg yesterday,” said Perry in a telephone interview. “It is odd that has been the position taken coming into Thanksgiving, because now you’re going to get illiquid markets, thin trading and spiking around.” But he said the dollar is getting more stretched on the upside, technically. “The further you get on this dollar bull run, the bigger the chances are we’ll get a retracement snap back,” he said. The WSJ Dollar Index BUXX, +0.05% , which measures the greenback against a wider basket of currencies, fell 0.4% to 91.83. Data boost: Strong U.S. durable goods orders and consumer sentiment data on Wednesday bolstered already heightened expectations the Fed will keep tightening monetary policy to prevent the economy from overheating.

Minutes from the Fed’s November meeting showed strength in key sectors of the U.S. economy, hardening the case for an increase in short-term interest rates in December. Against the yen, the dollar USDJPY, -0.17% shot as high as ¥113.16 after ¥112.53 Wednesday, trading at levels not seen since March, said Perry. It lately had moved back to around ¥113.01. The euro EURUSD, -0.1595% was clawing back some ground, trading around $1.0571 against the dollar. It tapped as low as $1.0515, which is just around its December low of $1.0538, said the analyst. He said the next big support level sits at the March 2015 low of $1.0456. The British pound GBPUSD, +0.2144% was at $1.2485, up from $1.2441. Year-end surprise? Speculation over fiscal stimulus to come from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and expectations for faster Fed rate increases also has helped trigger broad dollar buying recently. Yet, some market participants are becoming skeptical about the sustainability of the dollar’s advance in the near-term. “Speculators have been building up big long dollar, short bond, and long stock positions in [a] relatively short-term period. I don’t think those positions will be carried beyond the year-end,” said Toshihiko Sakai, senior manager of forex and financial products trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp. In the long run, though, said Sakai, the dollar’s upward trend is likely to continue, and the euro could test parity against the dollar next year.

BP to Suspend Gas Output at Shah Deniz Platform in 2017


P Azerbaijan company plans to suspend gas output at the Shah Deniz platform in 2017 due to technical-preventive, repair and adjustment work at the Sangachal terminal, Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, communications, external affairs, strategy & region vice president at BP Azerbaijan, told reporters Dec. 1. In 2017, it is planned to carry out repair and adjustment work on a section of the Sangachal terminal, which receives products from the Shah Deniz, the existing installations and connection of new installations as part of the second stage of the field’s development, said Aslanbayli. “The period of the suspension will be determined later. We try to conduct preventive measures at all our facilities once in two years,” he added. The work will affect the terminal’s part that is connected to the South Caucasus pipeline, due to which the gas export to Georgia and Turkey will be suspended,

said the vice president. He also said that it will be included in the plan of actions and budget for 2017, which is to be approved. The suspension won’t affect the annual volume of output at the Shah Deniz, noted Aslanbayli. “The tendency of output increase is being observed at the field,” he said adding that in 2016, gas output will be slightly higher than in 2015. The company believes that there definitely won’t be any decline in 2017, he noted. Aslanbayli went on to say that preventive measures haven’t been planned yet for 2017 at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. BP is the operator of development projects of the Shah Deniz and ACG. The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field was signed on June 4, 1996. The field’s reserve is estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.


Turkey expects the first branch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway to be commissioned in early 2017, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Turkey Ahmet Arslan said in an exclusive interview with Trend. He said that the second branch of the BTK railway will be commissioned during 2017. “The BTK project is on the last stage of its implementation,” the minister said. Arslan added that the BTK is a very important project for both Azerbaijan and Turkey. “The BTK will connect Azerbaijan and Turkey with a continuous railway,” he noted. “This project is also important because it will contribute to the development of the economy and trade of Azerbaijan and Turkey with the countries of the region. Cargo from Azerbaijan will be delivered via Turkey to Europe thanks to this project.” “Also, the cargo from European countries will be delivered to the countries of Central Asia and China through the Baku International Sea Trade Port, which is under construction,” the Turkish minister said. “This project will also positively affect the development of relations of our countries with other countries of the region.”

Islamic Development Bank seeks strategic stake in Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will seek a strategic stake in Turkey’s main stock exchange and collaborate on developing a gold trading platform for use by majority-Muslim countries, part of a broad agreement signed on Nov. 23. The Saudi-based IDB did not specify a size or timeframe for the acquisition of share capital in Borsa Istanbul, but said in a statement the move was part of wider efforts to develop Islamic finance in Turkey. The IDB and Borsa Istanbul would also seek to develop an integrated gold trading platform to be established within the stock exchanges forum of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation. The agreement aims to expand the use of interest-free financial products to fund large infrastructure projects, in particular through Islamic bonds, or sukuk. The IDB said it was also working alongside Turkey’s General Directorate of Foundations to establish the first sharia-compliant bank dedicated to Islamic endowments.

EU And Eastern Partnership Countries Stepping up Cooperation on Innovation with the EU4Innovation Initiative


ommissioners Johannes Hahn and Carlos Moedas and EEAS Deputy Secretary General Jean-Christophe Belliard, launch the EU4Innovation initiative in Yerevan. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service launched today the EU4Innovation initiative together with the Eastern Partnership countries, in Yerevan. The launch took place during the eighth Eastern Partnership Informal dialogue, hosted by Armenia which brought together Ministers and high level officials of the Eastern Partnership countries for a high-level exchange on future developments in the Eastern Partnership and key areas of cooperation. Commissioner Moedas commented: “Innovation is crucial to increase Europe’s competitiveness and to address global challenges such as climate change or sustainable development. Our new initiative, EU4Innovation, will boost innovation capacities of our Eastern partners. It will stimulate innovative ideas and support them on the way to market, while at the same time drawing on the existing knowledge and networks we are building in the EU.” Commissioner Hahn said: “Developing and implementing Research and Innovation policy is key for improving competitiveness, boosting economic growth and creating jobs. The EU will continue to support Eastern Partnership countries in their efforts to advance their scientific and innovation capacity, to help align and integrate joint research and innovation priorities through joint programmes

such as Horizon 2020”. The new EU initiative, EU4Innovation, will combine all EU activities that support the development of Eastern Partnership countries (EaP) innovation capacities, notably those funded under the Horizon 2020 programme and the European Neighbourhood Instrument. EU Commissioners and the respective Research and Innovation Ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries also discussed common challenges and responses to improving research and innovation cooperation. The Ministers reflected on how to integrate Eastern Partnership and EU Research and Innovation systems better and foster cooperation with and between the six Eastern Partnership countries further. This will bring new mobility opportunities for administrations, businesses, professionals, students and researchers and will foster research-industry partnerships amongst others. The Informal Eastern Partnership dialogue also gave participants an opportunity to reflect on the progress made across the key areas of cooperation agreed at the Riga Summit last year. They discussed the implementation of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy and exchanged views on ways to enhance the effectiveness of the Eastern Partnership, in light of the next Summit foreseen for November 2017 in Brussels. The Ministers also addressed current international and global security issues, in particular, issues with a impact on the region. Background: The informal Eastern Partnership dialogues are held twice a year and hosted in turn by the Eastern Partnership countries. They allow for an open, informal exchange of views between the partner countries and the EU high level representatives on foreign policy and sectorial cooperation areas.



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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


TBILISI GUIDE 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

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

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,

LIMELIGHTTRAVELINFOCENTER Address: 13 Sioni Street, 0105, Tbilisi (at the end of Shardeni Street) Phone: +995 322 999 123 E-mail: Web-page: Facebook page:

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




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