Caucasus Business Week #216

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November 13, 2017 #216

November 13, 2017, Issue 216 -

Real Estate Nick Cotton Ukrainian Real Estate Trends in 2017

Pg. 6

Lasha Koridze: 1.5 billion USD Investment in Petrochemical Conglomerate of Supsa Pg. 5

PR Person Tamar Nibladze: PR is to think of your customers constantly

Pg. 11

Essence of Contributory Pension Reforms Georgia to Laucnh Pension System reformation in 3Q18

Contributory Pension System will not Burden Business Sector Government of Georgia plans to launch contributory pension reforms in the second half of 2018. The scheme of the reform is as follows – all citizens will be involved in the pension scheme, who take salaries under signed labor contracts. The system comprises partly obligatory component. Citizens over 40 years old will have the option to join the system or not, while citizens under 40 years old will be obliged to make savings. The pension scheme refers to an employer, employee and the government. According to the initial bill, their co-participation portion is based on the following formula: The employee transfers 2% of the monthly salary to the Fund. The employer transfers 2% of the employee’s salary to the Fund. The Government takes 2% from the employee’s income tax and transfers this sum to the Pension Fund. According to Ministry of Economy, pension assets are invested due to internationally recognized standards. Pg. 9

Children Need Healthy Internet Environment

Pg. Pg. 44

Georgia has self-regulated Internet space, free of censorship and restrictions. The country has viable cyber security level with a high level of freedom of speech and expression, intellectual property and copyrights are protected. The Internet space policy is designed for stimulation of development and democratic initiatives. However, it should be also noted that regulation of contents with pornographic materials, abusive forms, coercion and other harmful information create one of the serious challenges in the internet space of Georgia. Since the internet space content is public and attainable everywhere, the mentioned factor creates particular problems for children. The reality shows that it is impossible to protect children from harmful content in the internet space. Naturally, the mentioned factor makes negative influence on shaping healthy society. Pg. 7


2 Government

Dimitri Kumsishvili Met with the Group of International Investors

At the meeting, representatives of international investment companies expressed interest in implementing additional investments in separate sectors of the economy of Georgia.

Free Trade Agreement between Georgia and China is Ratified

The government hopes that the agreement will help to increase trade turnover between the parties and encourage the influx of direct foreign investments in Georgia.


Products Rising in Price

According to Geostat, national statistics service of Georgia, the inflation indicator was shaped by changed prices in the following product groups: food products and soft drinks: the group prices rose by 1.6% and this change was reflected in total inflation indicator by 0.46%.

Annual Inflation Rate in Georgia Reached 6.4%

According to the statistical data, the price change in the given period was significantly affected by the change in prices for the following groups: Food and non-alcoholic beverages: Prices rose by 1.6 %, which was reflected in the index at 0.46 percentage points.


TBC Bank Capitalization Rises by 55mln GEL

Price of TBC Bank shares (TBCB LI) rose to 18.17 GBP. The last trading session was closed by 17.41 GBOP (+0.74%w.w; +3.03%m.m). Deals were made on 90 000 shares. Over the past 4 weeks, daily deals were made on 29 000 shares on average.

Bank of Georgia Capitalization Rises by 100mln GEL

Bank of Georgia shares (BGEO LN) was traded at 35.01-35.92 GBP at London Stock Exchange (LSE). The price rose by 1.47% week on week and by 10.32% month on month.


Petroleum Products Imports Increased in Georgia

According to the Union of Petroleum Exporters, the largest volume of petrol and diesel fuel imported by Georgia in the year of 2017 was 28,8 thousand tons from Romania – 29.7% of total imports.

Georgia increases wine export by 59%

Georgia has exported about 61 million bottles of wine between January-October 2017, which is 59 percent more in comparison with the same period last year, official figures read. Georgia exported 13,630,421 bottles of Georgian brandy to 22 countries.


Silk Road Group To Construct Silk Tower in Batumi

Construction of $250-million Silk tower is due to start from 2019 year. The first stage of the project includes constructing of the Silk Tower and organizing of a yacht club and adjacent infrastructure.

November 13, 2017 #216

EBRD revises upwards Georgian economy growth forecast


he European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has revised its 2017 economic growth forecast for Georgia and said that the country’s economy in 2017 as well as in 2018 will experience a faster growth than previously expected. The revised forecast from the EBRD says that Georgia’s economy will grow by 4.5 percent in both 2017 and 2018. Compared to the previous forecast released in May, this is a 0.6 percentage point improvement for 2017 and 0.3 percentage point improvement for 2018. “The economy of Georgia is accelerating on the back of strong export performance and burgeoning tourism. In the first half of 2017, GDP growth picked up to an estimated 4.5 percent year-on-year following two years

of below-3 percent growth in 2015-16”, the revised report said. It added that the Georgian lari appreciated by approximately 6.7 per cent against the US dollar until mid-October 2017, supported by foreign exchange inflows from increased exports, tourism receipts, tightening of monetary policy, and a recovery in remittances which increased by approximately 19.7 percent in the first nine months of 2017. EBRD stressed that inflation gained pace to 6.2 percent yearon-year in September 2017 from an average of 2.1 percent in 2016. It added that the fiscal deficit is planned at around 4.1 percent of GDP in 2017, reflecting relatively high infrastructure spending financed mostly by borrowing from international financial institutions on favourable terms. “A recovery in consumption, investment in infrastructure

and strong performance of the hospitality sector are expected to contribute to growth”, EBRD said. The Georgian Economy Ministry welcomed the revision of the economic growth forecast for Georgia and stressed that according to the latest estimations by many international financial institutions, Georgia will enjoy one of the fastest economic growth among the Eastern and Central European and Central Asian countries in the years to come. The ministry also said that the improvement in the forecast is linked to the recent significant increase of export and growth of tourism. It added that in the first nine months of 2017, Georgia’s economy grew by 4.7 percent. In the same period, export grew by 28.3 percent while the income received from tourism increased by 28.5 percent.

‘’Microsoft’’ Offers Companies Selfdefense Service From Cyber Threats


yberattack is included on the list of the most important risks for information systems and services, that world business has to deal with. In particular, cyber security has become as important problem as world’s nuclear weapons and the fight against terrorism. Development of technology and “cloud” systems, the emergence of new services and solutions in business management, a significant increase in information environment dynamics in which modern society, private and public sectors require special attention to provide personal data security. The nature of cyber threats constantly changes, and therefore the requirements for protection and methods are changed. ‘’Microsoft’’ offers companies self-defense service from cyber threats. Meeting was held at the National Intellectual Property Center (‘’Sakpatenti’’) to discuss intellectual property protection and cyber security issues. The meeting was attended by Director of “Microsoft” Central and Eastern European Software Asset Management and Compliance ” Laurent Signoret and Chairman of” Sakpatenti “Nikoloz Gogilidze.


