Caucasus Business Week #212

Page 1




October 16, 2017 #212

October 16, 2017, Issue 212 -

Bank Liberty Bank Becomes a Supporter of Europe House Campaign

Pg. 9

Karalashvili Wine Cellar England and China are already interested in the company wines

PR Person Tamar Diasamidze: Communication is not helpful without result

Pg. 6

Pg. 8

Tbilisi Economic Development in Figures

Tbilisi Tobacco – First Manufacturer of Apparently Unfiltered Cigarettes The obligation for the sol-called simple packing for tobacco products has been postponed for 5 years. Corresponding norms will come into force on December 31, 2022, instead of January 1, 2018. Namely, under the parliament’s decision, starting January 1, 2018, manufacturers will be obliged to attach images of smoking diseases to the simple packing and boxes of tobacco products. Moreover, under the amendments, starting May 1, 2018, smoking of tobacco products - electronic cigarettes and Chilim will be banned in all closed spaces. Under the bill, cigar smoking will be available only at cigar-bars, while special licenses will be required for opening a cigar-bar. At the same time, starting May 1, 2018, advertising of tobacco products will be also banned. The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired what outcomes the country should expect from the mentioned regulations.

Pg. 7

Higher Budget Allocations Required to Develop Electronic Governance

Pg. 4

The 2018 state budget bill calls for allocating 1.6% of financial resources for development of information technology systems, public services, informationcommunication systems, cyber security, electronic governance, innovations and technologies. It should be noted that the 2018 state budget bill allocates 2.5mln GEL for developing electronic governance, 5.08mln GEL – for development of innovations and technologies, 3.92mln GEL – development of joint state technologies, 2mln GEL – electronic trainings, 1.5mln GEL - cyber security, 61.6mln GEL – development and attainability of services of State Services Development Agency, 26.2mln GEL – provision of information-communication technologies to educational facilities and pupils/students, 8.04mln GEL – provision of communications and development of information technologies. Pg. 4


2 Government

PM: Georgia’s Real Economic Growth will Be Higher than Planned

The Prime Minister noted that Georgia’s fiscal indicators absolutely meet the determined frameworks, while real economic growth indicators have exceeded the plan.

Georgia will Receive IMF’s Second Tranche of 42.3mln USD by the End of 2017

IMF mission in Georgia has finished its two-week visit in Georgia. As a result, the Fund has positively appraised the first review of the ongoing Extended Fund Facility program.


Georgia and Great Britain Start Working on Saving Free Trade Regime

At the meeting the parties discussed the methods that ensure painless implementation of this process for both Georgia and Great Britain.

FAO: Rural Strengthening is the Basis of Economic Development

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – “State, Food and Agriculture 2017,” the village plays a decisive role in the economic growth of agricultural sectors.


Georgia’s International Reserves Exceed 3bln USD

Georgia’s currency reserves rose by 110 million USD in September, following 23 million USD contraction in August and 18 million USD reduction in July.

Banks Managed to Withdraw Problem Loans of over 8 mln

According to a new report of the NBG on macroeconomic trends, growth of GEL portfolio is 21.2% y-o-y by September. Lending pace in the foreign currency is slowed down, -1.3%. The data is negative from September, 2016.


Oil Shipments from Georgia’s Batumi Port Down by 37% this year

Shipments of crude oil and refined oil products from Batumi totalled 1.599 million tonnes in January-September, down from 2.520 million tonnes in the same period last year, the official said.

Potato Export Increased 7 Times Exceeding 35 Thousand Tons

According to the ministry, the potato exported this year exceeded 35 thousand tons, which is 7 times higher than the same period last year. The demand for high quality products is also high on the domestic market.


Fitch Assigns EPG BB; Outlook Stable EPG is one of the key operating subsidiaries within the group, which was responsible for about 40% of ENERGO-PRO’s EBITDA in 2016.

October 16, 2017 #212

Georgian-Iranian Business Forum shapes future of stronger cooperation


eorgia and Iran are carrying forward millenniaold relations by forging closer ties in various sectors including trade, economy and agriculture. An Iranian delegation comprised of the top managers of 30 Iranian companies arrived in Georgia yesterday to participate in the Georgian-Iranian Business Forum and strengthen economic relations between two countries. The Forum gave a platform to the government authorities as well as representatives of Georgian and Iranian companies to establish communication for more productive future cooperation. As Georgia’s Ministry of Economy reported, the main interest of Iranian business delegation was transport, chemical products and oil transportation, food industry, wood processing, manufacturing of electric equipment, oil and gas, financial sector.

At the Forum Georgian authorities showcased the country’s favourable business environment and urged Iranian business delegation to invest in Georgia. Georgia’s Economy Minister Giorgi Gakharia positively assessed current trade-economic relations between Georgia and Iran. We know that a very large project has been initiated, which is meant to create an oil processing enterprise… In the first eight months [of 2017] trade turnover [between Georgia and Iran] increased by 48 percent… We try to overcome all challenges in order to have more effective communication [with Iran],” said Gakharia. As for other data, the Ministry of Economy announced that the number of Iranian tourists visiting Georgia increased by 127 percent between January and September 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. Meanwhile, the number of investments from Iran has

also been increased year-on-year by 657 percent and reached $1.6 million. Meanwhile, also yesterday a sixth meeting of Georgia-Iran Economic Commission was held in Tbilisi, where the authorities talked about how to improve cooperation in the fields of transport, trade, manufacturing, agriculture, food industry and financial sector. We have agreed that it is necessary to deepen cooperation in terms of establishing joint enterprises,” said Gakharia after the meeting. Discussions about joint activities in agricultural sector continued today as well at the meeting between Georgia’s Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili and Iranian Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare Ali Rabie. As Davitashvili stated there was an opportunity to develop “various directions” based on the memorandums of understanding that are signed between Georgia and Iran.

European Parliament committee advocates trust fund for Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova


he November 2017 Eastern Partnership Summit should pave the way to set up a trust fund for Eastern partners and reward reforms by offering them customs union, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) say. Today the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament passed a resolution on recommendations for the Eastern Partnership. MEPs welcomed the significant progress made since last Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit, held in Riga in 2015 and pointed out that some Eastern partners have made major reforms and that Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova now benefit from free trade and visa-free regimes with the European Union (EU). For the next Eastern Partnership Summit, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs recommended: setting up a trust fund for Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova, which could focus on private and public investments in social and economic infrastructure, creating an “EaP+” model for associated countries that have made substantial progress on EU-related


