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June 04, 2018 - www.cbw.com

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New Regulations for Credit Companies

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World Bank Senior Economist Ihsan Ajwad on Employment Improvement Policies

It’s certainly a big area to look at. I wouldn’t recommend that you focus on only one area, as jobs require a multi-sectoral approach. The educational system plays a big role in labor. All of these need to be done in conjunction: we need to make sure the budget is stabilized and inflation is in control.

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Shopping Tourism Development Active in Georgia

The success of Georgian designers and their recognition on international markets is of crucial importance for shopping tourism development, and this factor makes Georgia more attractive, the National Tourism Department said.

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Nenskra Hydropower Plant is a Unique Project for Georgia

It is unique for Georgia’s energy system as Nenskra hydro power plant is being implemented based on BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer). We have never used a BOT model in Georgia before. However, it is quite a common form across the world.


News

2 June 04, 2018 #240

Government to Invites Companies to Launch Wine Exports to Thailand

New Regulations to Take Effect for Banking Holdings

Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia has been working on implementing the plan agreed by Minister Levan Davitashvili and Thai colleague. According to the plan, Georgia should launch wine exports to Thailand.

“New regulations will be enforced in relation to banking holdings”, Vice Prime Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili noted after Georgian Capital was separated from BGEO Group and Georgian Capital shares were placed at London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Film Center to Pay $114 000 for Copying 11 Georgian Movies

Fourth Georgian Company Listed On LSE

Georgian National Film Center plans to pay $114 000 to take copies of 11 Georgian movies from Russian Federation. The procurement deal will be carried out under simplified procedures after the Center will receive consent from Procurement Agency.

Tbilisi Awarded with WCCD Platinum Certificate Tbilisi World Council on City Data WCCD has been awarded with Platinum ISO 37120 certificate. After receiving the certificate, Tbilisi World Council on City Data has entered the Global Platform with the following cities: Barcelona, Boston, Dubai, London, Rotterdam, Toronto, Cambridge (CA), Portland, Hague. There are a total of 5 stages of this certificate – postgraduate, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Geological Science Conference Held at GTU with the Support of RMG Today, the Fourth International Scientific Conference, organized by the Georgian Mineral Society, was opened at Georgian Technical University with the tagline “The strength of the geological field is a prerequisite for economic revival.

There are a lot of Questions about Noncore Assets in hands of Commercial Banks “The key question is of how bank stakeholders may participate in real economy”, National Bank president Koba Gvenetadze noted after Georgian Capital placed shares at London Stock Exchange (LSE). There are a lot of questions about separation of noncore assets from the banking sector. The NBG is ready to work jointly with the Government in this direction, he said.

Bank of Georgia Group said the demerger of its investment business with Georgia Capital was completed on Tuesday. As part of the demerger, Bank of Georgia Group issued and allotted 9,784,716 Bank of Georgia Group Shares—equivalent to 19.9% of the Bank of Georgia Group’s issued ordinary share capital—to Georgia Capital in exchange for Georgia Capital’s stake in the banking business.

TBC Bank Acts as Underwriter of EBRD Eurobond Issue TBC Bank has acted as lead manager and underwriter for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development GEL 120 million Eurobond issue under EBRD’s Global Medium Term Note Programme. The bonds are to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Georgia’s Economy Gathers Pace, Grows 5.5% Georgia’s economy grew 5.5 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2018, preliminary

Georgia and Britain to Develop Exchange Educational Programs Minister of Education of Georgia Mikheil Chkhenkeli has met with British Minister of Education, Science and Innovations Samuel Phillip Gyimah.

The Editorial Board Follows Press Freedom Principles Publisher: LLC Caucasian Business Week - CBW Director: Levan Beglarishvili WWW.CBW.GE Address: Aleksidze Street 1 Sales: Mob: +995 591 01 39 36 Email: caucasianbusiness@gmail.com Editor: Nutsa Galumashvili. Mobile phone: 595 380382 Copy Editor: Ellie Rambo Reporters: Nina Gomarteli; Mariam Kopaliani; Merab Janiashvili, Economic columnist: Andria Gvidiani; Technical Assistant: Giorgi Kheladze;


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New Regulations for Credit Companies

June 04, 2018 #240

Finance Minister at Forefront when Central Bank Fails New and fairer rules will be established in Georgia's banking and finance sector to protect consumer rights, Minister of Finance Mamuka Bakhtadze said. The reforms are to establish new qualitative standards and support sustainable, long-term economic growth. Excessive indebtedness is a key challenge the reforms will address, as it is impossible to defeat poverty without controlling the high indebtedness levels, according to the minister of finance. Several innovations will be introduced as part of the reform: Only mortgaged property will be seized in case of unpaid debts, and no other property will be seized It is limited to mortgaged vehicles and real estate – registered property on behalf of pawnshops and private lenders (the usurers) The top margin of an annual effective loan interest rate will be reduced to 50% from 100% In case of overdue loans, fines or sanctions will imposed on borrowers and the fines will be calculated from the principal sum of the loan balance; this will not exceed 1.5 times the remaining principal sum A limit is set on the amount of any expenditures determined by the loan agreement (fine, commission