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:

“The meeting was dedicated to the new initiative of Microsoft, which offers their clients protection services from cyberattacks. Specifically, to assess what kind of software they use, where they need licensing, in what part are some risks that could result in disclosure of personal information and various kinds of cyberattacks. This service will facilitate the level of awareness about the importance of licensed product in society. In addition, users will be aware of what the main advantages they will use for legal products. It will be known that you are safe from expected cyberattacks when using protected licensing products “said Nikoloz Gogilidze, chairman of Sakpatenti. At the meeting important topics were discussed, such as how much it is protected intellectual property in the world, including in countries like Georgia, what are the current ways to protect yourself, what is artificial intelligence role for cyber security in the development process, how can we respond the issues and others. “I am very happy because we have a strong partnership with private and public sector companies in the IT industry, including” Microsoft “and” Sakpatenti “. Today we discussed several issues,

one of which was about GDPA, which is the regulation of European data protection. It is mandatory for all companies, including Georgian companies, who have trade relations with the European Union and keep private data of European companies and citizens. We also talked about managing software assets that help companies improve cybercrime issues to understand the weaknesses of their infrastructure and reduce risks. Microsoft investments are very high in the field, and their purpose is to help users protect themselves from cyberattacks. There are some events, training and communications activities in the future that people and business sectors will better protect all intellectual property that destroys cybercrime” – Laurent Signoret, Director of “Central and Eastern European Software Asset Management and Compliance of Microsoft”, also considers that the protection of intellectual property is directly related to improving the country’s investment climate. At the end of the meeting, the Parties agreed on the implementation of various actions related to the protection of intellectual property and cyber security, which will enhance consumer awareness of these issues.

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


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November 13, 2017 #216

Essence of Contributory Pension Reforms Georgia to Launch Pension System reformation in 3Q18

Rati Abuladze Doctor of Economics


Children Need Healthy Internet Environment


Merab Janiashvili Economic Analyst

Our country strives for European family and Georgia aspires for upgrading democratic level. Therefore, politicians are to show more responsibility before their electors. They are to take efforts and write detailed programs what and how they plan to implement for the country development.


Georgia has self-regulated Internet space, free of censorship and restrictions. The country has viable cyber security level with a high level of freedom of speech and expression, intellectual property and copyrights are protected. The Internet space policy is designed for stimulation of development and democratic initiatives. However, it should be also noted that regulation of contents with pornographic materials, abusive forms, coercion and other harmful information create one of the serious challenges in the internet space of Georgia. Since the internet space content is public and attainable everywhere, the mentioned factor creates particular problems for children. The reality shows that it is impossible to protect children from harmful content in the internet space. Naturally, the mentioned factor makes negative influence on shaping healthy society. In general, the harmful content may be represented by websites, social networks, entertaining web pages (cartoons, games). Audiovisual content is particularly popular. The more time children spenდ on audiovisual websites with harmful content, the risks of harmful influence on children grows more. It is of crucial importance to note that even the young generation feels that the current information policy is unacceptable. Therefore, for the purpose of protection of children interests, we should carry out such prevention measures as: • Detection and filtration of pornographic materials and perceptible «logotypes”. • Based on cooperation between public schools, parents and internet providers, detection and filtration of harmful comments; • Making cyber raids for detection of harmful content and unhealthy propaganda networks; • Protection of children from harmful and aggressive content should be the responsibility of the Authorities and private organizations (internet providers); • Prevention should be carried out by technical and software measures, informative policy and system approaches. It should be stressed that amid required prevention measure, for the purpose of protection of adolescents: • Measures against harmful content must include not blocking the whole website, but removing a specific content (naturally, if the whole website does not contain harmful content); • Filtration of harmful content must be carried out under legislation; • In case of detection of harmful content in computer, notifications by citizens should be stored at databases of internet providers and law enforcement bodies; • Prevention measures should not imply Internet censorship; • Prevention measures should not be subjected to system censorship and political background; • In the new internet space, adult content should not be attainable for adolescents; It should be noted that the website blocking is an issue of disputable censorship. Therefore, we need legislative regulations and prevention measures within international cooperation format. Consequently, prevention measures will not make «influence» on the internet market development. At the same time, any filtration measure should not be «invisible» for democracy. Finally, I would like to note that Georgia requires digital reforms to attain shaping autonomous and healthy internet environment.

overnment of Georgia plans to launch contributory pension reform implementation in the third quarter of 2018. Ministry of Economy has already published the corresponding bill. If the system comes into force, the special pension fund will manage the mobilized funds, accrue interest on the mentioned money and return this sum to citizens after retirement. The reform is to shift the pension issuance burden from the state budget to citizens. The reform covers a quite long-term period (40 years and more). All citizens will be automatically involved in the pension scheme, who take salaries under the signed labor contracts. The system partly contains obligatory component. All employees will be obliged to pay due money, however, in 3 months after the system introduction, the employees over 40 years old will be able to voluntarily withdraw from the system and they will be exempted from the payment obligation. This category will have 2 months to withdraw from the system. According to the contributory pension reform, three parties are involved in the system: employees, employers and Government. According to a preliminary bill, their co-participation component is as follows: the employee pays 2% of his pretax salary. At the same time, the employer and Government are obliged to pay 2% of the employee’s pretax salary each. As to the selfemployed, they are free to join the system or not and each self-employed citizen will pay 4% of their incomes, while the government will pay 2% of their pretax incomes. As a result, we receive the following formula: 2%+2%+2%. This signifies that every month 6% of the employees’ whole salaries will be saved (not of the net salaries) and transferred to the contributory pension fund. Pension payments will be ceased if in the reporting year the employee’s salary reaches 60 000 GEL. In this case, the employee is exempted from the obligation of paying pension dues in the reporting year, like the employer and Government. Except for exclusions, pension savings may be withdrawn only in the retirement age, 65 years old for male and 60 years old for women. However, any participant is able to postpone taking pension savings depending on their needs or request a total sum of their pension savings. According to the bill, citizens will receive money after retirement jointly with base retirement benefit (current 180 GEL). The sum will not be issued jointly. The Fund will prepare a special calendar for issuing money. The saved amount will be divided on averaged supposed lifespan a pensioner. According to the 2016 indicators, average lifespan of a man is 68 years and for women – 77 years. This signifies pension savings for males will be divided on 3 years, and for women on 12 years. Since women retire earlier and their average pension years are longer compared to

males, their retirement benefits will be smaller on average, compared to males. Since the saved funds will not be transmitted to citizens at once, the Fund will continue accruing interest rate on the remaining part of the funds. According to the bill, in case of death, the saved funds will be transmitted to the heirs. Citizens will be entitled to request the saved money before retirement if they become persons with disabilities or if they leave the citizenship of Georgia, however in the last case, beneficiaries will receive only 2/3 of the saved funds. Each beneficiary will receive an individual pension account upon joining the system and will have access to the information on their own individual pension accounts in digital format. Moreover, everybody will be able to receive information on the existing condition on their own individual pension accounts at any desirable time, based on application to the Pension Agency. Implementation and administration of the pension scheme will be the responsibility of independent LEPL – Pension Agency. Investment policy will be separated from administrative issues such as payments, issuance of funds and so on. The agency will comprise a supervisory board, which will ensure to maximally protect participants’ interests, however, the supervisory board is not to shape and implement investment policy. The investment policy will be determined and implemented by the independent investment board, based on decision on profile of riskiness fixed by participants. The role of the supervisory board will only determine the whole pension system development vision and administrative issues that in compliance with international practice. The supervisory board is absolutely separated from decisions related to investing pension assets and this is an advantage of this organizational structure as compared to the practice of other countries and this factor guarantees that the investment process will be carried out on behalf of beneficiaries. As to investing the mobilized funds, pension assets may be invested only under legislative norms for maximizing positive proceeds in the investment period on behalf of the beneficiaries, in compliance with the principle of reliable investments. Pension assets are invested and related issues are supervised by National Bank of Georgia (NBG). Protection of the process of investing pension assets is guaranteed by the law. The law sets a general framework in which assets may be invested and determines the type of assets that should not be invested in. The law also determines minimal requirements for investment policy documents. Consequently, risks of dishonest investing of assets will be identified and minimized by the legislation and regulator. Finally, the contributory pension system bill is being still specified and several details will be revised.