The Editorial Board Follows Press Freedom Principles Publisher: LLC Caucasian Business Week - CBW Address: Aleksidze Street 1 Director: Levan Beglarishvili Sales: Mob: +995 558 36 61 07 WWW.CBW.GE Email:

reforms in order to offer them the possibilities of joining the customs union, energy union, digital union or even Schengen area and abolishing mobile roaming tariffs, supporting economic reforms aimed at phasing out monopolies, limiting the role of oligarchs, preventing money laundering and tax evasion, maintaining collective pressure on Russia to resolve the conflicts in Eastern Ukraine, the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Transnistria, and supporting the deployment of an armed Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) police mission in Eastern Ukraine. Parliament’s co-rapporteur Laima Andrikienė said that the upcoming EaP Summit should be relevant for all six EaP countries. “The Eastern Partnership Summit should inject new dynamism, set out a clear political vision and remain relevant for all six Eastern partners, who have differing aspirations. We propose an attractive longer-term ‘EaP+’ model for associated countries that have made substantial progress in implement-

ing reforms”, she said. Co-rapporteur Knut Fleckenstein stressed the meaning of Eastern Partnership. “The Eastern Partnership is about more than signing agreements at biannual summits. It is about supporting the EU’s Eastern European partners in implementing important reforms in the areas of democracy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms. We want to see more progress on reforms and better implementation of previously agreed initiatives”, Fleckenstein said. The resolution on recommendations for the Eastern Partnership was passed by 40 votes to 6, with 1 abstention. The full house is expected to vote on the draft text at its November session in Strasbourg. The Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 to deepen political and economic ties between the EU and the six Eastern European partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The 5th Eastern Partnership summit will take place in Brussels on 24 November 2017.

Editor: Nutsa Galumashvili. Mobile phone: 595 380382 Reporters: Nina Gomarteli; Mariam Kopaliani; Merab Janiashvili Technical Assistant: Giorgi Kheladze;


October 16, 2017 #212





Tbilisi Economic Development in Figures

Rati Abuladze Doctor of Economics


Higher Budget Allocations Required to Develop Electronic Governance


Merab Janiashvili Economic Analyst

As to Tbilisi’s economic growth, the GDP growth in the capital city exceeds 10% starting 2008. In 2013-2014 the pace declined, however, starting 2016 the pace exceeded 10% again. At this stage, Geostat, national statistics service of Georgia, has published a report on GDP distribution due to regions only up to 2015.

eorgia is getting ready for local selfgovernment elections. Like the regions of Georgia, pre-election process continues in the capital city too. Since Tbilisi occupies a leading position in the state economy, it is of crucial importance who will be elected as Tbilisi Mayor. Taking into account key problems in the capital city, we offer statistical information to our readers about economic growth, change in employment structure or other relevant issues, how the capital city was developed over the past years and which directions have recorded a success or regress. It is also interesting what funds Tbilisi City Hall has spent to resolve problems with traffic jams and low-quality road cover. General Development Layout When talking about the capital city development, first of all, we should note that there is no general layout for the capital city development. The last plan was approved in 1971 and it was covering the period until 2000. Similar document has not been developed after announcement of independence of Georgia. Certain steps were taken in this direction in 2009, when the city hall approved a general layout for the capital city development. However, in its essence, this document represents only a land ownership plan and it may be discussed only as a foundation for composing the city development general plan. At this stage, the new plan has been prepared, but its approval process has not started yet. Therefore, development process continues inconsequently, because of subjective decisions of specific officials.


The 2018 state budget bill calls for allocating 1.6% of financial resources for development of information technology systems, public services, information-communication systems, cyber security, electronic governance, innovations and technologies. It should be noted that the 2018 state budget bill allocates 2.5mln GEL for developing electronic governance, 5.08mln GEL – for development of innovations and technologies, 3.92mln GEL – development of joint state technologies, 2mln GEL – electronic trainings, 1.5mln GEL - cyber security, 61.6mln GEL – development and attainability of services of State Services Development Agency, 26.2mln GEL – provision of information-communication technologies to educational facilities and pupils/students, 8.04mln GEL – provision of communications and development of information technologies, 10mln GEL – Georgian national innovations ecosystem project (IBRD), 15.05mln GEL – electronic and analytical provision of management of finances, other direct and indirect expenditures determined by state budget for the field development. The mentioned budget bill includes such processes as: digitalization of the Ministry’s archival documents; role of digital diplomacy; growth in role of technologies in operation of state offices as part of modernization program; improvement of financial services based on modern technologies; enhancement of modern technologies in exams and academic process; enhancement of the role and importance of modern technologies in higher education process; enhancement of distant education component; support of establishment of technologies in scientific-research facilities; provision of stability, safety and of Public Financial Management (electronic) System (PFMS) and other information-communication technologies and their reliable operation; research, analysis, introduction of IT products, electronic services for the Ministry and other interested organizations; provision of safety of national archives foundation, introduction of modern technologies of services and provision of attainability of documents. The budget bill aims at promoting an introduction of modern technologies and innovations and popularizing Georgia as a technological hub for long-term economic development of the country, as part of economic development support efforts; development of information-communication infrastructure, provision of business customs and technical support; promotion of information and cyber security; development, introduction and support of websites and other information systems, shaping and development of national innovations ecosystem. It is worth noting that the project for infrastructure improvement and internetization calls for building 8000-kilometer infrastructure and connecting 800 000 persons to the Internet. However, it should be also noted that the document does not say when the internetization project will end. Social and economic benefits of the mentioned processes remain unknown, feedback of state-implemented programs is not determined, volume of growth in number of employed through development of national innovations ecosystem is not determined. Electronic commerce turnover and budget revenues are not analyzed. Regretfully, based on the state budget analysis, it may be said that the current budget allocations do not suffice for developing internet market, establishing cyber companies, developing internet products and services, upgrading the role of electronic governance, growing exports of electronic commerce, developing electronic business and enlarging internet economy. All components of financing structure make accent on education, sharing foreign experience and introduction it to Georgia, enhancement of the role and importance of technologies in the working process. At the same time, the document does not stress that modern technologies and innovations in the country may be introduced thanks to investments, policy, legal environment, strategy and state programs, governance and political environment. At the same time, it comprises no academic description of the role of technologies in economic fields. Based on analysis of programs, it should be noted that there are such «outdated» themes as «popularization, educating, informing”. These directions represent constituent parts anyway, but now the following directions should be included in the agenda: • Assessment of results of developed and implemented programs; • Efficiency of developed digital ecosystem and appraisal of scales of regional influence; • assessment of results of planned events and scales of benefits to receive; • assessment of potential of stimulated digital environment and analysis of results; • measuring the role of technologies in business and state sectors and their calculation; Thus, it is worth noting as recommendations that: • government should determine the size of direct and indirect benefits of the potential of the technological hub; • potential of introduction of modern and innovative technologies should be appraised in economic fields; • ways for employment and popularization of digital market investment potential should be determined; • When stressing the role of digital diplomacy, attention should be paid to digital economy diplomacy. Moreover, foreign policy should make focus on emphasizing the investment potential of digital market and potential of digital business environment. • Accents should be made on programs promoting new business processes, shaping business models, developing new processes; • Results received from developing and implementing digital economic policy require academic analysis, based on growing budget. • The country needs a responsible office, which will bear responsibility for results and coordinate an implementation and purposeful financing of digital environment and electronic governance development policy in Georgia; Finally, talkings about strategic developments should be reflected in financial and strategic support. Otherwise, limited financial resources, inefficient digital policy, existing programs and strategy cannot make essential influence on development of digital environment and the role of regional leadership.

