Caucasus Business Week #243

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June 25, 2018 -



President Takehiko Nakao on Economic Outlook and Development of Georgia


Business Sector Supports Small Government


Interview with Giorgi Kavelashvili – Managing Partner of LLC Altido


Excessive Debt Stifling Georgia

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Former Head of Technopark Established Startup Fund in Switzerland Former head of the Technopark Giorgi Zviadadze told that there was no legislation on capital markets in Georgia, so he founded the Startup Angels Club in Switzerland.

Government Returns 45 million GEL of Property to Owners The government of Georgia has given back property worth 45 million GEL to their owners. These properties were expropriated by the previous regime, Thea Tsulukiani, nominee for the Justice Minister’s position, said at the Parliament’s committee hearing on June 18.

Caring for the City – Contest for Advertising Companies Care for the City – Tbilisi City Hall has announced a new social campaign and corresponding contest, which is part of the campaign. The advertising company with the winning concept will implement the project in six months. The winning concept will be selected by a commission made up of representatives from various professions and socially active citizens, selected jointly with Tbilisi City Hall. PM: We will Free Representative Companies from Taxes Mamuka Bakhtadze, has proposed to free representative companies from taxes to attract major international companies to the country. As a result, domestic business companies will get the chance to develop their directions.

BSTDB’s Local Currency Loan to TBC Bank Helps Georgian SMEs GWP Completed Construction of Substation Saguramo Equipped with Modern Technologies Georgian Water and Power has completed construction of a new 25 megawatt capacity substation in Saguramo village of Mtskheta municipality. The company has invested more than 5 million GEL for modern substation and high quality construction.

Government to Write off All Tax Debts Accumulated before 2013 Government of Georgia plans to write off all tax debts accumulated before 2013, Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister;s position noted. This initiative will be applied to about 36 000 taxpayers. Georgian families, energy and potential are behind these taxpayers and they will be enabled to continue valuable participation in the economic life of our country”, Mamuka Bakhtadze said.

Vera Kobalia Becomes SandStorm Director Vera Kobalia, the former Economy Minister of Georgia, has become a director of Sandstorm, which finances companies seeking capital for gold mining. Sandstorm receive yields from the mined products.

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) provides a 120 million Georgian Lari loan (equivalent of USD 50 million) to TBC Bank to finance investments and working capital needs of Georgian small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Rikoti Pass Project Postponed to 2022 The Rikoti Pass project’s implementation has been postponed to 2022, Maia Tskitishvili, the nominee for the position of Minister of Infrastructure noted during her speech before the Parliament. The project deadlines have been revised by several years, she added.

Recent Changes to the Georgian Tax Code TBC Bank Group announced that the recent amendment to the Georgian Tax Code in relation to corporate income tax will have an immediate impact on its deferred tax liability.

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: 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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ADB President

Takehiko Nakao on Economic Outlook and Development of Georgia

This is the first visit of the Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao to Georgia after Geogia became a member of ADB in 2007, visit aimed to deepen and expand cooperation through meetings, where Mr. Nakao got familiar with the implemented and ongoing projects supported by the ADB. In an interview with Nina Gomarteli, Nakao shares about Georgia’s potentials: How does the Asian Development Bank see the current global economic situation? The global economic condition is better than before, although there are some concerns, especially regarding a trade dispute between the US and other countries. We must look at the developments, it may have a negative impact, but the overall economy is strong and trade is growing instead of shrinking. Also, there is an increasing interest rate by the Federal Reserve, but as far as Asia is concerned, ADB doesn’t expect an immediate negative impact from that.

The federal interest rate is now being raised, as the American economy is now stronger and financial system more solid than before. I’m very positive about the growth of Asia at this point. We see that trade—both export and import—to Asian countries is rising very strongly compared to the time of 2016 and before. Developing member countries in Asia are growing at a pace of about 6% during the last and the current year. Economies like those of Taipei, China, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong are growing at a pace of 6.5%. In 10 or 11 years, this growth rate will double the economy, so we see it as a very strong expansion. The growth rate of Georgia is also picking up, and was 5% last year. This upswing in trade could be threatened by rising trade tensions, but you have mentioned earlier that most Asian economies are well positioned to meet these challenges. What are your expectations for developing countries in this regard?