“Pension capital is one of the key sources for the securities market development. Pensions system reformation will stimulate the capital market development in the country, however, pension funds should be diversified to ensure protection of private savings. For the purpose of securities market development, several components are required: securities should be directed to the stock exchange. Issuing bodies and capital resources should exist in the country and these resources should be reflected into securities. Experience of a major part of countries proves that pension capital is one of the key sources for the securities market development. Naturally, there are many other components, but in Georgia this will be one of the stimulus that will drive the capital market development”.

Giorgi Bachiashvili

Head of Co-investment Fund and Member of Stock Exchange Supervisory Board

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1.5 billion USD Investment in Petrochemical Conglomerate of Supsa New Energy Hub Attracting Global Investors

Construction of an oil-petrochemical complex worth 1.5 billion USD will begin in Supsa, Georgia, in 2018. This global project will be undertaken by the GEOPARS Company. The Government of Georgia has already allocated 200 hectares of the land to the company under the 1,5 billion investment obligation. The new complex will process 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, that is, 5mln tones per year. The investors believe, that in the near future Georgia may become an exporter of oil and petrochemical products. It is planned to involve several major investment companies the project. CEO of the GEOPARS LLC Mr. Lasha Koridze talks about the company’s plans and the expected economic benefits of the oil-petrochemical complex.

- Why this project, and why now? We had an oil refinery in Georgia during Soviet times, but we have never had a petrochemical production facility. The project will have positive effect on the country and that is why the Government of Georgia announced its full support to our project in 2016. Success of the project derive from Several factors, and these include geographical location of the country and attractiveness of the Silk Road project, which will offer the shortest Eurasian energy supply route. Currently Georgia underutilizes these opportunities, And We hope to have our contribution in maximizing benefits for the country. - What will be the complex’s production capacity, will it be able to mobilize enough resources and will it have a diverse supply? The annual production capacity of the complex will be 5mln tones of oil products, that is 100,000 barrels a day processing capacity. Georgia consumes 1.2mln tones of oil

products, so the complex will cover 100% of Georgia’s consumption, leaving the rest to be exported. For this reason we remain open to new investment offers from other countries, and are conducting negotiations with several international funds that have shown an interest in this opportunity. Naturally we are working on building a diverse supplier list. To this end we are working with the ARGUS Company, which will explore all available sources of raw materials, make corresponding economic calculations and offer substantiated proposals. We are negotiating with Turkmenistan, which is one of the major oil extraction countries and has 4mln tonnes of free reserves, and a major oil field is due to open in Kazakhstan, from where additional resources can be obtained. This project should be attractive for Azerbaijan as well. We are creating an energy hub of regional importance. - What economic benefits will Georgia gain from this project? Such projects bring financial stability and safety guaran-

tees. We plan to involve major international companies such as Trafigura, PetroChina, Turkmen Petroleum, ENOC, Exxon Mobile, Gunvor and others at various phases, and this will send a message to investors about the attractiveness of Georgia’s investment environment. These companies shape the global oil market, and twenty years ago they would not have contemplated investing in Georgia’s oil sector. According to our estimates, Georgia spends nearly 500600 mln USD annually on importing oil products, and partly replacing these imports is important because it will mean that comparatively cheaper products are supplied to the population. Transportation raises price at least by 10%. Initially the complex will employ 800 persons, but after it is fully constructed the figure may increase. - You have mentioned cheaper products. Will the company produce top quality oil products, and if so, which? The complex will manufacture EURO 5 and higher standard fuels. We have examined the market, and due to the growing demand for petrochemicals we will be concentrating on this area. However, we will be able to produce all types of oil product, as this will be an oil-processing complex. - When will the construction work begin, and what stage is it currently at? We plan to begin land preparation works by the end of summer 2018. We will have finished the first phase by 2021, and the whole project by the middle of 2022. At present we have finished the geological, topographical and archaeological analysis of the territory and have prepared the appropriate reports. The WorleyParsons Group –

Advisian, won our tender to prepare a comprehensive feasibility study. Argus will conduct market research, and then an environmental impact report and a detailed project analysis will be prepared. Due to the scale and importance of this project we will remain open throughout for all investors and interested parties. Part of the highway runs through the construction site, and the Ministry for Regional Development has provided all the necessary communications. We have had meetings with Georgian Railway and agreed to lay 5.5km of railroad from Supsa Station to the complex, which will be able to carry 5 mln tonnes of raw materials. - Will you meet ecological standards, which is a key challenge of most projects? The complex will be equipped with EU-standard equipment and filters. As the complex will produce EURO 5 standard products and above, ecological protection is a priority area. There are a number of examples from other countries, such as Switzerland, Italy and Austria, of similar complexes being built within cities, and we will follow these international standards. - Where do you plan to attract qualified staff from? Do you plan to offer a training platform? Under agreement with the Government of Georgia, 70% of our employees will be local residents. We do not have an educational tradition in this field locally, but we will be bringing in field specialists from abroad to train the Georgian staff. - Is there any threat which could hinder or prevent project implementation? I do not think so. The Government of Georgia is backing the project. In regional terms this complex is economically profitable and necessary. Georgia has become an interesting country for making investments in, despite the geopolitical realities surrounding it. It is the safest country in the region, with liberal legislation and free of corruption, and the attractiveness of its investment climate has been proven by recent Ease of Doing Business indicators.