October 16, 2017 #212

Economic Growth As to Tbilisi’s economic growth, the GDP growth in the capital city exceeds 10% starting 2008. In 20132014 the pace declined, however, starting 2016 the pace exceeded 10% again. At this stage, Geostat, national statistics service of Georgia, has published a report on GDP distribution due to regions only up to 2015. In 2008-2012 Tbilisi economy grew by averaged 4.6%, after post-crisis period, in 2010-2012, real averaged growth marked 8.6%. In 2013-2014 the real averaged upturn was only 2.65%, down 1.74 times as compared to the averaged indicator of the 5-year period and down 3.25 times compared to 2010-2012 averaged indicator. In 2015, despite low economic growth in the country, in Tbilisi economic upturn exceeded 10%. Employment Over the past years the unemployment level is declining, however, changes in workforce also makes influence on the mentioned indicator. For example, in 2014 the number of unemployed citizens declined by 35 100 persons, Consequently, unemployment level also decreased by 6.6%. At the same time, the number of employed citizens increased by only 9 700 persons, while the workforce shrank by 25 500. Thus, extreme contraction in unemployment level was mainly preconditioned by withdrawal of the unemployed from the workforce. Consequently, it is more expedient to use the quantity of employees to evaluate the

creation of new job places. If we compare the 2007-2016 indicators, we will see that over the past 10 years the quantity of employees in Tbilisi shrank by 3 000 persons. At the same time, in the same period unemployment level declined to 22% from 28%, because the workforce in the capital city decreased by 40 000 units. It should be also noted that Tbilisi records the highest unemployment level all over the country. Tbilisi City Hall Finances Over the past 5 years Tbilisi City Hall expenditures on salaries has almost doubled. As to expenditures on goods and services, the figure has risen by 12 million GEL. It should be also noted that a major rise was recorded in 2016, when the number of employees increased to 5 730 persons from 3 919 ones. As a result, salary fund grew to 94.8mln GEL from 42.3mln GEL. Salaries for City Hall Officials According to the 2017 municipal budget, financial allocations for Tbilisi representative and executive bodies should be 76.3mln GEL, down 8mln GEL year on year. From the allocated funds, in 2015, salaries constituted 42.3mln GEL. In 2016 allocations for the city hall and the staff of city hall subjected offices rose by 7mln GEL, while the 2017 budget law calls for 4mln GEL contraction. Over the past year, financial allocations for Tbilisi representative and executive bodies should be 237 million GEL, including salary fund should equal to 137 million GEL. In 2015-2017 the highest figure of the so-called bureaucratic costs in relaton to the municipal budget was recorded in 2016 (11.5%), while the 2015 indicator marked 9%. According to the 2017 forecasts, these costs will mark 10.6%, which is a lower figure compared to 2016 and this is a positive tendency sign. Transport Sector Development Total expenditures for development of transport sector declined in 2014, but since then the expenditures are growing year to year. We should mention the project for introduction of new buses. The project started in 2016 by signing agreement between Government of Georgia and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). As part of the project, Tbilisi Transport Company will buy 143 units of European-standard buses with natural gas engine. As a result, municipal transport fleet will be renewed/replenished by new European (Euro 6) adapted buses. It is worth noting that over the past years, despite sharpened problems with vehicle parking, the budget has allocated minimum financial resources in this segment and this direction records no growing tendency. For example, in 2013 the budget allocated 117.1mln GEL for construction and restoration of transport infrastructure, while under the 2017 budget plan, budget allocations constituted 149.6mln GEL. In 2013 road construction and restoration was financed by 38.2milion GEL, in 2017 – 44.5mln GEL. As to transport parking regulation, in 2013 the city hall allocated 2.3mln GEL, while the 2017 allocations will total 4mln GEL.

“Georgia’s economic program has started in impressive way. Reasonable policy and high economic growth of trade partners have preconditioned higherthan-expected economic growth in Georgia. We have lifted the 2017 economic growth to 4.3% from 3.5%. Economic growth is driven by exports, tourism, investments. The current account deficit will shrink to 10.4% of GDP from 12.8%. In midterm period we expect economic growth to get accelerated thanks to coming reforms for enhancement of competitive capacity of private investments, production and exports”.

Mercedes Vera Martin IMF mission head

October 16, 2017 #212





October 16, 2017 #212

Karalashvili Wine Cellar England and China are already interested in the company wines Interview with the founder of wine producer company ‘’Karalashvili Wine Cellar’’ Lasha Karalashvili. - When did you found company ‘’karalashvili Wine Cellar’’ and how many types of wine do you produce nowaydas? Company has established in 2014, we produce 5 types of wine at this stage, dry as well as semi-sweet, Saperavi, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli, Rkatsiteli and Kvevri Rkatsiteli. - Do you own vineyards or you receive it from farmers? - We own vineyards in Kvareli, Kindzmarauli zone, from where we receive grapes for Saperavi and Kindzmarauli. We also purchase it from farmers. It’s also planned to add 3 more hectares of Saperavi type grapes. - It’s the first vintage this year, when the subsidy has constrained. Did you face any problem, how different is non-subsidy vintage? -It was a problem for us, as for any wine produce, as along

suspended subsidy the price of grapes has increased relatively. - Government is willing to exit grapes subsidy. What is your opinion to this topic? Is Georgian wine sector capable to exist and develop without state support? - It’s been a while that Government discusses about canceling subsidy. Wine producers had an opportunity to get ready for this moment and keep operating normally after canceling the subsidy. - Do you realize your product on local market, or you have a list of exporting countries? - Our wine can be found in our brand stores located in Old Town Tbilisi, on 19 Vertskhlis Street, also in some various wine stores, hotels and restaurants. - Do you plan to expand export market, which direction? We want to establish ourselves on local market at this stage, although we are interested in export too. Currently, we are having discussion with England and China. - What are the future plans of the company? - We are planning to increase assortiment, particularly develop Kvevri wine production. We also consider construction Chateau style hotel where, we receive locals and tourists. - It’s being discussed continuously, that the Government must help a Georgian farmer to support wine sector development. How do you see the ways of support? - The Government is trying to help and export Georgian wine to various markets. It would be helpful more communication between local farmers and Government.


