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Issue no: 1174/192

• AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

PRICE: GEL 2.50

In this week’s issue... Weekly Entrepreneurial News @entrepreneur.ge NEWS PAGE 2

WHO Report 2019: Smoking Kills 11,400 Georgians a Year NEWS PAGE 2

ADB Approves Loan for New Kvesheti-Kobi Road, Residents Oppose

FOCUS

BUSINESS PAGE 6

ON SUMMER

We talk to the team behind the #SpendYourSummerInGeorgia campaign

Minister of Economy Meets with Saudis

PAGE 4

BUSINESS PAGE 7

Georgian GDP Growth Reaches 5% in June BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE

BUSINESS PAGE 7

T

his week, the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GeoStat) released their Rapid Estimates of Economic Growth report for June 2019. The preliminary figures show the country’s GDP growth reached 5% year-on-year. In the first six months of 2019, growth averaged 4.9% year-on-year, so the increase is small, but notable. The effects of Russia’s ban on direct flights to Georgia, which went into effect on July 8, are not likely to be seen until next month. The main sectors driving the growth are manufacturing, real estate, renting and business activity, construction, trade, transportation, and hotels and restaurants. On the other hand, the financial intermediation sector saw a drop in growth. The construction sector was up for the first time in several months. Analysis by CBW attributed the change to “the waning negative effect of

Georgian Railway Reacts to Employees’ Decision to Strike On Georgian Copyright BUSINESS PAGE 10

Image Source: National Bank of Georgia

the finalization of [British Petroleum’s South Caucasus Pipeline expansion] project and increased public infrastructure investments.” Also noted in the Rapid Estimates report, Georgian exports are up 11.5% in the first six months of 2019, reaching $1.78 billion, complementing a 4.9% drop in imports to $4.2 billion. In terms of private business growth, 3,893 new enterprises were registered in June, down 2% year-on-year. The state budget saw a small surplus in June of $7.5 million, mainly attributable to an increase in tax revenues. The Value Added Tax (VAT) payers’ turnover used in rapid estimates of economic growth reached $2.3 million – a 14.5% jump year-on-year. Government spending in June, at $264.4 million, was just over the six-month average for 2019 of $261.5 million. The whole country is carefully watching the economic and fiscal situation as the Lari continues to devaluate against the dollar – a potential crisis in a country where, despite laws in place to help mitigate the risk, many people have loans or other regular payments in US Dollars, but receive their salary in Georgian Lari. Continued on page 3

Fostering the Growing Environmental Awareness of the Youth! SOCIETY PAGE 11 Prepared for Georgia Today Business by

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2

NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

WHO Report 2019: Smoking Kills 11,400 Georgians a Year @entrepreneur.ge Gamarjoba! I’m the Editor-in-Chief of the Georgian edition of Entrepreneur magazine and I’m here to share the top weekly Entrepreneurial news with you: Biodynamic agriculture is a method that produces biologically clean products. The global demand for it is growing by the year and Georgia is no exception in this tendency, seen in the Naturpuri store which opened in Tbilisi. Founder Luka Tsulaia, who has been running biodynamic agriculture company Pona for the last four years, produces over 70 products. To popularize Pona’s products, Tsulaia opened Naturpuri to make biologically clean products more affordable for customers. The goal is to promote the importance and necessity of healthy nutrition. He also plans to create a shop-café space so consumers can taste the healthy production on location. Live-teaching platform ‘Namqy’ was created in Georgia by three friends, Luka Bakradze (financial analyst/advisor), Zaza Sichinava (business analyst) and Giorgi Kenchuashvili (Digital Marketing Specialist). Their aim was to create a platform where trainers would be able to share their knowledge in Georgia and worldwide, and listeners would be able to acquire information in an easy, comfortable way. ‘Namqy’ helps trainers video stream their sessions, making it flexible for both trainers and listeners. The platform breaks down geographical barriers through internet technology, meaning physical location is no longer an obstacle for those who want to teach or learn. Auto Element is a new mobile app offering a new, flexible and innovative service to automobile owners- connecting stores selling automobile parts and drivers, direct, without the need for mediators. Creators Murad Bartishvili and Biktor Saldadze came up with the idea after a time-consuming issue they had trying to find an automobile part. Auto Element allows drivers to connect directly to a store that sells parts for their model of car, live. Just a month after the presentation of the app, the number of automobile parts stores registered is over 200 and application downloads count 1,772. Follow the Entrepreneur Georgia Instagram page to get the latest updates from Georgian Entrepreneurs. For doing business with Georgian Entrepreneurs, write us on business@entrepreneur.ge