EEA Real Estate Forum


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Ukrainian Real Estate Trends in 2017 nutsa galumashvili

Nick Cotton Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield in Ukraine (formerly operating as DTZ) - What are the main Ukrainian real estate market trends? Cushman & Wakefield are witnessing strengthening occupational activity in all sectors (office, retail and logistics) in the Kyiv region and, in both offices and retail in the major regional cities. This has led to a sharp reduction in office vacancy in central Kyiv which, is now manifesting itself in some upward pressure on rents and, reduction of landlord concessions (i.e. rent free periods, fit out contributions) for those buildings with low levels of vacancy. The retail market has stabilized and whilst vacancy has always been managed at low levels by effective mall management and tenant retention initiatives, as the market now improves there has been an upward movement in base rents and a reduction in landlord concessions. The logistics sector was arguably hit hardest by the economic downturn between 2014-2016 and, whilst rents remain at historically low levels, vacancy is now down to around 5% with a shortage of space particularly for occupiers seeking large areas in excess of 10,000 sq. m. Capital market transactions have shown a marked increase in activity during 2017 with a number of properties acquired typically from the portfolios of banks including Renaissance BC, Prime BC and, Eurasia BC. Cushman & Wakefield also closed the acquisition of an office property by a foreign mission which for the time being remains confidential. During the year Cushman && Wakefield also sold the 31,000 sq. m Kopylov Logistics complex on behalf of Polish/Belgium developer Ghelamco to ATB supermarkets. The capital transaction market can be characterized by typically domestic investors seeking to deploy excess liquidity either into income producing investments or properties for owner occupation. Bank debt remains largely absent from capital transactions and, due to the rationale of typically local companies seeking to deploy domestically accrued liquidity, transactions are now tending to be asset based rather than through the transfer of corporate vehicles which was formerly the more common practice in Ukraine. Cushman & Wakefield project that office rents will see upward movement in 2017 as vacancy is further squeezed however, pipeline delivery with the exception of Astarta BC and UNIT city will remain very low. Accordingly, we anticipate that developers will begin to formulate plans for further office development in response to im-

proving market conditions. Retail activity is also set to increase however, with the ongoing pipeline delivery in Kyiv of a number of large scale projects including Retroville, Rivermall, Blockbuster, Rive Gauche, Ocean Mall and possibly the recommencement in due course of Respublika additional pipeline in Kyiv will need to be carefully planned and positioned with only the best strategic sites offering viable development opportunity. Cushman & Wakefield are witnessing increased development interest however in the larger regional cities where often the markets remain structurally under supplied. Pipeline logistics development remains elusive at present however there are signs that some bespoke turnkey development may commence in 2018. A major consideration in relation to both the development and investment market in future years will be the availability of affordable long-term debt finance which remains presently in very low supply. If and when such debt becomes available then this will have material positive impact on overall activity in the sector. - How Ukrainian companies follow new trends of real estate market and how they respond to new challenges? Ongoing office developments such as UNIT city and Astarta are leveraging the growth in the IT industry by offering premises very much meeting the needs of this burgeoning industry sector. Similarly, in the regions office developments in cities such as Lviv have seen the delivery of some

extremely well designed and well positioned properties one example being Optima Plaza in Lviv which, was the first BREAM certificated office building delivered in the country. Cushman & Wakefield project that as developers begin to plan further office development, a similar focus will be followed towards efficient offices offering added on-site amenities so as to ensure attractiveness to the increasing demands of occupiers. Retail properties similarly are increasingly positioning themselves as social destinations / centres of community life with increased leisure and social amenities key to ensuring continued footfall and trade activity particularly in light of increasing competition and the effects of e-commerce and m-commerce. - What are your expectations of participation in the EE Awards 2017? How do you assess the role of such an event in the development of real estate market within the region? The EE Awards is an important platform for developers and consultants alike to demonstrate to the market the increasing importance of the provision of high quality properties and levels of service. No longer can it be the accepted approach to meet the best levels of competition in the market but, to now seek to exceed the best in class, continually raising the bar. Cushman & Wakefield believe that the quality of projects and, levels of professional service in the market quite simply demonstrate the maturing of the market.

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8 Terabank Announces the Best Loan Terms

Take Care of the Future – Natakhtari Fund Launches the Sixth Wave of Fundraising

As it’s the best time to buy an appartment, villa, arrange or renovate house with new furniture, Terabank announces the best loan terms. The best way to get money is low-interest rate from 6.5% (effective 6.8%). If you are already using another bank loan, you can review your schedule, combine loans with the best condition and switch it to Terabank. In the frames of the campaign, in case of switching, commissioning fee will amount 0%. The action has just started. For further information visit the link: Terabank

First Georgian Restaurant Supra in Washington DC The first Georgian restaurant will be opened in Washington DC On November 7. Easter Washington DC and Ambassador of Georgia spread the news. According to them, the founders of the restaurant are local citizens – Jonathan Nelms and Laura Dunleavy Nelms. The chief driving force of the restaurant will be Malkhaz Maisashvili, former chef of the Embassy of Georgia. American customers will be able to taste such dishes as: khachapuri, khinkali, Satsivi, spinach with walnuts, green beans and others. The restaurant will introduce Georgian wine to guests. In addition, Georgian spices will be used during preparation. The restaurant will be designed for 136 guests and the interior will be filled with Georgian traditional elements.

Georgia was Granted with Status of First Fab-Country In the 11th Fab Conference, Georgia was mentioned as a Fab Country and there are now 22 Fab Labs throughout the country. Modern and developed world is facing many challenges: environmental pollution, crowded cities, consumption of natural resources, etc. Fab City is a global initiative to solve the problems which were mentioned above. It is a new urban model for locally productive and globally connected self-sufficient cities. In a Fab City, citizens are empowered to be the masters of their own destiny, their own fate, their resilience is increased and a more ecofriendly system is supported through active recycling and energy saving practices.

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Nataktari Fund has presented results of six years of activity and has set up campaign plans for youth supporting advocacy. A press conference was held on the initiative of the sixth wave of fund “Natakhtari Foundation”, which was attended by NGOs involved in the foundation activities together with company management and journalists. Head of the Natakhtari Company Cuneyt Arat, Director of Corporate Affairs of the Company Nikoloz Khundzakishvili, Head of Psychological Service of the Association “Our House – Georgia” Manana Omarashvili discussed the future plans. The attendees were introduced the results of the activities of the Foundation Natakhtari and future plans of the campaign. “The foundation Natakhtari started functioning six years ago. During this time we collected about 756 thousand GEL and we provided more than 300 beneficiaries. The company “Natakhtari” will continue financing the project until there will be need for this type of assistance in society, “said Nikoloz Khundzakishvili. “Taking into consideration the needs, we help adolescents and young people,to provide them with shelter, education or courses financing, transportation expenses, etc. The uniqueness and advantage of the foundation is that each teenager is a separate “case” and the approach is individual. In our reality it is the only project that does not quir service when adolescents are 18 years old. The project is in force until they are ready for an independent life, “said Manana Omarashvili.

Georgian Startupers Launched IT Company in Ukraine Georgian startupers opened an IT company in Ukraine, mainly working in direction of Fintech, which provides financial services technologically. Fintech is a big market that develops rapidly. The company aims to become a good intermediary between consumers and brands and assist traditional financial institutions in the development and use of new technologies. Marketer had an interview with one of the founder Shalva Bukia: What is your personal experience in IT field? I am a product designer with 12 years of experience, working with leading companies in the Georgian market, mainly with banks. For the past 3 years, I switched to startup field: the first project was in2circle – the social network for the global market, the next it comes Why did you decide to establish an IT company in Kiev? What was the need for this on market? Nowadays, the main problem of IT sphere is to find qualified workers. The market is rapidly

developing and the demand for professionals is larger than the supply. Ukraine, at this stage, is the most interesting, because the technological market is developed and there are qualified staff. Basically, we will work in Fintech. As blockchain technology launched, which makes it possible to make transactions without intermediaries, has changed everything. It is supposed that by 2027, all companies will use the blockchain technology. This is especially important for financial institutions and everyone tries to capture and not let go of these innovations, so that we will help them. At this stage we have a large client, an American NY based financial company, whose name is confidential by far. We partner with him and assist in the development of internal infrastructure, and in the future we plan to introduce new products and get the research & development direction. The second direction is Gambling Software Development, we have experience in this field.