fees and financial expenditures) and it will constitute an annual 98.55%, instead of the present 150%. The limit will reduce these expenditures by 51.45% Bodies issuing loans using mortgaged real estate (pawnshops) should ensure high levels of transparency and register all mortgaged things within a reasonable period According to the minister of finance, those wishing to provide valuable financial mediations should be under the supervision of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) and only after that implement these activities. It is noteworthy that the new regulations will apply to the whole financial sector: commercial banks, microfinance organizations, pawnshops, private lenders (usurers) and any private and legal bodies who are involved in financial operations in this field. Moreover, the reform also introduces the requirement that payment for property should be carried out only in cashless form, to avoid what the minister of finance called black commission fees. “Today we see that citizens who suffer from excessive debt have been ejected from active economic life. Today, about 30% of the economically active

population are recorded on the “black list.” This is a lost resource for economic development. Excessive debt frustrates economic growth. We already see the results – about 630,000 people cannot become valuable members of the workforce. Reduced manageable incomes lower economic activity, and savings decline. The existing crediting models create no added value to the economy, especially high-interest-rate loans, which are not guaranteed by borrowers’ incomes,” the minister of finance said. A majority of the initiatives from the minister of finance refer to the regulation of commercial banks and finance organizations, but it is the responsibility of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) to supervise this area. Bakhtadze has no legal right to give instructions to the central bank, but the finance minister is an active figure in criticizing commercial banks and protecting consumer rights. In recent years, despite rising criticism against credit companies, the NBG has done nothing to disclose reasons for the existing discontent or provide for real protection of consumer rights. Our society frequently asks whether the NBG prioritizes consumer rights protection, or only lobbies commercial banks.

“I welcome the Finance Minister's initiatives, because they direct the finance sector. These initiatives should be coming from the NBG, because the initiatives refer to the credit sector. Regretfully, the NBG shows indifference. It is difficult to cast doubt on the professionalism of Mr. Gvenetadze, but he and his team show indifference. As a result, the NBG remains an inactive regime, and the Ministry of Finance has to fulfill the duties of the NBG. Necessary steps should be taken and NBG activities require additional attention.” “It seems the NBG does not regulate the banking sector, but several major commercial banks dictate the rules of play for the NBG. An independent Georgia has never had such a useless central bank and this is alarming.” “Antagonistic moods are rising in the country, and this is genuinely detrimental for the country and for its weak economy. Therefore, it is necessary that the NBG activate its operation, and the Parliament of Georgia should to request this, first of all,” said Professor Lado Papava, the former Minister of Economy. By Merab Janiashvili


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World Bank Senior Economist Ihsan Ajwad on Employment Improvement Policies

June 04, 2018 #240

Sustained economic growth in Georgia over the past two decades has helped reduce poverty and spread prosperity, with job creation playing a significant role. However, job creation is not keeping pace with economic growth, according to a new World Bank Report. CBW spoke to World Bank Senior Economist Mohamed Ihsan Ajwad for further details. Please discuss policies to improve job outcomes. There are several types of policies that we look at, and Georgia has a lot to build on. The areas that we are interested in are the ones that can increase the demand for labor, or how to increase job creation. We also need to think about the supply of labor: how can workers be better prepared for what is expected from them by employers? To increase the demand for labor: more facilitation of trade could be important, providing more information to small and medium firms in terms of compliance with EU regulations, and trying to make it easier for firms to explore new markets. Another area that could be useful for firms is to not only innovate and create new types of products, but also produce those products more efficiently. On that, firms need to put much more of an emphasis. We need to link up with research institutions and universities, but also make it easier for them to actually allocate time and resources for research and development in the form of incentive programs. Those are some examples. But also on a supply side: there are many things to be done, for example youth and women are relatively underrepresented in the labor force. They’re moving

The overall story is quite a positive one. We’ve seen since about 2006-2015 very positive trends in economic growth, and poverty has been reduced quite a lot, that’s a very good story to tell. In more recent times we started to see a slight slow down, and that could be because of things that are happening regionally. For example, you have dropping oil prices, which affects some trading partners. It hasn’t been that significant, which is good, compared to some other regional partners. Overall, it’s positive on the poverty-reduction side. Do you think it’s easy to launch a business in Georgia compared to other countries? Georgia started (in the mid of 2000s) putting in place regulatory reforms to make it easier to start a business. These reforms really paid off: it is among the top 10 in the world (out of 190 countries), so it’s very easy to start business. There are a number of areas regarding doing business where Georgia does very well. What I think Georgia is lacking: many of these businesses that start don’t last very long. We need to put more emphasis on helping these firms survive and grow. That’s really the key for Georgia now, to help firms become productive. Right now, a lot of the companies shut down after five years. We need to help them turn into growing, bigger businesses.

into inactivity, rather than into the labor market, so programs trying to incentivize them would be very useful. Access to quality child care may help women enter the job market. For youth, as well, who want to enter the labor market but don’t have the skills required by employers, it is important to align the education system with the needs of employers. So it’s a combination of things that need to be done. As you can imagine, the key point we need to make is that the jobs agenda is not the work of any single ministry, it’s actually a combination of ministries that need to play important role. Whether it’s education, labor or the economy, they all have to come together. It’s not just the government, but the private sector, as well. It’s also employers and labor unions: they all need to play a big role in thinking about how to improve job outcomes in this country.