Developing countries in Asia are growing in a more accelerated manner, as consumption is strong and people tend to buy more things: cars, air conditioners, bikes, cosmetics and so on. There are more investments in private sector industries like machine equipment and real estate. The government is supporting growth with infrastructure investment, and generally Asian countries pursue sound macroeconomic policies, which means the inflation rate is not so high and it is contained. Currently the balance of payment situation is good, they have higher reserves, and are committed to keeping open trade and investment systems. They understand the importance of the market, instead of intervention by the government. Although there are difficulties in some developing countries—Afghanistan and Pakistan still face a lot of security challenges— growth is not so bad even in those countries. Countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines are growing at more than 7%, sometimes 8%. Over the past 10 years the ADB mobilized 2.4 billion USD to implement various projects in Georgia including infrastructure, tourism and business development projects. What are your ongoing and future plans in Georgia? As you mentioned, we have mobilized over 2.4 billion USD, including technical assistance, since Georgia became a member in 2007. We are expecting to provide 1.2 billion USD within three years, from 2019 to 2021, and the pace of approving new projects and programs will be increased. In the past we have supported important projects such as water supply and sanitation, developing the metro in Tbilisi, energy transmission and so on. Going forward, Georgia will benefit from the development of regional infrastructure links and diversification of its exports. In addition, ADB will continue to support transformative transport, energy as well as urban transport and water projects, while helping the government to implement reforms in such areas as pensions, capital markets, and private sector promotion. It will strengthen its non-sovereign operations. It will also expand assistance to education, including technical and vocational education and training and using solar energy in schools. We’ve started discussions with the Ministry of Education. In coming years we will support two big flagship projects along the North-South corridor and the East-West corridor:; the Kvesheti-Kobi and Kvevi-Ubisa road projects. These projects are critical for Georgia as it pursues a goal of becoming a regional hub through increased connectivity and trade, opening the land-locked markets of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and extending the

Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation corridors to the Black Sea and Europe. ADB is also planning to promote livable cities across Georgia in several urban areas through infrastructure investments, new technologies, and institutional capacity building. In your recent outlook you have overviewed Georgia’s economic performance, how would you evaluate the overall situation and what moves must Georgia make to position itself on global markets? Georgia has had so many challenges since it became independent. There has been some transition. Georgia can further harvest the full potential of the country. To me, there are many opportunities, most importantly for developing gateways: the connectivity between Asia and Europe. Another potential area is the tourism industry. I visited the National Museum yesterday, the old town, Mtskheta and I see how this country is full of tourist attractions. Of course each country has its heritage, but Georgia is definitely special. The third thing I would emphasize is agribusiness: wine and cheese. There is a very big market in Russia, China, Europe, Iran, and India for Georgian food and beverages. In addition, Georgia can also develop high-technologies. If the government can continue to invest in important infrastructure like transport, energy, water and improve or strengthen education, and if the private sector is growing based on the policy of the government, this country can grow further. By Nina Gomarteli