October 16, 2017 #212


Tbilisi Tobacco – First Manufacturer of Apparently Unfiltered Cigarettes The obligation for the sol-called simple packing for tobacco products has been postponed for 5 years. Corresponding norms will come into force on December 31, 2022, instead of January 1, 2018. Namely, under the parliament’s decision, starting January 1, 2018, manufacturers will be obliged to attach images of smoking diseases to the simple packing and boxes of tobacco products. Moreover, under the amendments, starting May 1, 2018, smoking of tobacco products - electronic cigarettes and Chilim will be banned in all closed spaces. Under the bill, cigar smoking will be available only at cigar-bars, while special licenses will be required for opening a cigar-bar. At the same time, starting May 1, 2018, advertising of tobacco products will be also banned. The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired what outcomes the country should expect from the mentioned regulations.


aata Bairakhtari, vice president of Association of Young Financiers and Businessmen (AYFB), says that the bill will especially hit small and medium business sectors. In general, I welcome efforts for reduction of smoking level in the country, but not at the expense of economy and business, he said. Brief overview of economic effects that the Tobacco Law may bring. «First of all, we should note that the law particularly hits small and medium business sectors. One of the regulations restricts a visibility of tobacco products. At a glance, this is an ordinary restriction, but it poses serious threat to the small stores, which make a major part of earnings thanks to Stands at trade outlets, because small stores mobilize significant finances from business companies in exchange for placement of the mentioned Stands», Bairakhtari said. Another regulation bans a sales of tobacco products from booths in front of motorway, while the ratio of tobacco products in total sales of similar booths makes up 90%. Therefore, enactment of this regulation will lead similar booths to bankruptcy. It is worth noting that besides net fiscal damage, the mentioned regulations will leave many citizens unemployed, he added. The new regulations also pose threats to Chilim bars. The number of Chilim bars considerably surpasses the quantity of cigar-bars. Therefore, legal amendments are unclear that set exceptions for cigar-bars, while Chilim bars are condemned to irreversible bankruptcy, he said. As to expected losses in tobacco industry, Bairakhtari explains that the mentioned amendments may affect sales, but in insignificant volumes. “I do not expect major companies to face serious problems”, Bairakhtari noted. The bill has not been enacted yet, but the first outlines are evident. Namely, permanently growing excise tax ratio has enlivened the Black Market of smuggled products, he said. «If we analyze the Revenue Service indicators, every week smuggled tobacco products are arrested at the border. Supposedly, besides registered facts, there should be a lot of unregistered cases too», Bairakhtari said.

Tobacco Control Alliance doubts the tobacco control amendments may be implemented in real life. There are threats that the new law on tobacco control cannot be enforced. The issue is of the 2018 budget bill discussions that took place at the parliament’s health committee on October 9.

The 4th clause of Tobacco Control Law promulgates that the Government should have tobacco control state program, but it is not reflected in the budget bill. This issue is integrated only into the heathcare state program and its financial support is unimportant, the Alliance members said. The healthcare state program, which comprises six components, also includes tobacco control communication program, but it is financed by only 300 000 GEL, of which only 180 000 GEL are allocated for information and communication program and the law enforcement monitoring. This is a very small amount and it does not enable to get prepared for valuable implementation of the law. Experts assert that at least 1mln GEL is required for valuable implementation of information-communication campaign and monitoring, Tobacco Control Alliance director Giorgi Bakhturidze said. The Alliance suggests that the tobacco control state program should exist separately under protected clauses and realistic financial resources should be allocated in the 2018 state budget for enforcement of new regulations. The budget has mobilized hundreds of millions of GEL in addition to the state budget thanks to increased excise tax on tobacco products, while nothing is spent on reduction of smoking harms. Analyst Merab Janiashvili explains that the new law has been completely ejected from the anti-smoking strategy. The mentioned strategy was developed by the country, but the Government has not followed it. Government has implemented only separate measures, such as a growth in excise tax, simple packing and so on, he said. “If we want to receive real results, everything should be coincided and imple-

mented consecutively. Only higher tariffs on tobacco products cannot essentially change the situation”, Janiashvili noted. The current concept will not work and only fiscal effect may increase, Janiashvili added. Iva Khasia, communications specialist for JTI Caucasus tobacco product importer, explains that Georgia has the highest excise tax in the region. Today we have the following situation on the tobacco products market – the market demonstrates the signs of ratio redistribution between segments and the consumer moves to comparatively cheaper products from expensive products. At the same time, illegal imports of tobacco products have increased and customs houses arrest smuggled tobacco products every week, Iva Khasia said. Moreover, the market has already recorded traces of the so-called illegal products. «We cannot compete with similar products because of price difference. We pay all taxes and these taxes are reflected in prices, unlike smuggled products», Khasia pointed out. Economist Lasha Gotsiridze, the former principal of Agrarian University, says that excessive and unreasonable regulations will damage both economy and business sector, in this case, the small business. «We know that a lot of small stores and booths trade in tobacco products and many citizens may lose job places», Gotsiridze said.

Regulations should be enacted stage by stage and we should move to this phase thoughtfully and gradually, not at once, because extreme moves may destroy economy and business, he said. Smoking restriction at public places is a quite acceptable method, but it is questionable how these regulations may be executed. For example, it is unclear how these regulations will be enforced at stadiums, districts, wedding ceremonies and so on, Gotsiridze noted. «Therefore, the worst law is that one that cannot be enforced. We should take into account the reality, whether it is possible to enforce

this or that law. I agree that smoking should be banned at cafes and restaurants, but without exaggerations. I think in this case we have excessive efforts. Useles laws should not be adopted», Gotsiridze pointed out.

One More Detail – Smoking level has decreased in Georgia. According to the report by Ministry of Finance, the reduction constituted about 25%. Importers also prove that smoking and sales volumes have dropped. At the same time, they specify that reduction was recorded after smokers moved to low-price segment from high-price segment, while importers complain about growing ratio of smuggled tobacco products. “Excise tax rates on tobacco products are growing since 2013 and the rate has increased 5 times over the past 4 years. As a result, according to official statistics, smoking volume has shrunk 25% in Georgia. We are interested in your positions whether the mentioned figure is realistic. State budget revenues from higher excise tax has risen by 150%”, Minister of Finance Dimitri Kumsishvili noted. The Minister has not specified and it is unclear for the society, which official statistics the Minister has used, because experts have been long suggesting the Government to keep an official statistics about the number of smokers, but it does not exist in the country, according to their statements. These indicators are unrealistic, Lasha Gotsiridze explains. There is no country in the world, where smoking volume would decrease so radically in 1 or 3 years, he said.

“The issue was that Government was to collect more revenues from excise tax and according to preliminary estimations, the budget will lack about 170 million GEL. To justify this gap, they launched a campaign as if smoking level has decreased and revenues plan has failed because of this factor. Revenues were to rise by 500 million GEL, but real growth constituted only 330 million GEL. This signifies Government has not received the result they wanted and the 2018 state budget comprises low excise tax effect. They want to justify this gap”, Gotsiridze said. In response to the question whether moving to cheaper tobacco products has reduced smoking volume and reduced revenues, Gotsiridze said that there are two reasons. First, tobacco products are taxed in two directions in the country. Namely, filtered cigarettes are taxed bu higher ratio, while unfiltered cigarettes are taxed by a lower ratio. “We have tendency, when unfiltered cigarettes are sold separately and filters are sold apart. The price difference is so huge that many people have moved to unfiltered cigarettes. In reality, a persona saves only 1-1.5 GEL in similar situations. Tbilisi Tobacco, the manufacturer of Pirweli cigarettes, has launched production of similar unfiltered cigarettes and then major importers also picked up this direction, including Imperial. In this situation, the company pays lower excise tax and considerable revenues were lost because of this factor. Officially, these cigarettes are considered to be unfiltered products and their tax rate is lower. We expect that Ministry of Finance will even excise tax rates between filtered and unfiltered cigarettes and eradicate this problem”, Gotsiridze said. Another reasons comes from growing smuggled products volume. Revenues have declined because of these two factors, Gotsiridze noted.