What do you think makes them fail?

We constantly see that poverty is halved, but still economic growth is slowing down. What causes this, from your perspective?

Georgia as a small country thinking about how to interact with the world, and the government has done a good job of improving the business

It happens all the time. You have a lot of people who start with an idea, and this idea is not a good one—this happens in many countries, so we shouldn’t be surprised. We need to think about the regulatory environment: does it help companies grow? If a small firm wants to expand, is it able to get the loan for that purpose? The second thing is: small businesses compete with other companies, including larger ones, but larger firms tend to be more established. They also have connections. Is it possible for small businesses to compete with giant companies? We need to ask difficult questions and try to get to the bottom of this. What significance do foreign direct investments have in Georgia?

environment. What Georgia needs is to give more incentives to companies relocating here. It is going to be difficult for some people to see foreign firms set up here, because that means you might see local companies disrupted as they face challenges from foreign firms. But it’s important to bring technology from different places, as you can learn a lot from this. Another factor is the shrinking labor force. Foreign companies can bring resources that might convince more Georgians to stay in the country, both because of a better job environment but also because it will become more innovative and more exciting to work here. Right now there are many reasons to live in Georgia, but there are also well-educated people who struggle to match their standards to the market’s. Would you say that maybe we should search for solution in the educational system? It’s certainly a big area to look at. I wouldn’t recommend that you focus on only one area, as jobs require a multi-sectoral approach. The educational system plays a big role in labor. All of these need to be done in conjunction: we need to make sure the budget is stabilized and inflation is in control. Think about it from an entrepreneur’s point of view: they need to be able to make predictions about how much to produce, how much to charge, and so many things come into play that it’s hard to pick one item. Everything needs to come together. How would you summarize the new World Bank Report? The key things we want to convey: Georgia has done a really nice job with regulatory reforms, and it’s great to see the private sector increase its employment. What we are worried about is that total employment in the last decade or so has been quite low. Given the growth that has happened, we were surprised that during times of economic growth, jobs haven’t been created. The second concern is that productivity has been increasing, but it’s still very low in Georgia. Relative to Central European countries, Georgia has about half of the productive value for each worker, and relative to European Union countries

it’s four times lower. On the supply side, we are concerned because the workforce is shrinking. We need to think about how more people can be encouraged to work. Right now youth are falling into inactivity. By inactivity I mean: they are not at school, not at work or training, so they aren’t investing in themselves, and they are not doing anything from an economic standpoint. The skills that companies are looking for are in several areas. They are looking for technical skills, cognitive skills, mathematical, reading, memory and behavioral skills. Those skills are very important for employers, and they aren’t finding them among jobseekers. It’s important to put up a productivity ladder. Technical skills are important, as you’re capable of some specific task, but cognitive skills are very important for adaptation. These skills help you adapt to new products. Behavioral skills are so important, they’re not as emphasized as they should be. Everyone needs to come together from both the private sector and from the government, as well as from civil society to think about how to improve job outcomes. By this I mean lots of things: the number of jobs, quality of work, wages, whether workers are provided with social security. Georgia has done many important and difficult things already, and these are things that the country has to do as the next generation of reforms. By Ninna Gomarteli


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Shopping Tourism Development Active in Georgia

June 04, 2018 #240

Active in Georgia Shopping tourism makes a country more noticeable and fosters its economic development. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to develop this type of tourism in Georgia. Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired into the details of this sector and identified origin countries which supply many shopping tourists to Georgia. According to the National Tourism Administration, the government has been working tirelessly in recent years to develop shopping tourism, as well as other tourism niches. The National Tourism Administration asserts that today there are international-standard shopping malls in Georgia where tourists are able to buy desirable goods with no problems. The success of Georgian designers and their recognition on international markets is of crucial importance for shopping tourism development, and this factor makes Georgia more attractive, the National Tourism Department said. “Today, many prestigious foreign magazines emphasize Georgian fashion, and predict future success. In recent years, the country has hosted events such as Tbilisi Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The National Tourism Administration backs the development of this sector,” administration officials said. Additionally, the National Tourism Administration has prepared a catalog of Tbilisi Entertainment facilities with relevant information about shopping malls and Georgian designers’ stores. Annual introductory tours are arranged as part of Fashion Week for journalists from leading international publications such as Elle, Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler, and these journalists spread the news about fashion and travel in Georgia. According to experts and tourism sector specialists, it will take five more years for the development of Georgia's shopping tourism, because at this stage, various facilities and