Canadian Winemaker Uses Metallic Qvevri To Produce Wine Winemaker Gavin Robertson at Niagara College Teaching Winery in USA is using wine technology resembling that of Georgian qvevri to produce “Orange wine” of Sauvignon Blanc. The difference is that instead of millenia-old traditional use of clay, the modern vessels are made of steel, Hvino reports. Gavin Robertson says: “At NC Teaching Winery, we produce the majority of our wines using conventional, modern technology and scientific principles… Our buried “orange wine” project will compare the relative simplicity of grapes interacting with microbiology at an appropriate temperature to all of the high tech, sophisticated ways that we achieve consistent, quality products in the modern industry. The purpose of the project is to explore the idea, with our students and visitors, of low intervention or “natural” wine-

making in a way that hearkens back to ancient winemaking techniques. These techniques were prevalent in Neolithic times in the geographic origins of the wine grape, in the Transcaucasian area between the Black and Caspian seas, in what is now Georgia and Armenia. Chateau Niagara is using the Sauvignon Blanc grape “because of the high levels of aromatic compounds contained in the skins, which will be liberated during the skin fermentation process. We destemmed the fruit, filled tanks that were buried underground to a depth of 6ft, and let ambient yeast present on the fruit initiate fermentation spontaneously. The fruit has just started dropping sugar and I expect a long, slow alcoholic fermentation to occur over the course of winter, followed by malolactic fermentation”.

November 13, 2017 #216



Contributory Pension System will not Burden Business Sector Government of Georgia plans to launch contributory pension reforms in the second half of 2018. The scheme of the reform is as follows – all citizens will be involved in the pension scheme, who take salaries under signed labor contracts. The system comprises partly obligatory component. Citizens over 40 years old will have the option to join the system or not, while citizens under 40 years old will be obliged to make savings.


he pension scheme refers to an employer, employee and the government. According to the initial bill, their co-participation portion is based on the following formula: The employee transfers 2% of the monthly salary to the Fund. The employer transfers 2% of the employee’s salary to the Fund. The Government takes 2% from the employee’s income tax and transfers this sum to the Pension Fund. According to Ministry of Economy, pension assets are invested due to internationally recognized standards. The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired how business sector appraises the mentioned pension scheme and whether this system will set a financial burden on business sector and whether the pension fund management will require excessive administrative expenditures. The contributory pension system will fuel economy, the business sector representatives noted. Businessman Temur Chkonia said that the Government-proposed pension system is an internationally practiced experience and this model will justify definitely. There is nothing unacceptable that Government will use and invest this money, Chkonia said. «The main thing is that when a person retires, the Authorities will be able to give this money to its citizens. Before the money should be invested in the economy», Chkonia noted. Irakli Iashvili, head of supervisory board of East Gate Group, says that contributory pensions system will not set burden on business sector, because the country will create investment reserves in this way, he noted. Georgia lacks for internal investment reserves, Iashvili said. «This is a Latin-American model. Chile was developed thanks to these pension funds. The main thing is that the process be planned valuably. The Government should choose a right model adapted to our country. The idea of creating a pension fund that will accumulate investment reserves is a right decision. This mass of money should be invested somewhere. This 2% is an insignificant sum compared to the benefits that the state economy will receive from the pension fund’s accumulated resources”, Iashvili said. «Every citizen retires after a certain period and we want to have certain specific revenues, when we reach this age», Soso Pkhakadze, vice president of Business Association of Georgia noted when answering questions about contributory pension reforms. «This is the third attempt to implement the pen-

sion system reform in this country. The first one took place in 1990s, the second one — in 2011 and the third one — now. I believe this reform will bring benefits to the involved parties», Pkhakadze said. Representatives of Georgian Business Association proposed 7 remarks and government officials expressed readiness to take them into account, he said. «The discussion process is transparent and this is very important», Pkhakadze said. The remarks refer to such issues as appointment of investment board members, distribution of funds and so on, Soso Pkhakadze said. «I urge all citizens to participate in this reform, both businessmen and non-businessmen», Pkhakadze said and added that the reform should be implemented definitely. «Major part of these funds will be invested within the country, but investment policy will be determined by the investment board and if the country lacks for assets for making investments in, a part of these funds may be placed at various funds and shares abroad», Pkhakadze noted when answering the question on where the mobilized funds would be invested. In response to the question whether the 2% transfer may affect the employee’s salaries, Pkhakadze said that this money is not taxed and real expenditures make up 1.6%. Iva Chkonia, president of Business Association of Distributors of Georgia, noted that the scheme introduction is timely, however, it would be better to enact it after closer communication with the busi-

ness sector. As part of this scheme, business sector will have to pay 4% instead of 2%, he added. «It is very difficult to persuade employees that they must pay 2% from salaries. In reality, this amount is to be paid by the employer. This is my vision. When a person is employed, they are interested only in the amount of net salary», Iva Chkonia said. This is one of the negative aspects. This 4% will not be a small amount and it is interesting how solvent and efficient the pension fund accumulated financial resources will be in several years, Chkonia said. In response to the question whether this system will raise unofficial employment risks, Chkonia said that the 4% transfer cannot raise risks of unofficial employment. Sandro Buadze, head of KAMPA company noted that the employer’s contribution to the pension fund will not be a considerable amount that the business sector cannot pay. «If we consider this issue only in the light of business, maybe, someone will not want to pay this sum. However, pension reform is important for the country and it should be implemented», Sandro Buadze said. The pensions reform will improve the living condition of citizens in long-term perspective. They will acquire the feeling of stability, when making savings, Buadze said. We remind you that Parliament of Georgia will discuss Georgian law on Contributory Pensions by the end of 2017.


November 13, 2017 #216

Brand History - Lushnu


vanetian Salt, which has recently been granted a status of a cultural heritage, has become a business idea for father-son. Their enterprise is located in Mestia. In the near future, the sale of Svaneti salt will begin in both Georgian and foreign markets. It is planned to add other spices. The idea of establishment - Svanetian Salt “Lushnu” appeared in the retailing network in 2016. Before that, the company had been conducting experiments, and the company had invested 50,000 GEL. It is also important that there were no such products on the market. Key to success- We produce salt with an ancient tradition and prescription, which gives it a great deal of attractiveness and taste. Most importantly, the quality is first of all.

“I think that our product does not have a competitor on the market today. We produce the best quality salt. We buy ingredients in Mestia from the locals and we make Svanetian salt considering all traditions. The enterprise has the opportunity to produce 30 thousand pounds of salt per day and there is a potential to expand, “said Sandro Gotshaliani, the founder of the company. According to him, negotiations are underway simultaneously to launch export. All required documentation is sent to several countries in Europe and Asia and are waiting for answers. The main difficulty in the process of business development - the greatest difficulty is gaining awareness. The name and logo history - Lushnu means “Svanuri” in Svanetian language. The logo was chosen based on Svanetian mountains.