BY THEA MORRISON

A

round 11,400 Georgians die every year as a result of tobacco use, and the country loses 2.4% of its annual GDP to tobacco-related deaths and disability, claims the World Health Organization (WHO) in their Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2019. The report reads that Georgia has one of the highest rates of tobacco use in the world. About 33% of the adult population are current smokers (including 57% of men), in addition to 12.6% of 13–15-year olds. The WHO says while the first tobacco control law in the country was adopted in 2003, strong interference from the tobacco industry prevented the law from being comprehensive. For more than a decade Georgia’s laws remained stagnant. However, in 2015 a plan for change began to take shape and stricter law on tobacco use was adopted in 2017. Tightened tobacco regulations entered into force in Georgia on May 1, 2018. Smoking tobacco, including electronic cigarettes and hookah, is prohibited in all enclosed areas, with the exception of houses, psychiatric clinics, penitentiary facilities and casinos. Smoking of cigars is only allowed in cigar-bars, where food products are not sold. A special license is necessary to open such a bar. The law also requires that pictorial health warnings cover at least 65% of the two biggest sides of the packaging of all smoking tobacco products. Packages of smokeless tobacco products must provide written health warnings on 30% of the two biggest sides. Three general graphic health warnings

Image source: Mayo Clinic

and three additional ones with relevant pictograms are subject to rotation during a year and should be equally distributed on each type of tobacco package. The report identifies Georgia as among the three most successful countries with the highest level of achievement in terms of the WHO recommendations issued last year. The organization underlines that Georgia has succeeded in monitoring tobacco use, has successfully run anti-smoking campaigns in the media, and has introduced warnings on packaging. The report reads that Georgia is among the 14 countries - Barbados, Cameroon, Croatia, Cyprus, Guyana, Honduras, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain and Timor-Leste that adopted large graphic pack warnings. It also says that Burkina Faso, Georgia, Israel, Romania and Slovenia have passed laws on plain packaging on tobacco products but not regulations and do not yet have implementation dates. “Ongoing tobacco industry interference continues to undermine tobacco control efforts in Georgia, with the industry successfully delaying the implementation of plain packaging to December 2021,” the organization says. The WHO says that thirty countries,

with 2.1 billion people, are only one provision away from a complete advertising ban and nine - Bhutan, Croatia, Finland, France, Georgia, Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkmenistan - need only to ban brand-stretching. The organization says that the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year around the world. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. “Around 80% of the 1.1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobaccorelated illness and death is heaviest,” the WHO says. It also says that tobacco taxes are the most cost-effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among youth and lowincome people. “A tax increase that increases tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and about 5% in low- and middle-income countries,” says the WHO. The new report reads that progress has been made in the fight against tobacco, but increased action is needed to help people quit using deadly products.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

Can Georgia Replace Russian Wheat Import with Kazakh?

Image source: Organic Facts

BY THEA MORRISON

F

ollowing the Russian ban on flights with Georgia, the issue of diversifying the wheat market in the country has been actively discussed due to expected restrictions on wheat imports. At present, Russia is Georgia’s main wheat importer, followed by Kazakhstan. Based on the official statistics of Georgia’s National Statistics Office, in January-May 2019, 171,000 tons of wheat were imported into Georgia, of which 117,000 tons came from Russia and 54,000 from Kazakhstan, while in 2018, 575,000 tons of wheat was imported to Georgia of which 482,000 tons were from Russia, 88,865 tons from Kazakhstan and only a small part from Ukraine and Turkey. Last month, Georgia’s Ministry of Economy said they are planning to increase wheat imports from Kazakhstan. The issue was also discussed at a meeting of Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natia Turnava, with members of a large Kazakh state corporation ‘Prodcorporation’- Chairman of the Board Rinat Akberdin and Director Nurbek Daibekov. The visit of the Prodcorporation working group took place in June within the framework of an agreement reached during the visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, to Kazakhstan. Turnava stated that the increase of wheat import from Kazakhstan will enable the Georgian market to increase wheat supplies and diversify the market. The Minister expressed hope that the negotiations will lead to beneficial agreement and the wheat from Kazakhstan will enter the Georgian market at a competitive price this year. “The increase of wheat import from Kazakhstan will make wheat products for our population more