spaces are still being arranged. Maia Sidamonidze, the former head of the National Tourism Administration, says that shopping is a key component for any tourist arriving in the country. Often, citizens of neighboring countries visit Georgia, Sidamonidze said. “Besides revenue that the country generates from shopping tourism, and besides the promotion of private business development, sales markets are also developed. More international brands should enter the country,” Sidamonidze said. As for the position of various tourism companies, some of them say that the shopping tourism niche has been already developed in the country and has huge potential, while others think that this sector still remains undeveloped. Caucasus Travel founder Saba Kiknadze talked about shopping tourism development potential in Georgia. A portion of tourists arrive in the country for shopping, and a majority of them come from Iran, India, Arab countries and China, he said. Nino Makhviladze, the director of Intercontinental Hotels, noted that tourists do not arrive in Georgia for shopping and they are more interested in the culture of Georgia. According to Geostat, the National Statistics Service of Georgia, the share of tourists visiting Georgia for shopping in the first quarter of 2018 was 9.8% of the total. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia and the USA are the main countries of origin for tourists interested in shopping. In the first quarter of 2018, the share of tourists from Armenia visiting the country to shop was 43.3%, Azerbaijan constituted 40.6%, Turkey made up 14.7% of the total, Russia was 1.0% and the USA was 0.3%. Last year, 37.7% of tourists arrived for recreation entertainment, including about 700,000 tourists who arrived to shop and buy personal goods (9.5%). This category surpasses such groups as those visiting for professional or economic activities (8.2%) and medical treatments and therapy (2.7%).


Nenskra Hydropower Plant is a Unique Project for Georgia

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“The Partnership Fund” is constructing Nenskra HPP together with a Korean company, K-Water, in Svaneti, on the Enguri River tributary. Natia Turnava, Deputy CEO of the Partnership Fund, talks about Nenskra HPP potential.

-Natia, what are your comments on the significance of an investor like K-Water is in Georgia? -“The Partnership Fund” takes special pride in having partners like K-Water. It is a megacompany that is responsible for 60% of supply of electric power throughout Korea. The company holds $20 billion worth of assets, and enjoys very high rating internationally. However, it is not just that. Firstly, K-Water is a very old, tradition-based company that is soon going to turn 50 years old. The company has a longtime tradition of construction and management of waterworks. Since our first meeting in late 2013, a special emphasis always has been made on safety issues in view of Nenskra development project, should it be technical or environmental safety. -What experience did the “Partnership Fund” gain from dealing with such an investor as K-Water? – Nenskra project itself is somewhat unique for Georgia and represents a huge source of experience and expertise. On top of the benefits that the project will bring to our country, it is a very interesting project as along with K-Water the project is supported with a stellar team of financial institutions represented in Georgia. So, the cooperation with K-Water has been vast experience for us. – What is particularly unique in this format for the project? It is unique for Georgia’s energy system as Nenskra hydro power plant is being implemented based on BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer). We have never used a BOT model in Georgia before. However, it is quite a common form across the world. This means that after 36 years since commissioning, the well-functioning hydropower plant will be transferred to the Georgian state for free. Our government can clearly see the possibility that our next generation will get electric power from Nenskra HPP like we do today from Inguri HPP. Therefore, our state will support the investor more confidently. In fact, benefits from the project are

very clear, so our state is motivated. The region where Nenskra hydro power plant is being constructed is getting so many benefits. Such large infrastructure projects impact villages and settlements. We jointly tried to turn this into a positive impact. The project location selected is outside of the scope of the settlements. The local people are going to benefit and are already benefitting from the project. The project gives priority to employment of the local population in Georgia. This is commercially beneficial as well. One of the most important outcomes of the implementation of the project is associated with security of our country as there is no development without security. By security here I mean energy security. Let me point out that our energy market today is steadily growing. it should be said that a number of small hydro power plants is presently being constructed in Georgia. There are plenty of investors as well. Small hydro power plants, however, can’t supply electric power substantially all across the country in winter. From this perspective, our present day energy market particularly depends on just one hydro power plant “Inguri” at least by as many as 2/3. Despite the rehabilitation that Enguri hydro power plant went through, and despite being well-functioning, it was built in 1970s after all. In view of this, Enguri HPP is not in perfect condition. Unless in 5-7 years such a hydro power plant like Nenskra is gives backing to Enguary hydro power plant, we will face certain energy issues and consequently we may become more vulnerable in terms of energy security and be largely dependent on energy import. Nenskra hydro power plant is a harbinger and will actually promote other large scale hydro power plants. Most probably Nenskra HPP will be followed by ’’Khudony“, ’’Namakhvani“, ’’Oni Cascade“. This means that eventually Georgia’s electric power sector is not going to be at risk. bm.ge

Phot/Investor.ge


Tiko Peikrishvili: “PR doesn’t give ready formulas, so each situation needs to be thought out”