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Business Sector Supports Small Government Mamuka Bakhtadze, the nominee for the Prime Minister position, has introduced a government optimization plan to the parliamentary majority: “The concept of a small government does not imply only a reduction in the number of ministries. This concept also determines the government’s ratio in the GDP and the whole economy. We have made considerable progress in this respect. This year, our expectable costs in this direction will constitute 4.2%-4.3% of GDP. The concept of a small government implies a reduction of the government size in relation to the economy to no more than 3.9%. This signifies that we will be able to direct considerable funds—100-120 million GEL—to other important social programs. I would like to stress that according to certain erroneous stereotypes, a small government signifies only fewer ministries. However, this concept, first of all, signifies the ratio of expenditures in the economy. Consequently, our program will reflect this component, and the top margin in the component of expenditures, and determine the directions for freed financial resources. We believe that these funds, first of all, should be directed to social projects,” Bakhtadze said. Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired how businessmen and experts appraise the initiative proposed by Mamuka Bakhtadze. Economist Zviad Khorguashvili: “The number of Ministries will decrease to 11 from 14. They say 120 million GEL will be saved. Each tetri reduced in the budget is good news, but this amount of reduction is ridiculous, because only 0.7% of the total will be saved. We do not know whether they plan to increase other expenditures and whether this money will be saved or not in reality. It is useless to regroup ministries: the bureaucracy of a small government is expressed by the reduction of their expenditures, not by renaming ministries. We should not be hooked on false expectations for the 37,000th time.” Expert Gia Khukhashvili said that it is an absolutely correct decision to reduce the number of ministries. “There is an international standard that rules out the existence of artificially shaped ministries. It is good that the country has chosen this direction. But this is the initial stage, as fewer ministries cannot resolve the real problems. Internal optimization should be carried out within ministries, and this is the heavier and more hardworking component. I mean staff optimization at legal entities of public law LEPLs and non-commercial legal entities,” Khukhashvili said. “Regretfully, these problems exist in not only at ministries. For example, at Tbilisi City Hall, all components are artificially enlarged. If local governments, including Tbilisi City Hall, follow the same trend, the governance system in the country will become simpler, and we will have a more optimal and easily-administered state governance system,” Khukhashvili said. Serious crisis was a key problem for the previous administration, he added.

“It was absolutely unclear who was making decisions and how those decisions fit the vertical,” Khukhashvili said. This uncertainty should be overcome. Bakhtadze has made correct statements, according to Khukhashvili, but reality will emerge from the government’s actions. In response to the question of whether the decision was made to get rid of some officials, Khukhashvili said that it was no problem to push aside any person. Therefore, this version is less persuasive. Khukhashvili hopes that the Prime Minister genuinely wants to make the state machine more understandable and easily administrated, and this decision serves these objectives. As to where the freed funds will be directed, this is the subject of parliamentary discussion and the government should make a decision, Khukhashvili said. Soso Pkhakadze, the chairman of the Wissol Group supervisory board, welcomed the announced package of reforms. “This decision will increase efficiency and cut expenditures,” Pkhakadze said. “These steps will bring positive results for everybody, including for the business sector, because fewer ministries signify more efficient decisions for the business sector in a shorter period, and this factor will promote economic development,” Pkhakadze noted. “The optimization process should be carried out at legal entities of public law (LEPL) and non-commercial legal entities too, because Georgia is a small economy and the country needs a smaller government with a highly professional staff. This decision will strengthen the country,” Pkhakadze added. Businessman Temur Chkonia urged the Government to carry out the optimization process in local

governments, too. “Several government offices should be abolished, and considerable funds will be saved,” he said. “It would be wonderful if the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy genuinely merge, as well as the Ministry of Corrections and the Ministry of Justice, as announced. Simultaneously, the optimization process should be expended to several government offices, specifically a merger of the Ministry of Refugees and the Ministry of Infrastructure,” Temur Chkonia said. “The merger of ministries alone does not suffice. The Office of Governors and structure of regions should be also revised. Local governments should be reduced in villages and districts. Similar offices and structures are not appropriate. Many of them have no function. At the same time, it is important that the words “reduction” and “merger” should be substantiated. We should determine why we do this and how much money we will save. We have a small country and it is improper to divide this country into so many units. I do not object to individuals. Our country is not ready to feed such a big government,” Chkonia said. The number of government vehicles should be also reduced, the businessman noted. “We love to live a careless life, and this is our mistake,” Chkonia said.