PR Person

November 13, 2017 #216

11 Interview with Tamar Nibladze, PR Manager of sweets producer company ‘’Barambo’’

“In the working environment I appreciate one being a team player, loyalty, sense of responsibility, motivation, correctness, attitude towards colleagues”

PR is to think of your customers constantly - Why did you decide to enter this field, and what kind of opportunities does this profession give you? I used to be an active person since childhood, I used to enjoy communicating with people, I often had a desire to organize a variety of events and I was involved in various scale projects as a student. I studied at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, specializing in International Relations. I started working when I was on the first course, the PR Manager was very rare in the Georgian companies back then, the PR was on its way of development as a specialty that we have today. In fact, I belong to those PR managers who started to practice, learned from their experiences, and after some time added the theory. I also developed by working on myself, with tireless labor, thinking about what innovation should be given to the Georgian public in the constant search of communication tools and taking theory into practice. In terms of career growth, it is very good, since you are constantly gaining new contacts, improving the organization and learning many nuances in practice.PR This is a constant thought of your customer to hold positive communication between a brand and them(in terms of image, In terms of increasing awareness). The main purpose of my business is to make people loyal to the brand I work for. - What is it necessary to hold a successful communication with public? First of all, it is necessary to define the audience/segment, for whom I’m planning a communication, therefore you need to match their interests with your campaign. For instance, if a segment is teenager, you need to think of what they like to make them involved; If you’re aiming at children, you need to use instruments they’d like, as well as their parents, as parents are decision makers,etc. It is important to select the segment in terms of revenue as well - you should properly plan the campaign, with whom you want to communicate, do they have medium or high income..When it comes to the premium product campaign - this factor has a great importance. In order to hold successful communication, it is important to use all PR tools, such as marketing direction, whether it is originally planned, action in social media, or direct communication with the customer. You should be polite when you are PR, great value you have is a frankness, personal character, performance, courtesy - that’s what you create - associated with your brand - you are the company of which you are

When you’re PR, it is important to have a contact base, you need to know people ,have good relations with media, press/ radio, marketing/ PR of various companies, because it simplifies your work process

the face and the communicate with the public in the name of the brand. - Three tips you would give to whom wants to work in this field. - I have been in this field for 13 years, so I have done many successful projects, of course, nobody is faultless,but the main thing is to be determined at the plan, make plan, for which implementation you’ll do everything in all directions, never to get tired, even when you think you’re overwhelmed, you’ll need to restart - it can be updated contacts, new training, new experience, challenges- whether it’s trying new direction, or learning something. Every morning should start by thinking to be active, think about what kind of communication you need for your brand, maintaining goodwill of public and to share your role as an internal corporation. Loyalty begins with your staff’s team spirit, motivation and to make them feel positive about the company in which you are all involved. - What would you wish to know before you started your career in PR? - Before starting your career, when you’re inexperienced, you’re worrying of every step, in a critical situation, but when time passes, you realize that you’re doing everything right, just sometimes you have to manage the situation, whether it’s a stressful environment or a black PR attack of competition brands. There is always a way out of the crisis situation, the main thing is not to get confused - to correctly fix this and reverse it by using the PR methods. That’s exactly what I remember at the beginning of my career, I was so overwhelmed and worried - being nervous will give you nothing. - Describe a typical work week. - None of the work week is similar to one another, that’s what I like in this company, which team member I am since 5 years. You develop there constantly, plan new campaigns. I do planning daily, review proposals, respond every single email or phone calls, plan actionswhether it’s themed action on various locations, or markets networks, communicating with partner companies and mass-media representative, being active on social media- define how to communicate with our facebook users; We also take social responsibility to help homeless people and people with disabilities and on holidays. - What is the best way of finding relevant contacts and sources? When you’re PR, it is important to have a contact base, you need to know people ,have good relations with me-

dia, press/radio, marketing/PR of various companies, because it simplifies your work process. Sources for that comes as it follows- introductory meeting, a press conference to communicate with journalists, visiting different companies to meet their team members, being actively involved in presentations, events, some groups. It takes years, to gain all that naturally. - How do you prioritize to start your work day? My work day begins with Barambo chocolate, then I think of what kind of activities I should play for today, camping - define communication tools, segment and actively connect with the customer after selecting the target audience. Daily correspondence - Incoming letters in the company, discuss proposals, social media activity, communication with press, preparation of imagery, etc. - What are the skills Public Relations Specialist need? Successful PR Manager should be motivated, love his own business, be social, active, have leadership skills, love meeting the audience, be polite, orator, presentable and should have a lot of contacts, as well as creative and skill to correctly define the target audience. Diligence and responsibility are necessary skills. - What qualities do you value in human at work? In the working environment I appreciate one being a team player, loyalty, sense of responsibility, motivation, correctness, attitude towards colleagues. - What is the best PR practice, which is irreplaceable by technology? Practice is the most important thing to look at the specificity of your work, because some technology may work communicating with other brand customers, but your company may get aggressive attitude from public. You should take care of your brand as it’s your child, what will be better for it, what will increase, what will bring a recognition. If something does not work, try another direction and never give up. You will get great experience in practice. - What trends and innovations are in public relations field? There are many innovations and trends. Today, one of the world’s major role has social networks, namely, Facebook somehow replaced role of world media, print media - the involvement of the customer is huge and you can get direct communication with your them. Various trends are periodically popping up - constantly changing algorithms, one time giffs boom, then videos, now stories are viral on facebook, challenges are trendy, thematic frames on profile and so on.



November 13, 2017 #216


November 13, 2017 #216

Paint The World The only girl from Georgia in CXC Summit Philippines

Mess Ceramics – Innovative Aesthetics for the Interior

The ChangeMaker summit took place in the Phillipines in the beginning of Fall. 20 participants from all over Asia were invited to present their youth ventures. The only European participant was Lika, who was also the only Georgian that has ever participated in the summit! Lika presented a social venture which she established at the age of 14- an NGO called Paint the World. “Paint the World” is a youth organisation and a movement “for colours”, originally established in Tbilisi, Georgia. Its all about finding fun and innovative ways of fighting poverty and sadness around the world, and inspiring young people do be more active in charitable activities. The movement soon spread to the entire country, and after the projects was taken over by UWC Atlantic College students in Wales, the NGO became international. At the moment we had projects in Georgia, Malaysia, Swaziland, Oman. I hope that one day each country will have their own “Paint the World” ambassadors. Now when I am 20, I try to think of was of how Paint the World can become a world wide known and recognised brand, the main target of which will be bringing happiness and smiles, and uniting young like minded students from different countries.” “I am always honoured to represent Georgia wherever I go, as our country is tiny and most people mistakenly

work, enhance their own initiatives in a dialog with other participants and start joint projects. The program is open to social innovators between 18 and 30 years of age from Africa, Asia and Europe. Since 2012, 350 young socially engaged people from 70 countries came together. So far it has supported 60 international collaboration projects, which had more than 1,00,000 direct beneficiaries. By including eight more summits in 2017, the Changemaker network and its impact continues to grow. The ChangemakerXchange platform is co-created by Ashoka and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Ashoka (branded Ashoka: Innovators of the Public) is an international organization that promotes social entrepreneurship by affiliating individual social entrepreneurs into the Ashoka organization. Their stated mission is “to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world’s citizens to think and act as changemakers”. Bill Drayton founded Ashoka in 1980. Today, Ashoka operates in 93 countries on every continent, having elected more than 3,000 Ashoka Fellows worldwide. Ashoka’s Youth Venture is an international community of young changemakers, with over 6,000 Venture Teams in 23 countries across the globe. The aim of the program is to help create an “Everyone A Changemaker World”. Youth Venture was developed from understanding a key insight of Ashoka fellows in the field of youth development: one of the most effective ways to engage youth in the process of changemaking is to help them realize and understand their own ability to make positive social change. Speaking about her experience at the summit, Lika said: I met very inspirational young people. I have been to Asia only once, while working on paint the world project on Borneo. However, now I made connections with the most active young people from The Phillipines, Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, India… and I am so inspired to collaborate with them and create more interesting projects to change the world for better!” I also met a very special very special new friend from Indonesia, Dissa Ahdanisa.