PR Person


October 16, 2017 #212

Interview with Tamar Diasamidze, Head of Human Resources Management and Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Ajara.

“I think, it is possibleto learn communication, although, when it comes to successful one, PR needs a personal character feature, who takes this form to a new level”

Communication is not Helpful Without Result Why did you decide to work in this field and what opportunities does it give you in career growth? My profession is journalism, relatively, my career occupation is connected to journalism, although I realized at some stage, that I needed a new challenge and direction. That’s how I got involved in PR field and I’m still there. I think, it’s very interesting and not too far from journalism, at the same time it’s different. As for growth in career, I think generally, any field, in which you develop yourself, go through stages, gives you some news, raises you as a professional. PR gives you possibility to gain new skills and keep up to new level of development. You need to analyze a lot of information, get acquainted with lot of fields, that’s why I stay in this field since 4 years. What is it necessary to establish successful communication with public? I think, it is possible to learn communication, although, when it comes to successful one, PR needs a personal character feature, who takes this form to a new level. First of all, successful communication should be considered a will of a person and decision to communicate, find new contacts and get the results. It’s also important focusing the result and a will. Being Sincere is noteworthy too. I think, when you’ve decided to contact with someone, it’s quite visible how sincere you are. This is the main weapon, which can get you to desired result. It’s hard to do so if you’re lacking of one of the factor in this chain. To my opinion, communication without a result is not meaningful. What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR? At first, it’s a decision to be sincere. You must believe what you tell, when you are right and

I think, it’s most important to know the principles of this profession at the beginning, then it comes general education and skills

believe in what you say, it gets easier to make someone believe in it too. Second- You must be willing to get a result, simply, be result-oriented. You should aim at changing something, change someone’s life for better, it gives you stimul when you see your result. Third- don’t be afraid of taking a risk, news, changes. Leave behind dogmatic opinions and take uncommon decisions What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR? It’s hard to emphasize something, as a lot of knowledge is required in this field. I think, it’s most important to know the principles of this profession at the beginning, then it comes general education and skills. How would you go about finding relevant contacts and sources? There are some form of contact formation. I believe that the best form is face-to-face relationship. When you have an opportunity to contact personally, this is the best form. Of course, under the current technologies, there are the same virtual social networks, but my priority is face-to-face relationship and when I have the means I always choose this form. What trait do you value the most in your coworkers? Positive, it is very important for me, may be the number one not only in business but also in general relations. I constantly try to be positive and my inner qualities help me. Therefore, it is important for me to feel the same way with other people. If we consider this feature in the context of business, we can say: I should be happy to be accountable to them. Similarly, it is essential for those people who are positive to you and smile. In the course of the activity, it is important to adequately evaluate their capabilities, understand the weak and strong sides and get out of the il-

lusion that everything you do is best. When you know this, it is automatically followed by goodwill. This is the main feature of educated people. It is unacceptable for me to have a syndrome of excellence, because it speaks more about this weakness. Of course I welcome healthy ambitions and I think it is absolutely necessary. What skills are required to be a successful PR manager? Sincere, truth, result-oriented. When the PR manager has not only the goal of having a single successful communication but also the desire to get the result. Third - literacy. What is the best PR practice technology can’t change? life. This is the best example of a lot of things. Life is very dynamic and changing. At the same time, stable. The main key is to find it correctly, analyze and use it later on. What are some of the growing trends in the public relations industry? It’s about simplicity and not lightness. Any fact, the event, the relationship is gradually exempt from unnecessary, irrational emotions. This field has become artificial for some time, heavily and dogmatically. I am glad that we are moving to other directions. How would you prioritize and start your work day? I start it with tea. Tea gives me energy and power. I can’t imagine my work day without it.Mostly, the ideas come up with it, which becomes reality then. What does your typical working week look like? Very busy and diverse. Our week starts on Friday instead of Monday, by planning next week, and we start to implement our plans on Monday. I analyze our plans during weekend. In fact, my mind always works around it.

October 16, 2017 #212

Trend Micro Incorporated hosted Information event dedicated to security trends and the problems regarding to information safety and critical infrastructure. We had an interview with German Pozankov (Regional Director Trend Micro in CIS, Georgia, Mongolia) one of the speakers of the event.


German Pozankov about Solutions to Complex and Complicated Cyber Threats What are the trendiest innovations to avoid cyber-attacks or to fight them? You know its complex question which has complex solutions, there are number of different things that people, companies or organizations have to do in order to avoid those targeted attacks. Some of this tools or techniques in using the send boxing technology are to simulate the malicious code execution in the safe environment and evaluate if it is malicious or not. This is the most modern and cutting edge technology to detect and block most complicated cyber-attacks. Can you tell us what does “trust leaders” mean, why do we need to trust them? I think its a matter of time, so that, in order to trust someone you need to evaluate this wonderful examples of number of years, to see how it performs, how it supports its clients and so on. I believe that Trend Micro is a vendor to inform partners, clients can trust. We’ve been

proving it during 20 years. How do you think hacked companies prioritize innovations over cybersecurity or not? Good question, Thank you. Number of accidents has happened especially during last several months, most traded that showed to the community, that the innovations without proper security tools or counter majors in very dangerous environment, I mean for examples several attacks to the block chains startups lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of cyber-attacks, because of lack of attention to the cyber security. So I think that innovations and cyber security should go ahead and ahead. In your own experience, which cyber security innovations are most effective? There is no single solution or technology in cyber security, there are always number of different tools, various activities, it’s a matter of aware training for cyber security awareness and so on. We have new technologies that we implement in our own products like machine learning, sending box technologies but none of this techniques can provide a hundred persons security seperately, only combination of them is capable of that. How do you see, cybercrime situation after 5-10 years after? What is your prediction? We are living in the era where we can not predict what will happen in two years, in three years, in future; we only know whatever happens we will be there providing the solutions to secure our clients from threats. We now have some ideas but we don’t know exactly what will happen. Now we see Information Technology era is rising so we are working on solutions that will secure our customers and this new world will be fulfilled by smart devices. Please, tell us the main challenges facing in the field of cyber defense in socio-political and technological spheres. We see that cyber threats penetrates to social media, social networks and it becomes complex. It’s not only the pure technical attacks, it’s kind of complex activity which involves media, social and technical spearfishing. I think that’s the main challenge for modern world, how to treat this complex and complicated cyber threats.