available at a better price,” she said. Wheat importers in Georgia also met the Minister of Economy. They say the Kazakh side plans to subsidize wheat transportation from Kazakhstan but further details are unknown as yet. Chairman of the Wheat Association of Georgia, Levan Silagava, says diversification of the market is important for Georgia. “Georgia plans to import around 320,000 tons of wheat from Kazakhstan,” he noted, adding the exact details about the amount and subsidies will be known in September and will depend on the wheat harvest in Kazakhstan. Silagava believes the plan can work if the price of the Kazakh wheat is competitive after subsidizing its transportation. “So far, everything depends on the price of the Kazakh wheat. We will know the details in September,’ he added. Ketevan Kublashvili, Director General of Agricom Company, which is the main wheat importer in Georgia, says that even if wheat is imported from Kazakhstan, the Russian market cannot be fully replaced. “Wheat from Russia gets to Georgia in two days, from Kazakhstan in two weeks. But the first thing is the price factor: if Kazakhstan takes over from Russian wheat in this regard, the Russian market could be cut by 50%,” she said. She noted that Kazakhstan will develop a subsidy mechanism if it knows it has a good amount of crops, otherwise, they will not harm their own interests. “After subsidizing the transportation of wheat to Georgia, Kazakhstan will be able to replace up to 40% of the market, but we will still mostly depend on Russia,” Kublashvili said. Last month, Kublashvili said that Russia knows Georgia is nearly fully dependent on its wheat and might complicate import procedures. Russia has been Georgia’s largest wheat importer since 2014.

Georgian GDP Growth Reaches 5% in June Continued from page 1 On July 31, shortly after the Lari hit three for one US Dollar, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze commented on the rise, saying “any analysis shows that the fundamental factors are strong today, meaning the Lari’s depreciation is too high.” In May and June, explained Bakhtadze, Georgia’s tourism revenue hit historic highs, and, although the Russian flight ban is expected to hit the tourism sector hard, the Lari’s devaluation cannot be attributed solely to that issue. “Revenues from tourism have fallen, but I am sure that with the action plan presented, with the suggestions we have heard from the business sector, we will be able to overcome these prob-

lems,” said Bakhtadze. He called on the National Bank to control the devaluation rate and actively manage its rise. On August 1, the National Bank of Georgia sold $32,800,000 in currency reserves on the Foreign Exchange Auction at an average weighted rate of 2.9. The sale was an attempt to stabilize the Lari’s devaluation and prevent subsequent inflation. The National Bank blamed the devaluation on external tourist shocks and negative expectations among the population. At time of going to print, the official exchange rate published by the National Bank of Georgia was 2.89 to a dollar. GEORGIA TODAY reported late last week that businesses are already announcing a rise in prices on food and daily consumables.

3


4

BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

The Girls behind the SpendYourSummerInGeorgia Campaign Nini Mchedlishvili is a specialist in International Justice and a has a Master’s in Public Management. She tells us she has experience working with refugees but what she loves most is promoting her country to foreigners- playing host to foreign friends every year. Mari Jobava is a graduate of Law from Tbilisi State University, and has a Master’s in Public Management. She works at the UN Women to End Violence toward Women and is actively collaborating with state and public sectors. “My experiences of coordination and working with different projects helped me put this campaign to good use,” she says.

TRANSLATED BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

I

n its recent issue, OK! Magazine Georgia presented five young girls whose bright idea has impacted Georgian tourism. Mariam Gujabidze, Mari Jobava, Nini Mchedlishvili, Nini Noghashvili and Keta Goletiani are the creators of the campaign #SpendYourSummerInGeorgia. By opening this growing Facebook group, now counting almost 300,000 members, they have popularized the beauty of Georgia and put the country on the bucket lists of a lot of travelers. ‘Spend Your Summer in Georgia’ is a campaign that is on everyone’s lips this summer. We’ll tell you how it all started. “The first inspiration for this campaign was a Facebook post by Mari Jobava encouraging all her friends to spend their summer in Georgia,” says Mariam Gujabidze. “This idea inspired us, and we decided to create a group and invite all our friends to spread the message ‘Spend your summer in Georgia.’ The group became popular so fast: within hours we already had 10,000 members. We were impressed and excited to see so many people united around one goal. Posts were full of love and a desire to support each other; a lot of forigners were posting their experinces in Georgia and sending their best wishes, and while reading them, I recognized that it was the start of something big and amazing. I want to thank every single member of this group for their support and enthusiasm. Together, we can make big things happen,” “The banning of flights from Russia to Georgia gave us the motivation to create the #spendyoursummeringeorgia campaign,” says Nini Noghashvili. “The aim of creating this group was to show off the touristic potential of Georgia and to develop an informational hub, where people would give and take recommendations related to exploring Georgia. “Soon, the message was being heard and discussed not only in Georgia but around the world. Georgians were able to share the hidden gems of their country, while foreigners were sharing their emotions and experiences about Georgia. This campaign made us really happy and gave us growing responsibility in managing the group.”