think its a state in the USA. I am proud to be Georgian, and I try to emphasise that I am a Georgian wherever I am in the world. The summit was dedicated to presenting your social ventures or companies to each other, and all the participants were in their twenties ( I was the youngest one ! ). I presented Paint the World and told the story of its creation in Tbilisi. I also heard stories or my fellow change makers, who do amazing work in their home countries and beyond. After 5 days or trainings, games, conversations and inspiration, I felt that there is much more out the re in the world to focus on, and many more interesting projects and collaborations are yet to come ChangemakerXchange stands for an exchange of ideas between young people who are working on innovative solutions to social, environmental, or societal problems in their immediate surroundings. At five-day exchange meetings, they deepen their knowledge and further develop their initiatives and business models. They net-

Dissa presented her project called “Fingertalk”. Its an organisation dedicated to giving livelihoods to deaf people through service skills training, such as cooking, car shin, and handicrafts. They even give employment and job skills training and employ deaf people at their own Fingertalk`s car wash and cafes! Dissa is a Muslim, and I am Jewish, and we clicked straightaway as we met She taught me some Arabic and said that she loves Jews and has the same views and the world peace as I do- that we can all love each other and be friends and do together. Dissa and I decided to do more projects together in the future, both ion Indonesia and Georgia, to the the message to the entire world that Jews and Muslims can not only be fiends, but also change the world together and bring peace! Lika is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Bennington College, Vermont, USA. Her dream is expand Paint the World movement more, and to create a better and more colourful world.

I am always honoured to represent Georgia wherever I go, as our country is tiny and most people mistakenly think its a state in the USA. I am proud to be Georgian, and I try to emphasise that I am a Georgian wherever I am in the world.

Paint the World” is a youth organisation and a movement “for colours”, originally established in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Mess Ceramics was created by Ceramic Specialist, Irina Salmina, whose desire was to create high quality ceramic products expressing her creativity. Handmade ceramics takes long-term effort to get classical technique beauty, which adds individual spirit to the interior. CBW had an interview with Irina Salmina: - What led your interest to Ceramics, what was your background before launching a studio? My interests were always pretty diverse and I was constantly learning something new, searching for ways to express my creativity. Throwing on a pottery wheel was something mesmerizing for me so I thought I needed to try that magic. Then I saw that working with clay has endless possibilities and so I started experimenting with different forms and decorating techniques getting deeper and deeper into the possibilities. I ended up with geometric forms, Maths was always my favorite subject at school; I have an engineering background – I graduated from The Georgian Technical University, in the third year of my studies I entered a Cisco course for beginners and then continued my self-education in that field. I worked in IT for 5 years as a Cisco IP Telephony and Contact Center Engineer in Tbilisi and in Moscow as well, so as you can see it’s not a typical artistic background. - What difficulties did you face while making your dream a reality? The main problem was with the materials, tools and equipment. I wanted to make something complex and different – however I was severely limited because the materials and equipment are hard to get in Georgia. Everything is ordered from abroad, and becomes quite expensive because of the shipping and taxes which still remains a major challenge. I became obsessed about “ceramic shopping” digging in the internet for something interesting to try. So I used to order a lot of new glazes, tools and books from US instead of a new pairs of shoes. I had to raise the money to buy my equipment myself which meant working different jobs to do this. - Describe your working day, how do you invent comfortable environment? I always start with a cup of coffee, turning on some good music and tuning in to the right wavelength. I am always dancing and singing whilst I am working on a project. That gives me a better expression. I listen to British internet radio pretty loud – fortunately my studio is on an industrial estate. Mostly my work is physically hard, I start with the clay and make it into different forms depending on the project – everything is done by hand so I can ensure the highest quality. Sometimes I work into the night and can’t go home until something satisfying is done, indeed there are some processes I have to do to the end, no matter how long they take. - Tell us about the techniques and materials that you use, is it hard to get any in Georgia? When I started to think about making tiles I did research on techniques that could be used. I tried a lot, before I got an understanding of the process. Then I created a some kind of

technological combination of old and modern techniques, which was improved through trial and error many times before it became usable. The trial and error method is the best for learning and problem solving. I call my work a symbiosis of engineering and art with technical complexity. As I mentioned earlier materials, tools and equipment was and is a big problem. Ordering from abroad makes self costs much higher than they would usually be. I work with white clay mostly, different kinds of glazes and do experiments on my home-made decorative materials, still mostly I order chemicals from abroad because it’s simply impossible to find them here in Georgia – it’s to be hoped that the government will support creative industries by cutting tariffs on imported artistic materials – after all Georgia is a country of artists! - Are there pieces you can’t say goodbye to? I can’t say goodbye to my first serious artwork I made after a couple of days I started working with clay. It was a vase with spikes having nice cosmic look. It was very hard to accomplish. I am always interested working on complex projects. So I spent dozens of hours forming, polishing etc to get exactly that perfect look. And after finishing I realised that I found what I want to do, just fell in love with ceramics. This piece has a very symbolic meaning to me and will stay with me forever. - What has been your favorite project so far? I like that my artworks are becoming more and more complex. A lot of planning , calculations and theories about how to get that look are behind this. I started making handmade geometric tiles, then continued making installations with them as wall decors in the frames. Now I am not limited to tiles only . My art is transforming all the time. The latest installation project I am working on now is the most complex I ever made and is my favourite for now. It’s a modern architectural parametric design, consisting of 25 pieces. They are arched curves and each has a different angle. I made a special material for them which gave a cobalt blue velvety surface in different shades. A spray application technique is used for the coating. Besides the artwork itself another difficulty developing a special stand for that to be installed on. So for now I spend more time on developing the fixing technique then the artwork itself because of the complexity of the installation parts. It’s still in progress. - Do you have any upcoming events where your work will be showcased? Yes now I started a very interesting collaboration project with an interesting Georgian Artist. We are preparing our secret project for exhibition, we’re at the very beginning but I think it will be something interesting. Hopefully we will be done by the end of the year. For now I can’t say more. If people want to see examples of my work there are lots of photos on my facebook page – people interested in seeing physical works and discussing projects can message me through facebook and arrange a meeting at the studio – as long and they are okay with mess!