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Interview with Giorgi Kavelashvili – Managing Partner of LLC Altido Tell about your company and what is your aim? Altido LLC was established back in 2013. It unites group of professionals with long-term experience in the field of audit, accounting, tax policy and advisory, tax dispute resolution and public sector management. We treat our customers as our partners and offer them individual approach according to their business needs. We aim to implement best international practices into our daily work and share them to our customers. What does ALTIDO offers to its consumers? We offer wide range of services to our customers. This includes full outsourcing of accounting and financial services, Tax Audit (compliance of company’s activities with existing Tax Legislation), Financial Audit – audit of company’s accounting in compliance with local requirements and International Financial Reporting Standards. We also provide wide range of consultancy. Such as, selection of optimal tax regime for local and international businesses, due diligence of projects, representing company in Tax Disputes, preparation of business plans (making projects bankable), presentations, projects for local and international use, due diligence of existing and draft contracts etc. How would you asses Georgia’s financial sector, what is a main challenges and opportunities for Georgia? Financial sector is mostly composed by commercial banks, insurance companies and micro finance organizations. The National Bank of Georgia acts as a regulator of financial system. During last decades Georgian banking sector has developed a lot and now we have one of the well-developed banking sector in the region. Recently, deposit insurance was introduced, which makes the system more stable and reliable. However, some banking products that are well developed in western European countries are limited in Georgia. I’d pay my attention on Trade Finance

tools, that either aren’t available in the most banking institutions at all or, where available are very limited and costly. What can you advice to the companies starting their business? When one decides to start a business, he/she thinks that has some opportunity and advantage to earn money. Planning a business requires at least some knowledge of basics from finance, general understanding of taxation etc. Depending on the type of business, it may require deeper knowledge of all the mentioned. In many cases entrepreneurs do not do proper planning (budgeting, cashflow planning, taxation etc.) and start running their businesses based only on their general assumptions. In fact, good business idea might not become successful in practice, due to absence of financial management and proper accounting. Also, it’s very important to understand existing legislation affecting your business activity. My advice to startups will be to spend a

bit more time than usual on their business planning, budgeting, financial issues, understand their advantages and challenges, pay more attention to the legislation regulating their activities. Properly planed business idea will allow to see all pros and cons, thus give more chances for right decisions and success for the future.

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Lela Gogoladze: “Trends in Public Relations come in one after the other” Interview with the EU-Georgia Business Council (EUGBC) Communications & PR Manager. Why did you decide to enter this field, and what kind of opportunities does this profession give you? Switching from journalism to PR is a popular story, but me entering this particular organization was driven by my interest in economics. Besides, I can’t live routine life, and business diplomatic area was a challenge for me. However, dynamism and non-dogmatic work is what I appreciate the most, as well as new connections and interesting people you learn a lot from. What is it necessary to hold successful communication with the public? Individual approach and understanding people. You can’t respond all situations in a same manner. Due to our position, we have communication with different parts of society that requires flexible skills of communication and crisis management. What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR? •Don’t underestimate details, especially during planning and organizing events. Details are invisible only when they’re resolved, but it becomes recognizable as soon as it’s unsettled. •Take care of your image and be demanding to yourself. I will repeat my senior friend’s advice, which is an expert in quality management - “I have to keep the quality even when nobody controls me.” I absolutely agree with him. •Stay as informed as possible. What do you wish you knew before starting your career in PR?

Nothing is impossible. We can boldly strive for big goals, just we need to make it into a few small goals and consistently follow. We should not be afraid of stressful situations and mistakes, because that’s when we are growing.

bution of other people is great too. Every person entering our organization feels like a member of this great family.

How do you go about finding relevant contacts and sources?

Face to face contact.

Remember people you meet well, their activities and interests, save contacts and that’s how networkings in being created over the years, which significantly reduces the time and energy needed to find contacts. How would you prioritize and start your work day? I’m checking email and try to solve little issues if I need a special concentration for the main thing. What are the skills a Public Relations Specialist needs? I would add proactive to the features I have already mentioned. Time factor is especially important for journalists, delayed response often loses sense at all. What trait do you value the most in your co-workers? A sense of responsibility, without which a person will be unreliable not only in business but in personal relationships. Simplicity neutralizes the artificial barrier that complicates communication between people. Being team-player- we can’t take a good result only as a personal success. Contri-

What is the best PR practice technology can’t change?

What are some of the growing trends in the public relations industry? The pace of life is much faster than ever before, technologies develop faster. Consequently, trends replace one another in the field of public relations. Social media will soon turn traditional releases and announcements into history in our country. Ads, live stream, hashtags, these are PR techniques accessible for everyone, but it is quite a challenge your voice to be heard in a huge audience of social network users. Large companies even use AI for PR technologies. However, when it comes to following trends, it’s important to understand where you’re standing, what is your goal, the possibilities and what will be your target audience. One that will work for organization, won’t be helpful for business company and vice versa. You have 3 seconds to get the average social network’s attention. Content and quality has a great importance under such competition.