Liberty Bank Becomes a Supporter of Europe House Campaign ”Europe House” campaign responds the strategy of the Government of Georgia about communications and enlistment of Georgia in the EU and NATO for 20172020. In particular, one of the main messages: “The process of Georgia’s integration into the EU and NATO contributes to the creation of a safe and competitive environment for rapid development of the country”. As well as following tasks: Management of expectations for membership in the EU and NATO in society; Encourage the advantages, benefits and possibilities of Georgia’s accession to the EU and NATO by providing regular access to the country’s population through regular delivery of the objective information.This campaign is being implemented within the framework of the project “Partnership for Migrants Rights”, which was implemented by NGO “Sida” since January 2017 and its task is not only to inform the population about visa free travel, but also to protect the rights of migrants from Georgia, Support implementation and monitoring in the field of migration. Liberty Bank is represented by the largest network of services in the Georgian market and serves more than 1.5 million customers. By engaging in this campaign, the Liberty Bank, as a socially responsible financial organization that is constantly involved in its financial activities, is actively involved in the service of the most sensitive segment of the country’s population (pensioners, socially vulnerable individuals), actively participating in providing the visa-free travel information In the case of RS and the project of financial education of the country’s population from November. At the initial stage, meetings will be held with one of the towns inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Kvemo Kartli region and one of the villages of Shida Kartli region, which directly borders the occupied territories of this part of the country. At the next stage, information will be disseminated across Liberty Bank’s entire network, all over the country. Within the framework of the campaign, Liberty Bank’s trainers will hold meetings that allow citizens to watch videos about visa free travel, unauthorized migration and reintegration. Also, Liberty Bank’s service facilities will provide information brochures about the topic. “I am glad that as a Liberty Bank representative, I can get involved in the information campaign on visa free travel in EU countries. It’s hard to give more importance to this issue than it already has. I mean not only the information about visa-free travel, but also the protection of our migrants from Georgia and their rights, which is very important by the recognition of a full member of our country as a European family. Liberty Bank is the first financial organization involved in such a campaign, but hopefully it will be an example, as the striving for progress is transmitted. It is important for everyone to understand – Europe really is our home. “- Revaz Bagaturia, Head of Liberty Bank Commercial Optimization Department.


10 New Company – Insurance Group of Georgia Signs Reinsurance Agreement with Scor Having launched in July 2017, Insurance group of Georgia JSC is a new company on the Georgian insurance market. The capital is fully Georgian, whilst the management board has longtime working experience in insurance sector. In terms of health insurance, the company has already managed to win the tender announced by the Georgian Railway and will serve Georgian Railway and its subsidiary companies “GR Logistics and Terminals” , LLC “GR Property Management”; LLC “GR BorjomiBakuriani” employees and their family members. The total number of insured amounts to around 30,000 people. which comprises roughly 6-7 % of the privately insured of Georgia, the annual written premium exceeds 5 million GEL IGG has strong ambitions and plans to operate in non-life sector as well. According to the founder and General Director of the company Archil Morchiladze, the company has already signed a reinsurance agreement with a french company Scor, which ensures the stability of the non-life insurance line (property, cargo, etc.) of the Insurance Group of Georgia and will also enable the company to offer competitive proposals to the potential clients. Scor is the 4th largest re-insurer in the world according to Standard & Poor’s Holds AA- rating.

Video Platform Enters Georgia with New Advertising Opportunities IMedia Hub communications agency has obtained exclusive rights for providing internet advertisements and marketing services. Coub video service is a platform for creating 10-second cycled videos (coubs). More than 10 000 coubs are created every day on various themes, including Internet memes and reactions to the global developments and scientific events, technologies, art and design. Key characteristics of Coup is a fast dissemination and high coefficient of involvement. “Over the past years the audience of our services in Georgia has doubled”, Sasha Aleksandrova, head of Coub advertising department, noted. Therefore, we have mulled over monetization opportunities on Georgian market, even more so internet advertising rapidly grows in the region. We have much expectation for partnership with iMedia Hub”.

Second Cup Canadian Coffee Network Enters Georgian Market Second Cup, a Canadian coffee network, has entered Georgian market. The company has already opened two cafes in Tbilisi. The company representative Avto Shavishvili told Business Course that the cafe offers a wide assortment of coffee and tea to clients and this is the company’s key direction. In addition, the network offers confectioneries and sandwiches.

October 16, 2017 #212

Bermuda Bags by NOA – Georgian Brand is Sold in Europe NOA accessories is a Georgian brand, which was born in Germany. Tamar Kobakhidze created first bermuda bag for herself while she was in Berlin. After arriving in Georgia, Tamar decided to bring her ideas into reality and founded the brand. Under the trade mark NOA, bags, backpacks and belts are created with the natural leather. In the near future founder plans to produce shoes as well. “The brand is innovator not only on the Georgian, but also on the international fashion markets. Every product is unique and special. NOA has become trendy thanks to it’s Bermuda bags. Several famous fashion influencers are using our brand,” Tamar told Business course. NOA attracted local and foreign attention as soon as it appeared on the market. Production is sold in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Italy and USA.

The First Chat-bot Game, That Recognizes Georgian, Pulsar AI’s Achievements in Artificial Intelligence Pulsar AI, an exclusively active artificial intelligence company, was created a year ago and aimed at artificial intelligence to accomplish such tasks that are hard work by human resources. Pulsar AI’s scientific-technological achievements include recognizing face and objects, Georgian language voices, automating dialogues, analyzing users’ emotions, speech transcripts and other directions. In addition, the company has created the first Georgian chat game that can recognize the Georgian language. Pulsar AI talked about co-founder and director of marketing company Dachi Tchiladze and co-founder of Pulsar AI and technical director Zaal Gachechiladze on important technological projects, solutions and goals implemented by Pulsar AI. What are the important

achievements of “Pulsar”? Besides the fact that we have very important achievements, for example the identification of the face and objects, the recognition of the Georgian language, dialogues automation and other tasks, one of the main achievements should be considered Georgian language “Natural Language Processing”. This is the direction where we had to do almost everything from scratch and nowadays we have very important tools to make it recognizable. During one year of our work, we have created both projects and technologies that are used for different purposes. For example, one of the projects we are currently working on is the recommendation system, which determines its desires by considering various characteristics of the human being.