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE SUCCESSES OF THE PROJECT “I want to share a story with you which I heard from a French girl,” Gujabidze says. “She was advised to join ‘Spend Your Summer in Georgia’ by a guy she met while traveling to Georgia. After a couple of days, my friends and I met this girl in Tbilisi. She was excited to tell us how helpful this group had been for her. She recieved easily written out recommendations and advice, plus she recieved

HOW DID YOU ALL CROSS PATHS AND END UP WORKING TOGETHER ON THIS PROJECT? “All five of us are doing the same Master’s and that’s how we met,” Goletiani tells us. “The campaign started so spontaneously that we had no prior vision or plans that we’d be starting a campaign and working together this way. But right now, looking back, we realize we got really lucky, starting to talk in a Facebook chat and ending up at the head of this amazing campaign.”

a free ticket for a concert she’d been dreaming of. “There are a lot of stories like this. A lot of people visited or are planning to visit Georgia because of this campaign. There are Georgians who changed their plans and decided to spend summer here instead of going abroad. Georgian emigrants are giving out brochures and are raising awareness about the beauty of our country. “It’s amazing how much support we’ve recieved from the private sector. They want to colaborate on a number of interesting projects with us. It proves that together we can reach a lot of goals.” “The campaign #SpendYourSummerinGeorgia has put forward our roles as independent individuals in improving the tourism of the country,” says Nini Mchedlishvili. “In fact, members of our group have become informal ambassadors for Georgia.”

WHAT DIRECTIONS SHOULD BE PRIORITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT IN GEORGIAN TOURISM? “In my opinion, above all it’s necessary to focus on improving quality and service,” Noghashvili answers. “Also, it’s crucial to become less dependent on Russian markets and concentrate more on other touristic potential and possibilities.” “We need to improve the service and infrastructure, diversify markets, embrace our unique locations, and have an active informative campaign to attract foreign tourists and raise our fame as a country,” Keta Goletiani adds. “First of all, we need to see improvement in quality in the fields of small and

medium-sized businesses,” Mchedlishvili says. “Our branded hotels provide standardized services, which supports their success as functioning business. However, smaller businesses in the field have a lot of problems.” Mariam Gujabidze is a lawyer working at the State Insurance Supervision Service Development while being a master’s student in Public Management, a joint program of Tbilisi State University and The German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer. “I always wanted to make a contribution to emerging tourism, to make Georgia an even more attractive place for tourists,” she says. “I believe that every one of us has the responsibility to serve as an ambassador by sharing the rich culture of Georgia with our foreign friends and colleagues.” Keta Goletiani has studied Political Science and Public Management to different degrees in Georgia, Estonia and Ireland and is currently an assistant of the Parliamentary Program at NDI. “I have no professional connection to tourism, but I have always tried to contribute as much as I can to popularizing the country when studying and working abroad,” she says. Nini Noghashvili has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, having started first by studying at Tbilisi State Academy. “An interest in active social and civil life brought me to Public Management in a joint program of the Tbilisi State University and The German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer,” she tells us. “Right now, I work at Tbilisi City Hall’s Division of Municipality Inspections, Construction Control and Exploitation.”

WHAT HAVE YOU GOT PLANNED FOR YOUR OWN VACATIONS THIS YEAR? “Without a doubt, I’m planning to spend summer in Georgia,” Gujabidze says. “One of my favorite activities is visiting different parts of Georgia with a group of Georgian and foreign friends. I managed to visit the beautiful SamegreloZemo Svaneti for a few days this year. There’s definitely a lot to see in our country – all the regions have a diverse culture, nature, cuisine and people. So, we all have to wander around and discover Georgia.” “I plan my vacations in Georgia every year,” Noghashvili states. “I’m a fan of active vacations so I like hiking. Our Master’s program involves a Summer School in Germany, so Nini and I have to go there for two weeks. We plan to keep spreading our campaign there!” Keta Goletiani says she has already been to Kakheti this year and plans on spending her summer vacation in Gonio and Batumi. “Batumi is one of my favorite cities and I like to visit it every year, even for a few days,” she says. “After, I plan to go to Racha for the first time, a place I believe will be even better than I expect. A few of my foreign friends are planning to visit Georgia and I’ll take them to some of the unique places of our country, including Kakheti and Kazbegi.” “I especially love Georgia in the summer as we have a choice: go to the mountains or the seaside,” Jobava notes. “I love the mountains – it has beautiful nature and different musical festivals are scheduled there every year.”