November 13, 2017 #216

November 13, 2017 #216



Work commences on Cisco innovation center in Istanbul

Turkey’s Erdogan, Tesla’s Musk discuss cooperation with Turkish firms Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk met on Wednesday to discuss cooperation between Tesla, SpaceX and Turkish firms, Turkey’s presidential spokesman said. Musk, who is in Turkey to attend the Global SatShow in Istanbul, met Erdogan and Turkey’s transportation and industry ministers at the presidential palace in Ankara. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Musk and Erdogan discussed potential joint operations between Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), Musk’s SpaceX company and Turkish firms, as well as the launch of Turkey’s Turksat 5A and 5B satellites. “We also exchanged views on what sort of joint operations Turkish firms could have with the SpaceX and Tesla companies,” Kalin was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency. Turkey aims to launch the Turksat 5A satellite in 2020 and the 5B in 2021. In October, Airbus (AIR.PA) submitted the best bid in a tender to build the Turkish satellites. Kalin said an agreement would be signed with Airbus on Thursday, and Musk would also be present at the meeting as a subcontractor.

Cisco has announced that work has commenced on its Cisco Innovation Center in central Istanbul, which will be part of a network of Cisco Innovation Centers worldwide and aims to accelerate the pace of digital innovation in Turkey. In a statement on Nov. 9, the company said the innovation center is part of a collaboration with the government and Cisco customers, partners and suppliers, as well as local startups, accelerators, universities and industry collaborators. The new center is located in İTÜ ARI Teknokent, a technology park affiliated with Istanbul Technical University, one of the world’s oldest technical universities. The main focus of the center will be to use innovation and technology advances to tackle the most pressing real-world challenges aligned with Turkey’s priorities, Cisco stated. “We are thrilled to establish the Cisco Innovation Center Istanbul in our technology park because this one-of-a-kind facility will enrich our ecosystem, making it an even more attractive environment for startups and businesses,”

Russian Fund Plans a $1 Billion Mining Venture With China Gold

Biggest in Armenia Talin-1 solar plant already commissioned Karen Karapetyan, Armenian prime minister, attended Tuesday the ceremony of commissioning the biggest in the country -1 megawatt solar plant Talin-1, the government’s press office reports. The plant is located in the town of Talin, Aragatsotn province. The project is being implemented by Armenian investors Eduard Marutyan, Araik Karapetyan, Zaven Sargsyan and Hayk Chobanyan with co-financing from the German-Armenian Fund and KfW Bank under a program of support for renewable energy sources. This is Solar Production Company’s project. The plant has been designed and built by Arpi Solar. After the opening ceremony, Karapetyan met with Urban Rusnák Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat. The premier said to the guest that energy is the fastest-developing segment of Armenia’s economy. Rusnák, on his side, hailed the steps the Armenian government has made to ensure energy security to the country. The first solar plant in Armenia has been launched in late September in Tsakhkadzor, a popular resort. This 0.5-megawatt plant ArevEk was launched by Energo Invest Holding CJSC, in which Tashir Company is included. The construction of the plant cost $500,000. Seven new solar plants are planned to be commissioned in Armenia’s Aragatsotn, Kotayk, Gegharkunik and Ararat provinces before the end of this year. Their licenses will be valid until 2038. In total, the regulator has provided 11 licenses for construction of solar plants of total capacity of 1 megawatt.

said İTÜ ARI Teknokent General Manager Kenan Çolpan. “Cisco’s technology leadership and expertise in innovation add further momentum to our aim to contribute to Turkey’s technological development by becoming the foremost hub for R&D and innovation activities in the country,” Çolpan added. The 4,500-square-foot facility is expected to be launched in early 2018, according to the statement. The center will offer Turkey’s brightest and most talented people an opportunity to be bold with their ideas and a viable route to bring them from concept to reality, said Cisco Turkey General Manager Cenk Kıvılcım. Global Cisco innovation centers create pioneering environments for startups, entrepreneurs, developers, researchers, and students to realize their ideas and solutions with access to labs and facilities for experimentation, the mentorship and expertise needed for co-innovation, and networks to access global markets, new customers, and investors, according to the statement.

Construction cost of SOCAR’s new building exceeds $414M The share of Turkey’s Tekfen Insaat ve Tesisat A.S, general contractor for construction of the new administrative building of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR that was opened in 2016, is about $414.24 million according to the contract, said Tekfen report for the three quarters of 2017. The report says that the contract on construction was fulfilled by 99.2 percent. The remaining work is estimated at almost $3.29 million. As for the other projects, on which Tekfen is a contractor, as of Oct. 1, the company’s share in the contract on expanding the Sangachal terminal as part of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project, is about $480.32 million. Meanwhile, the cost of the remaining work is estimated at $42.56 million. Tekfen’s share in the contract on construction of platforms as part of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project amounted to $315.81 million. The report says that the cost of construction of new administrative building of Azerbaijan’s Taxes Ministry totals $94 million. To date, the contract has been fulfilled by 6.5 percent, and it is planned to complete the construction until August 31, 2018. Projects of Azfen JV, which is part of the Tekfen, are estimated at almost $787.84

million, and these projects have been implemented by 89 percent. In general, the cost of work remaining in the company’s portfolio in Azerbaijan is estimated at $222.27 million. Moreover, the volume of remaining work on Azerbaijani projects in Turkey, where Tekfen is a contractor, is estimated at $495.12 million. In particular, Tekfen’s share in the contract for maintenance and modernization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline exceeds $95 million. Until the completion of the contract, scheduled for December 15, 2017, it is expected to carry out work worth about $2.6 million. The work on Lot 3 of construction of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), according to the report, is planned to be completed on December 25, 2017. As of Oct. 1, 2017, the contract worth $589.86 million has been fulfilled by 83 percent. The construction of two compressor and four measuring stations of the pipeline, worth $461.49 million, has been completed by 32.8 percent and will be completed by May 31, 2019. The contract for construction of an office for TANAP management at a cost of $1.38 million has not yet begun to be implemented.

Russia’s state-owned Far East Development Fund is in talks to create a $1 billion joint venture to invest in the country’s mining industry with China National Gold Group, a government controlled producer of the precious metal. “We and China Gold will create an attractive financial platform that private investors can take part in and make money,” Alexey Chekunkov, head of the fund, said in an interview in Danang, Vietnam, where he attended an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation business forum. “Our first goal will be to invest in gold, precious metals and copper projects.” The parties may sign an agreement to create the mining fund by the end of the year, he said. The fund will begin with about $500 million before expanding and may make its first investment in 2018. Far East Development and China Gold will each invest $100 million, with a further $300 million from private investors, Chekunkov said. Chinese investors’ interest in opportunities in Russian metals and mining has grown this year. Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov’s family has agreed to sell 10 percent of Polyus PJSC, the nation’s biggest gold miner, to a group led by China’s Fosun International Ltd. for almost $900 million. The deal is expected to be closed next year. Billionaire Oleg Deripaska also sold a $500 million stake in his En+ Group Plc to China’s AnAn Group. Calls to China Gold’s Beijing headquarters weren’t answered out of office hours and an emailed request for comment went unanswered.



November 13, 2017 #216

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