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Interview with Tiko Peikrishvili, Head of Biblus Marketing Service Why did you decide to enter this field, and what kind of opportunities does it offer in terms of career growth? Generally, marketing and PR are very interesting areas for me. I was about 19 years old when I first worked on a project involving marketing. Then I realized that this was what I enjoyed. This is the reason I have worked in this field for many years now. PR is very interesting in terms of career growth, as many companies could be doing very interesting and useful work, but society will not know about it without PR. It is a public relations specialist’s responsibility to provide information to the public and make as many people as possible loyal to a brand. What is it necessary to hold successful communication with the public? First of all, it is important to have a correct strategy, since the opinion of the public is very delicate and at the same time is a powerful thing. Wrong messages may be damaging to the company. Therefore, it is important to have a well thought-out strategy to follow. The loyalty of society and the positive attitude towards a specific brand should be the main value of the company. What three tips would you offer

someone just starting out in PR? The first thing that matters is to better understand the field in which we work. Do not have fear when facing problems, because companies rely on PR in difficult situations, and one must be able to find a way out of these situations. Last but not least: contacts are important, so try to establish good relations with the media as well as with representatives from different fields. It’s much easier to implement a project when you have many acquaintances. What do you wish you had known before starting your career in PR? PR is certainly taught today in universities, which is very good, but practical experience is important. PR does not give us ready formulas, so every situation needs to be thought of as unique. Having experience managing various cases makes it easier to find a way out of a situation. Accordingly, at the beginning of a career I would advise some kind of practice. Describe your typical work. My work starts at 09:30. Biblus is a company where I am happy to come to work every morning,

because I serve in a field that is not only very interesting to me, but also in which even the slightest contribution means contributing to literacy levels, which is doubly pleasing to me.

I start my day with a big glass of water, then write down the upcoming day’s plans and to-dos. Then I begin to follow up my team and discuss specific issues.

I'm guiding an extraordinary team who do their best to make reading books increasingly interesting and desirable to our society.

What skills are necessary for a successful PR manager?

Workdays are of course very busy, because Biblus unites 56 branches throughout the country, as well as five Piatto book cafes, a children's entertainment center, an online wine shop and wine tasting corners, so it is very diverse and interesting. During the day I frequently have meetings with representatives from various companies, and we plan interesting events about books. How do you go about finding relevant contacts and sources? Every PR specialist must have a wide range of contacts, which I think are primarily based on human qualities. It is important to love communication skills in this field, otherwise it is difficult to work. Frequent business meetings with different people are one of the best ways to make contacts, I think. How do you prioritize and start your work day?

In the first place, it does not matter what field you are involved in: diligence and a sense of responsibility are essential. Therefore, PR managers must have those two qualities. Besides that, one should be oriented towards self-development, be active and love people. PR specialists should have good intuition and be able to find simple ways out of different situations. What trait do you value the most in your co-workers? Responsibility. When I see this feature in a person, I appreciate it the most. A person who feels responsible does his job best. Diligence, purpose and being results-oriented are often forgotten. These are the main features that are very important to me. What is the best PR practice technology can’t change? Technology has changed many things today and simplified what is important in this field. However, I think human relationships cannot be replaced by technology.


Georgian Blockchain Startup Receives $1m Investment from Silicon Valley The first Georgian Blockchain startup won the best-real world blockchain application award and a $1 million investment from Silicon Valley at the Frontier Innovation Awards. Frontier Innovation Awards 2018: Blockchain centre on finding the blockchain idea of the year. Presented by Calfounders, the first award ceremony was held in San Francisco in May of this year. The Georgian-Ukrainian blockchain startup Shelf Auctioning Network (Shelf.Network) beat 250 contestants to win the competition and receive the Grand Prix and up to $1 million in seed funding. Shelf is a solution that offers the most efficient price-discovery mechanism through auctioning that has ever existed in the e-commerce world. It solves the liquidity problems for the asset class: (vehicles, foreclosure, repossessed items, commodities and collectibles). Trillions of dollars are traded in an open manner through online marketplaces. Shelf uses blockchain to create shared inventory liquidity among the online marketplaces, and then enables sellers to run the same auction synchronously across the connected platforms. Overall Shelf solves fundamental problems for trades: 1. Liquidity problem – Sellers (dealerships, fleet managers, leasing companies, foreclosures, commodity traders) won’t be technically restricted to upload, auction and trade

only on a single marketplace. Limited outreach – Enables sellers to diversify sales channels, without additional resources and to get better price proposals due to the shared bidding process. Reduce workload – by allowing users to upload, track and manage trade with a single click. Founded by Lasha Antadze, Shelf has an international team, working both in Germany and Ukraine. The company also became the first Eastern European blockchain startup accepted and funded by the Techstars accelerator back in January. The company plans to expand in the future, and aims to provide the tools for other asset types: collectibles, digital art, housing. “Our strategy as a blockchain startup is to focus directly on the market and our customers, and be one of the first solutions to show the real adoption of distributed technologies,” says Lasha Antadze. Shelf is currently expanding its technology for used car trades, and has three marketplaces in the pipeline in Ukraine and Lithuania, as well as a new portal coming to Georgia.