Liberty Bank Continues to Support the Rehabilitation of Children with Disability Liberty Bank Director Aleksi Khoroshvili and Director of Rehab- Children Rehabilitation David Shvelidze signed the Memorandum on Cooperation. Within the framework of the Memorandum, Liberty Bank continues to rehabilitate beneficiaries with socially vulnerable disabled status until the end of 2017, which has not yet entered the state program. The Children’s Rehabilitation Center Rehab was established in December 2016 and is involved in the rehabilitation / ablation of the child and child care program of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia from the end of the 1st quarter of 2017. The center is staffed with highly qualified staff, equipped with appropriate rehabilitation facilities and has adaptive environment for

treatment. “Even though the state is paying special attention and cares for the rehabilitation / ablation of children with disabilities, there is still a large number of beneficiaries in the conditions of budgetary financing that can not be used by this service and therefore their health conditions can not be improved. That is why we started to provide information to the organizations involved in the private sector, especially those involved in social programs, and to note that we have gained a very valuable and charitable partner as Liberty Bank. At present, they have funded 6,600 procedures of 200 beneficiaries and the bank will support their rehabilitation by the end of 2017, “said David Shvelidze, Director of Rehab, Rehabilitation Center of Children.


October 16, 2017 #212

Brand History - Luca Polare


he idea of founding company - Ice cream Georgian brand Luca Polare operates on Georgian market since 10 years and offers more than 40 varieties of ice cream to local, as well as foreigners. Luca Polare menu includes - muffins, biscuits, cakes, caramelized roasted almonds, new juices, various fruit and salads. Luca Polare was a family business at the beginning. German director Simon Gross founded company with his spouse in 2008. Business has been planned in the right direction from the very beginning, which got lucrative at the next stage. Ice cream-parlour first branch was opened on Kote Apkhazi street. Nowadays, there are 7 branches operating in Tbilisi and 1 in Batumi. ‘’We make ice cream based

on Italian recipe, using local ingredients. Besides ice cream, we serve the best coffee, which is made in Germany, in long experience enterprise and consists of 8 various types roasted seeds. We also have salads, cakes and sandwiches. Any segment is welcome to our place’’- said at company. The key to success- high quality product and friendly service which is oriented on demands of customers.They say at the company, that delighted customer is the best advertisement. The main challenge during the process of establishment- They say at company, that there are a lot of difficulties in business generally, although it’s overcoming, such as competition, GEL devaluation, etc. Also, it’s not easy to find qualified personnel. The history of name and logo-

Luca Polare is 100% Georgian company. Luca is a diminutive word for a bear in Italian. As a result, we got a name- polar bear. Logo was created based on the

Alliance Group To Introduce What Could Easily be Referred To As the “Fifth Elements” of Modern Architecture


he technological advances that have been undertaken in the world dictate new lifestyle standards. And you don’t need to watch a Luc Besson mega sci-fi blockbuster to get a taste of what these standards might look like. With three new innovative development projects in the works, Georgia’s Alliance

Group will soon introduce what could easily be referred to as the “Fifth Elements” of modern architecture. Located in three distinct parts of the country, these new projects are exclusively designed, stylish, and embody a healthy lifestyle. Alliance Group uses only high-end, ecologically safe materials in its energy-efficient

title of the company. The most delicious ice cream was made in Italy for the first time and it’s connected to our brand’s name. Why Luca Polare?- Company has

constructions. In total, $130 million will be invested in all three future-trend projects – Alliance Tbilisi, located in the heart of the capital; Alliance Palace, situated in the sunny seaside town of Batumi, and Alliance Resort, located in Goderdzi pass, in the Adjara highland region. These cutting-edge projects all have one thing in common: all of them have integrated renowned international hotel brands into their multifunctional concept. The management of Courtyard by Marriott, Wyndham Garden and Ramada Hotels, three of the most visible names in the global hospitality industry, will be operated by the Swissbased international management company Sophos Hotels S.A. Alliance Group, which was founded in 2005, has carried out more than 20 large-scale projects in Georgia. The company was the first to build a modern residential complex in the

many years experience, product is the highest quality, natural and very delicious. They say at the company, that one gets what he pays for.

Adjara region in the early 2000s, and was the pioneer of the ‘Aparthotel’ business model in Georgia, officially adopting the concept in 2008. In 2015, the developer was first to come up with the idea to build a multifunctional complex combining apartments and a hotel in partnership with the internationally-acclaimed Courtyard by Marriott at the Alliance Palace. Later, Alliance Group incorporated Ramada – another international hospitality giant –into its Alliance Resort project. In 2017, the developer took it to the next level by adding a residential aspect to the sophisticated business concept of the aparthotel and a global hotel brand at its Alliance Tbilisi project featuring Wyndham Garden. Over the past 11 years, the company has invested more than $200 million in completed projects.



October 16, 2017 #212

October 16, 2017 #212



Bitcoin surges past $5,300 ‘as bulls returned to the market with a vengeance’

Azerbaijan to purchase six more Boeing aircraft by end of 2017 Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) plans to sign a contract by the end of 2017 to buy four Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, AZAL President Jahangir Asgarov said at the 7th Caspian Air Cargo Summit in Baku on October 10. He added that two more Boeing 747-8 F aircraft will be acquired for the Silk Way Airlines company. “Preparatory work for the purchase of these aircraft is currently underway,” Asgarov said. AZAL President informed that at the moment, Azerbaijan has Boeing 747, Boeing 787, Boeing 767, Airbus 340, Airbus 320, Airbus 319 and Embraer 190 aircraft. “I also want to remind that we signed a contract for the purchase of 10 modern Boeing 737 MAX aircraft,” Asgarov said, adding that they will be put into operation in 2018. Other 10 Boeing 747 aircraft, including five Boeing 747-8 F, belong to Silk Way Airlines, he noted. AZAL President further said that today, Silk Way Airlines operates flights to 60 countries, including 37 regular routes. Over the past year, the airline opened 11 new routes which include Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, as well as Hong Kong-Singapore flights carried out over the Pacific Ocean, he noted. Asgarov also said that great success was achieved in the country in the field of civil aviation.

Bitcoin soared past $5,000 for the first time early Thursday morning and it continued to hit new heights throughout the trading day. The red-hot digital currency, which is up more than 400% this year, blew past $5,300 to $5,382 just after 12 p.m. ET. Sell-off pressure has since pushed the coin back down below $5,300. It is still up near 10% Thursday. The $5,000 mark has long been a threshold of high-anticipation in the bitcoin community. Traders got a taste of it in early September when bitcoin hit a high of $4,921, according to data from Bloomberg. Soon after that, its price declined amid news of a crackdown in China and regulatory uncertainty around initial coin offerings, a cryptocurrency-based fundraising method. After bottoming out near $2,900 per coin on September 15, it has since rallied. That has come as no surprise to folks in the bitcoin community, who say government regulations and crackdowns on the coin have

little impact on its underpinning technology or its price. “Bitcoin was designed to operate outside of the influence of governments and central banks, and is doing exactly that,” said Iqbal V. Gandham, a managing director at eToro UK. “So to us, this bounce back in price is no surprise.” Josh Olszwicz, a bitcoin trader, told Business Insider during an interview in mid-September that the markets ignored news out of China because it didn’t impact the coin’s actual blockchain technology. “If it doesn’t affect the protocol, then it’s not a real problem,” he told Business Insider.”The bitcoin cash shakeup was much more worrisome from my perspective, but even then the core bitcoin protocol remained unaffected.” Bitcoin has seen its value increase by more than $1,000 per coin in the past week alone, with a rally that coincides with renewed interest in the currency from investment banks.