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Excessive Debt Stifling Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze: “Irresponsible lending pushed 630,000 citizens onto the black list” “Today excessive debts stifle the country. This is the only relevant appraisal that we can give to the current situation in terms of excessive indebtedness. It is an important source of impoverishment. On the one hand, it narrows incomes managed by our citizens, and on the other hand, citizens with these problems are ejected from active economic life,” Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, pointed out at the meeting of Parliament on June 21. The recently-approved Prime Minister has emphasized the citizens on the “black list.” “A lot of our citizens have lost free access to financial resources,” the Prime Minster said. According to April 2018 indicators by Creditinfo, the number of credit records grows every year. At this stage, the database includes 24,687,694 records, up 4 million since last year. Today, there are 5,880,113 active loans. The Creditinfo database also has 2,537,374 records of physical bodies, and 94,193 records of legal entities. According to the last census, a total of 3,718,200 people live in Georgia. This signifies that about 68.2% of the total population of Georgia has taken loans. According to the same indicators, 6.3% of the population is insolvent, and this signifies these 6% have negative status or have had negative status at some point. “I would like to emphasize a responsible crediting system, and assure you that its formation is of crucial importance for shaping a socially sustainable and efficient economic environment in the country.” “I would like to remind you that about 630,000 Georgian citizens are recorded on the “black list,” and they cannot carry out valuable economic

life. This list includes citizens with interesting business projects, small entrepreneurs who cannot develop their potential, cannot employ other citizens, as an irresponsible crediting system has ejected them from economic life.” “This signifies that 25-30% of the economically active population cannot participate in the economic development of Georgia. This has a negative effect on inclusive growth. Therefore, it is important to take specific steps in this direction. I have heard

much criticism of this issue, which is absolutely ungrounded. I would like to note—and this is my personal opinion, supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World B a n k (WB),

by all key partners—that this reform will be oriented on healthy economic growth,” Bakhtadze said. The Prime Minister’s initiatives are backed by nonbank credit organizations. However, commercial banks criticize the regulations imposed on excessive indebtedness.

“Mamuka Bakhtadze was the first who actualized the problem with excessive

indebtedness. This problem is relevant in not only Georgia, but also worldwide. In our case, there are unequal liabilities in relation to incomes, and these liabilities burden our citizens. It is important to prevent excessive indebtedness. A majority of our citizens have taken various types of loans and I think these initiatives were delayed. Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has unveiled the problem. Reduction in excessive debts has a positive effect on both the population and business, because excessive debts create problems for the business sector too, because the business sector bears losses because of insolvent citizens,” said Irakli Berdzenadze, the executive director of Association of Nonbank Financial Institutions. It is worth noting that crediting organizations do not worry about the growing number of records on the black list. On the contrary, surprisingly, commercial banks or other microfinance organizations continue issuing loans to clients with negative credit histories, just with much higher interest rates and worse conditions. As a result, citizens who were included in the black list— fairly or unfairly—receive loans anyway with much higher interest rates. Since loans are issued on conditions of huge guarantees, crediting institutions have never had problems with collecting credit, and the low level of overdue and bad loans prove this consideration. Consequently, commercial banks and microfinance organizations receive more benefit from lending to citizens on the black list compared to clients with good crediting history. It should be also noted that Creditinfo was founded by four major commercial banks. Consequently, it carries out a policy that best fits the interest of these four commercial banks. By Merab Janiashvili

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Business News Partnership Fund Takes over 100% Stake in Borjomi-Likani International

Summer is slowly entering into an active phase, so an active question is where we can spend calm and pleasant day away from the noise of the city. If you have to spend the main part of summer in the capital or in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, then we have very good news for you.

Partnership Fund of Georgia has taken over a 100% stake in Borjomi-Likani International. Partnership Fund and LLC Kazmunaigas-Service signed official document on commercial agreement at Borjomi Likani hotel.