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James Blunt Addresses Georgian Audience in the Georgian Language Five-Time Grammy Award Nominee at Mikheil Meskhi Arena – James Blunt congratulates the Georgian people on May 26 with a concert On May 26, the British musician James Blunt staged a concert at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium and greeted listeners with the Georgian greeting “gamarjoba.” He earned listeners’ appreciation soon after, by congratulating them on Independence Day and using other Georgian words. With incredible charisma, energy and British humor, he entertained the audience and created a magical evening by singing for almost two hours. The prominent singer and composer performed the most famous songs from his latest album, Afterlove. After thanking listeners in Georgian and taking a selfie with them, he said that he was happy to be in Georgia. Despite the bad weather, the singer astonished Georgian listeners with his performance. They sang along to his well-known songs, like “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover”. The most unexpected thing was when he asked his listeners to get down on their knees and light up their phones. The illuminated stadium, along with his unforgettable music, created an amazing effect. "Goodbye! Happy birthday Georgia, I hope to see you soon,” he said, before exiting the stage. James Blunt is the first solo singer to visit Georgia on the invitation of Black Pearl Live. He performed specifically for Georgia’s Independence Day and as part of his world tour. As organizers mentioned, the common language of the festival was the music that united Georgian and foreign listeners and enabled Georgian people to be part of this important world tour. The rock band Parlotones

from Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Georgian rock bands Young Georgian Lolitaz and Loudspeakers opened the concert at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium. Tinatin Samkurashvili, Gepra’s senior consultant, and festival-organizing group member: “The festival united four concerts. It is important that in this festival dedicated to Georgia’s Independence Day, Georgian and foreign singers performed together. The festival was opened by Georgia’s most popular rock band. We also invited a prominent band from South Africa, MTV Chart’s (US) participant singers. However, the festival’s leading star was 43year-old singer, and five-time Grammy nominee, James Blunt. The festival was organized as part of the Check in Georgia program, and was dedicated to Georgia’s Independence Day. It is notable that the promotion company Black Pearl Live started projects with this event.” James Blunt became famous after his debut album “Back to Bedlam” in 2004, and singles “You're Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover.” His music is a synthesis of acoustic pop, rock music and folk. After releasing his music on the independent label Custard Records, Blunt received two Brit Awards, a two MTV Video Music Awards and Ivor Novello Awards. In 2006, he was nominated for five Grammy Award nominations. In 2007, he released his second album “All the Lost Souls.” His third album, “Some Kind of Trouble,” was released in November 2010. He has sold over 18 million records worldwide, and his debut album “Back to Bedlam” was the best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK.

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Re-Opening of Tiflis Palace and Tiflis Veranda. We are thrilled to announce reopening of the stylish, newly renovated, luxury boutique hotel - Tiflis Palace and its wonderful restaurant - Tiflis Veranda. Situated in the very heart of the historical center of the city, amazing Tiflis Palace is offering guests from the entire world the opportunity to enjoy extremely comfortable accommodation and the highest standards of service. We have upgraded our facilities in order to provide the highest level of comfort and the best quality services. Moreover, we thought through the smallest details and touches that would make the stay of our guests in the hotel most cozy and unforgettable. As a specialty for the Tiflis Palace’s Guests, in order to ensure their most comfortable sleep, we provide different types of pillows, from which the guests can choose according to their preference. Each of our newly designed, 43 rooms provides a calm ambience and maximum comfort with a tasty touch of luxury and modernity. Emphasizing our location as well as our greatest respect to the history of Tbilisi and the country, we think that the beautifully framed uniquely adorned Georgian letters from Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani’s book, from early 18th century, are the main ornament of our rooms that will please the taste of any guest and will keep them in touch with the rich culture and history of the country. Besides comfortable and cozy rooms, we offer a spacious conference and banquet hall for up to 100 people that can host different business events and serve exquisite lunch and coffee breaks. All of these make Tiflis Palace the best choice for both, business and leisure

travelers. The renewed design of the most fascinating restaurant –Tiflis Vernada, is well on par with the captivating views from the restaurant and also underlines the rich history of Tbilisi with interesting symbolic details. Our menu is designed to meet the expectations of the guests with different food taste and the specially invited Chef from Turkey promises to amaze our guests with culinary masterpieces of local and international cuisine. We can’t wait to host our dearest guests and fill them with joy, happiness and sense of luxury comfort each minute they spend at Tiflis Palace or in Tiflis Veranda. V.Gorgasali #3, Tbilisi. (+995 32) 2 000 245 reservation@tiflispalace.ge www.tiflispalace.ge

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Business News

June 04, 2018 #240

Investment at WIFISHER to Exceed 20 Million USD by 2020

Gvinis Kurdebi Wines Go to Paris and California

After Azerbaijan, Armenia and Lithuania, the startup company, which has been able to attract half million dollars in three years, is expanding in Latvia and Belarus. According to the founder of the company, by 2019 the number of partner countries will grow to ten, and in 2020 the company’s investment volume will exceed 20 million USD.