European Business Investigates TransCaspian International Transport Route Potential for Use

‘Russian agents’ reportedly spent tens of thousands on Google ads during the 2016 election

Turkey bans US citizens after embassy suspends all visa service

Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars to run advertisements on Google’s various platforms intended to affect the 2016 US presidential election, according to a new report from The Washington Post. Facebook has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks after it said that Russian agents had paid for ads to spread political division in the contentious election, and Twitter has also banned more than 200 accounts linked to a Russian propaganda unit. But the new revelation illustrates that the Russian propaganda campaign may have been even wider still. According to The Post, the Google ads tried to “spread disinformation” and were a multipronged approach. They appeared on Google Search as well as on Gmail, YouTube, and DoubleClick ads. The total ad spend by “Russian agents” identified was reportedly less than $100,000, and it’s unclear whether some came from “legitimate Russian accounts.” It’s not clear how many ads there were or how many times they were clicked on. And on Sunday, The Daily Beast reported that Russia recruited YouTubers to “bash” Hillary Clinton, highlighting a pro-Donald Trump YouTube channel that it says was backed by the Russian government and was previously banned from Facebook and YouTube. Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

US citizens who don’t already possess a visa for Turkey are now banned from travelling there, after the Turkish Embassy in Washington made an announcement on its website stating that it had suspended all visa services for Americans. The message, posted on 8 October, read: “Recent events have forced the Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the U.S. to the security of the Turkish Mission facilities and personnel. In order to minimize the number of the visitors to our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the U.S. citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-Visas and border visas.” Americans need a visa to enter Turkey, so the move prevents any US citizen from visiting unless they already have one. “You can’t go to Turkey right now,” Justin Chapman, director of sales at VisaHQ, which assists travellers with procuring travel documents, told the Washington Post. “We aren’t even allowed to process them.”

American travellers who are merely catching a connecting flight in Turkey will still be allowed in, but are prohibited from leaving the airport. This effective travel ban has led Turkish Airlines, which flies direct from Baltimore/Washington International Airport to Istanbul, to evaluate its rebooking and cancellation policies. Those with US passport whose tickets were issued before 9 October who are due to fly by 31 October are permitted to change their reservation free of charge or can claim a refund for any unused plane tickets. For those catching a connecting flight to Turkey in the UK, airlines have made it clear that travellers will be denied boarding before embarking on the first leg of the journey if they don’t have the correct visa. “We don’t want them to get stuck in London and have to fly back,” said an American Airlines spokesman. Turkey’s suspension of visas is part of a bigger spat between the two countries. The decision came in response to the US’s announcement earlier in the week that it was reducing visa services at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey for security reasons, after one of its employees was detained at the Turkish consulate.

October 4-6, 2017, The Silk Road Summit was held in Constanta (Romania) organized by the port of Constanta and supported by the Ministry of Transport of Romania. The main aim of this event was to develop business relations and joint business with the countries located along the Great Silk Road. The higher management of CJSC “Baku International Sea Trade Port” – Taleh Ziyadov, General Director and Vahid Aliyev, Deputy General Director participated in the summit. Mr. Taleh Ziyadov acted as a speaker with a report: “Baku Port: restoring of the Silk Road, uniting of the continents”. The current condition and capabilities of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR or Middle Corridor) were presented by Baurzhan Kulushev, Secretary General of International Association “Trans-Caspian International Transport Route”. In the framework of the summit, a signing of memorandum of understanding took place between CJSC “Baku International Sea Trade Port” and National Company “Maritime Ports Administration” S.A. Constanta. Mr. Taleh Ziyadov and Dan Nicolae Tivilichi, General Manager of Port Constanta, signed the document during an official ceremony. Moreover, in the framework of the summit a number of business meetings and negotiations were organized with participation of representatives of Baku International Sea Trade Port and TITR Association. In particular, issues of infrastructure possibilities of the Middle Corridor and of future cooperation were discussed with Akhmet Musul, Chairman of the Turkish logistics company, Ekol logistics as well as with Laurentiu Hornet, head of Cosco Shipping Lines (Romania).


October 16, 2017 #212

From today, the residences at the King David can be purchased through 20 months length internal interest-free installment payment possibility! King David is officially accepted into exploitation and will welcome the first residents on December 1. Upon purchasing the apartments, residents can start renovation works and can move in even before full payment of the apartment. King David is a premium class multifunctional complex consisting of two towers. The higher tower, named King David Residences, is a residential space. The shorter tower, King David Business Center incorporates class-A office spaces. Over 40% of the project is made up by infrastructure. The towers are connected to each with first six floors and this is where the majority of the amenities is allocated, including 28 meters long pool, spa and fitness center, garden on an open terrace with a space for children, restaurant, cafeteria, event hall, residential lobby with a bar, business center’s lobby and parking. Five star restaurant with 360 grade panoramic view of Tbilisi is located on the 32nd floor. King David has repeatedly celebrated gaining international success and recognition in one of the most prestigious contests in real estate field - International Property Awards. King David was awarded with a highest – five star assessment and won the nomination “the best Mixed-Use Development in Georgia” in 2016 - 2017. While in 2017, the King David was named as the best High Rise Residential Development in Georgia 2017-2018. King David is a place where the time of its residents and workers is valued greatly. In this regard, the company created a project where people can get everything they need in one space - the ability to live, work, entertain themselves, and enjoy rest. *The offer will be in force till 20 November, 2017.

20 months length internal interestfree installment payment possibility at the completed complex King David* “REZID Holding GmbH” | “Rezid Tbilisi” BIC: 205290219 | 12 M.Aleksidze St., Tbilisi | +995 322 00 18 18 | | www.

October 16, 2017 #212

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 76-g Chavchavadze Ave., Tbilisi Tel: 231-11-61, 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 Kingdom of Spain Embassy Rustaveli Ave. 24, I floor, Tbilisi Tel: 230-54-64 E-mail: emb.tiflis@maec.esRomania Embassy 7 Kushitashvili St., Tbilisi Tel: 38-53-10; 25-00-98/97 E-mail: Republic of Poland Embassy

Tbilisi Guide 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: European Investment Bank Regional Representation for the South Caucasus Address: 1,G.Tabidze Street, Freedom Square Phone: +995 322 006284

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: River Side Hotel With incredible service and views Addr: Mari Brosse street turn, Old Tbilisi. Tel: +995 32 2242244; +995 32 2242288 Fax: +995 32 2 242277 Email: 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,

15 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

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

The Best Georgian Honey of chestnuts,acacia and lime flowers from the very hart of Adjara Matchakhela gorge in the network of Goodwill, Nikora and smart



October 16, 2017 #212