The General Assembly of the International Sommelier Association Officially Opened The General Assembly of the International Sommelier Association was officially opened today in Tbilisi. With the organization of the Georgian Sommelier Association and LEPL National Wine Agency, for the first time, the 49th annual General Assembly of the International Sommelier Association is held in Georgia. Resort Complex Akhtala Sold for 3,76 Million GEL

Regus to Open New Office in Georgia at Business Center BCV

Insurance Group of Georgia Controls 11% of Road Transport Insurance Market

Recreational, resort complex “Resort Akhtala” was purchased by “Global Victory Georgia”. The company sold it for 3,76 million GEL at conditional electronic auctions. The investor will allocate 12 million GEL in the hotel complex.

Regus, the world’s office service provider, successfully assesses the first year of operation and opens a new business center. 4After Tabidze 1, the Regus business center will be located on Vazha Pshavela, at BCV. Regional Manager of the company, Rusudan Chakvetadze, speaks about Regus local market development at Property Georgia.

According to the data released by State Insurance Supervision Service of Georgia, Insurance Company “Georgian Insurance Group – IGG” is in the fourth place in the field of road transport insurance in the first quarter of 2018.

Eighteen New Hotels Open in Georgia From January

„GOOOOAL!“ – a new name for Natakhtari Beer!

Since January 2018 eighteen new hotels launched operation in Georgia, including 7 branded hotels. According to National Tourism Administration, as a result, the country has acquired 1624 beds and 812 suites in addition. Hotel-Restaurant Emocia Offers Tourists Various Tours Throughout Georgia Georgian Honey Goes to Hong Kong Adjara-based cooperative Bee Georgia started honey supply to the domestic market three years ago. Bee Georgia products stirred interest in Hong Kong too. The company will export its products to Hong Kong in a month. Filmmaker Davit Gurgulia Showcased at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival EFP (European Film Promotion) will present 10 most promising young film directors at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

“No one doubts that the Football World Cup is a global event. This is a universal festival. Even those not representing fans of this sport are engaged in the football fever. Surely all brands are trying to react to this event and Natakhtari Beer is not the exception. Moreover, it is a tradition for us to organize various activities for European and World Cups in soccer. This time, our objective was to make our communication campaign different from those of the other companies. We were ready for a revolutionary and audacious step that would make our consumers smile and keep them happy.

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The Campaign “Because I Say So” continues Get your blood pressure checked!

Hypertension is known as the ‘silent killer’ because despite there being no signs or symptoms it can lead to serious cardiovascular disease. A blood pressure test is the only way to find out if blood pressure is too high. In light of these facts, and in collaboration with the May Measurement Month campaign run by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), Servier launched a new worldwide campaign to raise public awareness about the importance of having their blood pressure checked. The international awareness campaign “Because I Say So” launched by Servier and supported by International Society of Hypertension (ISH) aims to refocus public attention by encouraging young adults to motivate their parents and lovedones to get their blood pressure checked. Having their blood pressure checked lets older adults know where they stand and allows them to manage their blood pressure to reduce their risk of a cardiac event. The purpose of the campaign is to put this disease back in the spotlight because talking to those around you – friends or family – about hypertension can make a difference in their lives. Maia Khetsuriani, the General Manager of the French Pharmaceutical Company “Servier” Representative office in Georgia, discusses the details, ideas and implementation of “Because I say so” campaign. Ms. Maia, could you tell us few words about Company “Servier”? Servier is a French pharmaceutical company with a worldwide presence in 140 countries, with