Gvinis Kurdebi Georgian wine brand has entered foreign markets. “We pay less attention to domestic market. This year we have selected France and the USA as target markets. Gvinis Kurdebi wines are sold in Paris and California. We plan to increase exports in several thousands of bottles”, Gvinis Kurdebi founder Zaza Asatiani said.

Georgian Brand Gepherrini will Open Store in Hong Kong Bags from the Georgian brand Gepherrini will be sold in an upscale Hong Kong shopping center, Ilia Gepheridze, the founder of the company, told Bm.ge.

15-year-old Winemaker From Shulaveri Speaks Six Languages Lika Bochorishvili lives in Shulaveri village, in Marneuli District. She goes to tenth grade at Shota Rustaveli School. Lika is one of the school’s most successful pupils and one of the youngest winemakers and winegrowers in the region.

According to official website of LEPL State Regulation Agency for Medical Activities, the agency has received notification from Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH, under which the specific concentrate of the mentioned medication must be recalled from the market.

800,000 GEL Spent on New Visitor Center in Kazbegi National Park

WISSOL GROUP Member Company Blacklisted Wissol Auto Express, member of Wissol Group company, has been included in the Black List. The mentioned decision was taken on the ground of application submitted by Ministry of Defense, after the company failed to fulfill the assumed obligation.

Cancer Medication Recalled from Pharmacy Networks

A new visitor center opened in Kazbegi National Park. The Tourism Information Center will be located in the new building. 793,450 GEL was spent on the construction of the center. Family Wine from Kvareli Exports to Berlin Shaloshvili’s Wine Cellar company has expanded exports market in Germany and sells wines in Berlin. The company has been selling several wine varieties in Frankfurt for three years, while to Berlin wines were exports several days ago.

Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Georgia 2018:

Juice and Sweetener Producing Plant to Open in Telavi

On June 20, Tbilisi will host the main crypto event of Georgia – Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Georgia 2018. Participants and partners of the event are founders and promoters of the blockchain industry in the country.


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Opening of Southern Gas Corridor Comes at Right Time TOpening of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, comes at right time, Cyril Widdershoven, a Middle East geopolitical specialist and energy analyst, a partner at Dutch risk consultancy VEROCY and SVP MEA-Risk, told Trend. George Soros Warns About Another Financial Crisis Soros, speaking at the annual meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations in Paris Tuesday, said that rising anti-European Union sentiment, the disruption to the Iran deal, a soaring dollar and investors taking money out of emerging markets are adding up to bad news for the global economy. Azerbaijan To Produce High Quality Aviation Fuel in Ukraine According to AzerNews, Ukraine and Azerbaijan are negotiating a deal for producing high-quality aviation fuel together it would help Ukraine to match sharp demand of availability of aviation fuel at its airports due to increase in passenger traffic in Ukrainian airports of Boryspil, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Odessa. Armenia prepared to bringing more Georgian capital to country Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for continued development of Armenian-Georgian business ties. The Prime Minister underscored that his government is keen to boost the trade turnover between the two countries, implement joint investment programs and, in this respect, is prepared to take steps with a view to bringing more Georgian capital in our country. Economy minister: Azerbaijan invested over $1B in Russia’s economy Azerbaijan’s total investments in Russia exceed $1 billion, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev said at the opening ceremony of Azerbaijan’s business center in Russia’s Astrakhan city, TASS news agency reported.

Turkish elections: Erdogan seeks to remake nation “Every one of the 12 elections we have won so far has been vitally important,” Mr Erdogan told the crowd. But the June 24 polls were a “milestone,” he said, promising that after them Turkey’s dreams of “rearing up and resurging” on the world stage would become a reality. Turkish lira rallies 5% in strongest week since 2009 Turkey’s currency has rebounded strongly this week after hitting a record low last Wednesday after two top officials met investors in London and the central bank took measures simplify its monetary policy regime. The WHO is Becoming a Glorified Lobbying Group Has somebody put a curse on the World Health Organisation? Every time it holds a conference to discuss the ‘epidemic’ of lifestyle-related diseases, a genuine public health crisis erupts. When it met in Moscow for a global conference on tobacco control in 2014,West Africa was hit by the worst Ebola epidemic in history Armenian Smart Home Devices Make European Market Entry Heltun, an Armenian start-up, has begun exporting its smart home product to the European market, having secured distribution channels in both western and eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. Hideez: Ukraine’s Pivoting Start-Up The Ukrainian tech startupHideez Group is not entirely a newcomer in the market for cybersecurity and authentication devices and services. It was founded in Kyiv in August 2015 by Oleg Naumenko, Andriy Konkov and Denis Zaliznyak and received 325,000 US dollars in seed funding from angel investor Volodymyr Shchupak, business incubator UUI Ventures and the investment firm Concorde Capital in December 2016.