more than 40 years of research. “Servier” has been operating in the Georgian market for 15 years and for its anniversary date, we decided to implement the social responsibility project “Get your blood pressure checked – Because I say so”, which is a part of a global campaign. Taking care of patients is the main goal of the company and as a result, more than 15 million patients worldwide manage hypertension with “Servier’s” effective medicine. What is the purpose of the campaign “Get your blood pressure checked – Because I say so”? The main objective of the campaign is to focus on the younger generation and motivate them in order to encourage their parents, relatives and friends to regulate and control arterial pressure regularly. The campaign’s “Because I Say So” creative idea echoes what parents say to their children when they need them to behave. Now these children are grown up, it’s their turn, and their responsibility, to tell their parents what they need to do for their own good – get their blood pressure checked! Hypertension, or elevated blood pressure, is widespread both worldwide and in Georgia. Many people are not even aware that they suffer from hypertension. A part of the society has some information regarding hypertension, but do not perceive increased blood pressure and complications seriously. Consequently, they do not treat the disease systematically. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of hypertension – a global problem that is now treatable, and the first step to diagnose it is to simply check the blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of arterial hypertension? A patient may experience headaches, nausea and dizziness. However, sometimes it has no vivid symptoms and is even referred to as “Silent Killer”. It is vital to know that increased blood pressure can lead to serious complications such as a Myocardial Infarction and stroke. As we’ve mentioned, diagnosing the disease initially is blood pressure check, which is quick, simple and non-invasive method. Timely diagnosis is of great importance in order

to avoid cardio-vascular complications, disabilities or fatal consequences. The campaign has been going on for 1 month, what events took place during this period? Many events and activities have been initiated in this period, including the active involvement of the medical and public society. Through the official page of Servier Georgia, anyone can get

extensive information regarding the campaign and hypertension in general. More information is available on our website: Additionally, we filmed a video with participation of Georgian famous faces - Duta Skhirtladze, Nika Tsulukidze, Ruska Makashvili, Ani Chiradze, Giorgi Kekelidze, Lela Meburishvili acted as goodwill ambassadors of the campaign asking their parents to get their blood pressure checked. What are your plans for the future? In general, the French pharmaceutical company “Servier” is initiator of numerous important projects. “Get your blood pressure checked – Because I say so” is our most patient-oriented and large-scale project of this Year in Georgia. We think that the campaign is successfully being executed and many have learned about hypertension. We have a lot of positive feedback from the community. We want to continue discussing this topic for the next few months and for this reason, have planned activities throughout Georgia. We hope that more will join and support us, in order to raise awareness and periodically inform family and relatives to check their blood pressure. This will be a crucial step forward towards fighting and preventing hypertension.

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World News

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ADB Ranked First on Aid Transparency among Development Organizations The Asian Development Bank (ADB) ranked first in the 2018 Aid Transparency Index (ATI), an independent measurement of aid transparency spearheaded by British nongovernment organization Publish What You Fund, launched today at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

US Quits UN Human Rights Council The US has pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling it a “cesspool of political bias”. The “hypocritical and self-serving” body “makes a mockery of human rights”, said US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley.

Heineken’s Amstel and Smiths beer hit by CO₂ supply shortage Supplies of Heineken’s John Smith’s Extra Smooth and Amstel kegs have been hit by an industry-wide shortage of carbon dioxide. The CO₂ shortfall is leaving beer and soft drinks makers high and dry just as the World Cup and barbecue season get under way.

Travel Time from Turkey to Azerbaijan Will Half The travel time from the Red Bridge checkpoint at the Georgian-Azerbaijani border to the Sarpi checkpoint at the Georgian-Turkish border will be reduced to four hours, said the Head of the Road Department at the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Irakli Karseladze.

Stadler to Build Regional Plant in Georgia

PMI Makes Call to Creative Media and Communications Communities

Swiss company Stadler, the world’s one of the leading manufacturers of trains, plans to build a regional plant in Georgia. To this end, Tbilisi City Hall, Georgian Railway and Stadler Swiss company have signed a memorandum on mutual understanding.

As part of this initiative, PMI will offer smoke-free alternatives wherever we can, including heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes, to current smokers in the industry who would otherwise continue to smoke. During a keynote at the PMI Science Lounge at The Cannes Festival of Creativity, SVP of Communications Marian Salzman said, “We are asking the creative community to join us in raising awareness of the potential of science, technology and innovation for those who smoke and the people around them.

WWF Social Print Wins Act Responsible’s Exhibition at Cannes Lions DDB BetterFly’s Social Print – One Shot is the first Georgian work to win at the Cannes International Creative Festival, at the ACT Responsible Exhibition, by the visitors and Internet users rating, and got the Special award – Responsible Cannes Tribute to Creativity For Good.

Turkey hits back at Trump, imposes tariffs on US goods worth $1.8 bn

This $14.50 Champagne has been named among the best in the world

The Turkish government imposed tariffs of $266.5 million on $1.8 billion worth of US goods Thursday in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s levies on steel and aluminum imports.

Budget supermarket Aldi is winning more awards for its reasonably-priced alcohol. Its Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut (£11/$14.50) won a Silver Outstanding medal at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge. Aldi’s entire wine range scooped an impressive 20 accolades at the annual competition.

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Tamar Matsaberidze Discussed New Challenges in Dentistry at Congress held in New York On March 22-23, the 29th Annual American Dental Congress was held in Hilton Inn, New York. It is one of the most important events where leading scientists and clinicians in the world share their knowledge and experience. The American Dentistry Conference provides a wonderful forum for researchers to refresh knowledge base and to explore the innovations in Dentistry. The Conference strives to offer plenty of networking opportunities, to provide participants with the opportunity to meet and interact with the leading scientists and researchers. Among the invited speakers was Tamar Matsaberidze, a 25-yearold Georgian doctor-dentist who spoke about new challenges in dentistry. She introduced the theme: Conception of Human Body Bio-mechanical Balance, Meta-cognitive Diversity, Interdisciplinary Approach. ”I was always interested in connection between the general and oral health. That’s why in 2012, I took practice at Tbilisi Republican Hospital at Emergency direction to have more practice in general, than dentists usually do. It was one of the most memorable and exciting periods of my student life: working with professional and leader med resuscitation doctors of my country, attending lots of operations held by the top surgeons. After graduation successfully TSMU, I took my postgraduate residency program at Albius Dental Academy, (Tbilisi, Georgia). One day, during preparing my presentation about oral microbiology, I started thinking about the global problem

– antibiotic resistant bacterial strains – and the ways how to solve it. One of the actual global research theme in this direction is phage therapy. I visited Tbilisi Eliava Bacteriophage Institute and took some practice in the laboratory to see how successful phage treatment is. Second important issue for me was connection between periodontal diseases and pregnancy outcomes or early birth. During these processes high percentage of women take oral antibiotics, that means that it can be helpless because of resistant stains or also. So, I decided to make research connected these two problems and wrote article about phage therapy: New Vision in the Treatment of Periodontal Infection Diseases during the Pregnancy.

Also attended with this article Radix International Young Leaders Forum and achieved best paper award. After some time, I had opportunity to attend gnathology lecture during my residency program at Albius Dental Academy and was shocked about connection between the teeth and body posture. I collaborated with Italian inventors and made new article with the help of my supervisor, about Conception of bio-mechanical balance concept theory, meta-cognitive diversity, inter disciplinary approach. I attended second times Radix Yong Leaders Forum in Tbilisi. In November, 2017 I first attend Greater New York Dental Meeting from Albous Dental Center. Mrs.

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Ketevan Gogilashvili the founder of Albius dental center gave me this opportunity and made my dream come true. It was my first experience in USA. I came back in NYC, in January to attend several congresses. In March, 2018 I attended 29th annual American dental congress as a speaker with biomechanical concept theory with Italian co-workers -‘’Starecta”-members. After that came absolutely different step of my life: Publication offers from lots of international journals, connection with interesting researchers. I became a member of new York science academy and had a chance to attend different and important symposiums and conferences. I would like to take a chance to express my gratitude to the person who has played a major role in my professional development – Ms. Ketevan Gogilashvili. From the first day of the meeting with her I understood how looked the synthesis of humanity, professionalism and success. It was very difficult to move from the country, when I had the opportunity to work with Ms. Keti. My aim is to become a scientist who will share her experience to the next generation. I do not want to be just a clinic doctor. I am ready to spend my life on making researches and developing novel methods to make peoples life easier and healthier. I advise students to use all the possibilities that they have in Georgia, only this experience helped me to be able to present my country in front of international audience,”-said Tamar Matsaberidze.

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