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15 June 04, 2018 #240 Embassy United States of America Embassy 11 Balanchivadze St., Dighomi Dstr., Tbilisi Tel: 27-70-00, 53-23-34 E-mail: tbilisivisa@state.gov; askconsultbilisi@state.gov United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Embassy 51 Krtsanisi Str., Tbilisi, Tel: 227-47-47 E-mail: british.embassy.tbilisi@fco.gov.uk Republic of France Embassy 49, Krtsanisi Str. Tbilisi, Tel: 272 14 90 E-mail: ambafrance@access.sanet.ge Web-site: www.ambafrance-ge.org 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: embassy.tbilisi@esteri.it Republic of Estonia Embassy 4 Likhauri St., Tbilisi, Tel: 236-51-40 E-mail: tbilisisaatkond@mfa.ee Republic of Lithuania Embassy 25 Tengiz Abuladze St, Tbilisi Tel: 291-29-33 E-mail: amb.ge@urm.lt Republic of Latvia Embassy 16 Akhmeta Str., Avlabari, 0144 Tbilisi. E-mail: embassy.georgia@mfa.gov.lv 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: czechembassy@gol.ge Web-sait: www.mzv.cz 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 Pixel Center, 34, Ilia Chavchavadze Ave. 3rd floor Tel: +995 32 227 62 00 People’s Republic of China Embassy 52 Barnov St. Tbilisi Tel: 225-22-86, 225-21-75, 225-26-70 E-mail: zhangling@access.sanet.ge 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: hunembtbs@gmail.com 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: RussianEmbassy@Caucasus.net Ukraine Embassy 76-g Chavchavadze Ave., Tbilisi Tel: 231-11-61, 231-14-54 E-mail: emb_ge@mfa.gov.ua 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 embassy.tbilisi@mfa.gov.tr Consulate General in Batumi 9 Ninoshvili Street, Batumi Tel: 422 25 58 00

consulate.batumi@mfa.gov.tr Republic of Azerbaijan Embassy Kipshidze II-bl . N1., Tbilisi Tel: 225-26-39, 225-35-26/27/28 E-mail: tbilisi@mission.mfa.gov.az 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: ambasada@caucasus.net Republic of Poland Embassy Oniashvili str. 24, Tbilisi Tel.: +995322 920398; Fax: +995322 920397 Email:tbilisi.amb.sekretariat@msz.gov.pl Web-site: www.tbilisi.polemb.net Republic of Iraq Embassy Kobuleti str. 16, Tbilisi Tel: 291 35 96; 229 07 93 E-mail: iraqiageoemb@yahoo.com 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: iranemb@geo.net.ge United Nations Office Address: 9 Eristavi St. Tbilisi Tel: 225-11-26/28, 225-11-29/31 Fax: 225-02-71/72 E-mail: registry.geo@undp.org Web-site: www.undp.org International Monetary Fund Office Address : 4 Freedom Sq., GMT Plaza, Tbilisi Tel: 292-04-32/33/34 E-mail: kdanelia@imf.org Web-site: www.imf.ge Asian Development Bank Georgian Resident Mission Address: 1, G. Tabidze Street Freedom Square 0114 Tbilisi, Georgia Tel: +995 32 225 06 19 E-mail: adbgrm@adb.org; Web-site: www.adb.org World Bank Office Address : 5a Chavchavadze Av., lane-I, Tbilisi, Georgia ; Tel: 291-30-96, 291-26-89/59 Web-site: www.worldbank.org.ge 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: www.ebrd.com 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: www.coe.ge 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: emb.tbilisi@mzv.sk European Investment Bank Regional Representation for the South Caucasus Address: 1,G.Tabidze Street, Freedom Square Phone: +995 322 006284 Embassy of The Republic of Korea 12, Titsian Tabidze Str. Tbilisi 0179, Geogia

Hotels in Georgia TBILISI MARRIOTT Tbilisi , 13 Rustaveli Ave. Tel: 77 92 00, www.marriott.com

COURTYARD MARRIOTT Tbilisi , 4 Freedom Sq. Tel: 77 91 00 www.marriott.com RADISSON BLU HOTEL, TBILISI Rose Revolution Square 1 0108, Tbilisi Tel: +995 32 402200 radissonblu.com/hotel-tbilisi RADISSON BLU HOTEL, BATUMI Ninoshvili Str. 1, 6000 Bat’umi, Georgia Tel: 8 422255555 http://radissonblu.com/hotel-batumi SHERATON METECHI PALACE Tbilisi , 20 Telavi St. Tel: 77 20 20, www.starwoodhotels.com HOLIDAY INN TBILISI Business hotel Addr: 1, 26 May Square Tel: +995 32 230 00 99 E-mail: info@hi-tbilisi.com Website: http://www.hi-tbilisi.com 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: info@riverside.ge Website: www.riverside.ge

Restaurants CORNER HOUSE Tbilisi, I. Chavchavadze ave. 10, Tel: 0322 47 00 49; Email: contact@cornerhouse.ge RESTAURANT BARAKONI Restaurant with healthy food. Georgian-European Cuisine Agmashenebeli Alley 13th Phone: 555 77 33 77 www.barakoni.com 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

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 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

75 Agmashenebeli Ave. Tbilisi Tel: 577 18 27 87 Email: hostelmtevnebi@yahoo.com


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