DO YOU PLAN ON CONTINUING TO WORK

IN THE FIELD OF TOURISM BASED ON THE SUCCESS OF YOUR CAMPAIGN? “Of course, we have short- and long-term plans,” Noghashvili says. “For now, we aim to work in this direction. We won’t miss any chance to help popularize Georgia.” Goletiani adds, “The campaign serves an important and crucial cause. What’s more, it turned out to be extremely successful – so this won’t be a onetime thing, it will definitely have a continuation.” “For sure, none of us wants the energy that each person put into this campaign to be wasted,” Jobava adds. “We have plans for the future- interesting and contextual activities to make happen. We’ll continue to work in this direction simultaneously to following our own professional paths.”

TO CLOSE, WHY DO YOU THINK FOREIGNERS SHOULD VISIT GEORGIA? Keta Goletiani: That is a frequently asked question and I have a very honest answer. There are better seaside and mountain resorts in the world than Georgia has to offer; the infrastructure is better and more developed in other countries, too. But what makes Georgia special is a unique mix of things: the people of Georgia above all makes the country worth visiting. In a matter of just a few hours, you can travel from seaside to mountains, and find the highest settlements in Europe. You can see the infrastructure where the Asian and European cultures meet in the capital city of Tbilisi. Not to mention the Georgian wine and cuisine. All these, and a lot more, make Georgia a destination for a wanderer’s map. To look at things more pragmatically, the diverse culture of Georgia has everything to offer a tourist no matter what he’s looking for in the place he visits: it’s really cheap, especially compared to other touristic locations around the world that carry the same qualities as Georgia. What’s more, you can never feel lonely in Georgia – locals take in every guest as their own, it’s a part of the hospitability that I talked about.” Nini Noghashvili: “We have a country of great potential with a lot of distinctive, unique qualities. We have amazing nature – mountains, sea, and dry climate locations – everything to fulfill different expectations. We have great, immerse culture, history and cuisine. The hospitability of Georgians is something that all the tourists remember most from their experience.” Nini Mchedlishvili: “We have authentic, rare, intact nature which astonishes people, that’s why the rising number of tourists is no surprise. What’s more, the percentage of expatriates, people who come to Georgia to work and live, is ever-growing. I think that the spiritual freedom and openness that is natural for Georgians must be well kept and shared with as many foreigners as possible.”

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6

BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

ADB Approves Loan for New KveshetiKobi Road, Residents Oppose BY AMY JONES

T

he Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it has approved a $415 million loan for the construction of a new highway in

Georgia. The 23-kilometer road will connect Kvesheti and Kobi in the northeast of Georgia. The project hopes to improve travel for freight trucks, tourists and residents who are often delayed on the current Jvari Pass road, especially during winter. As part of the construction, developers will build the longest tunnel in Georgia (9 kilometers) and a bridge spanning the Khadistskali river. Approximately 3,500 vehicles currently use the Jvari Pass road daily, with traffic expected to double over the next decade. As the road is often closed more than 40 days per year, ADB insists that building a more efficient road that is operational all year is ‘a national priority.’ “A high-quality road network is essential for the growth and development of Georgia, which is located at the center of transit and trade routes linking Europe and Asia,” stated Werner Liepach, ADB Director General for Central and West Asia. “The new bypass road will greatly improve the North-South Corridor and help enhance trade and regional connectivity, as well as increase the number of visitors in the region, which is home to world-class natural and cultural heritage assets,” he continued. However, critics of the project claim

Image source - Georgian Tour

that it, in fact, endangers the unique nature in the area as the road will cut through Khada Gorge in the Caucasus

mountains. ‘This will ruin one of the most historically important valleys of the Caucasus.

It will encourage trucks where we should be encouraging rail. It is a disgrace that ADB is funding it,’ wrote one Facebook

user. Whilst another suggested increasing tariffs on freight traffic which are currently lower than the international norm. In addition, although ADB claims that the road will benefit local residents, bringing employment opportunities and more tourism to the region, many locals disagree: “I am a resident of village Kvasheti, and you are going to destroy my and our neighbours houses, also destroy this beautiful nature,” commented Nana Burduli. “Residents of Kvasheti and other villages don’t want this road.” Residents have set up a Facebook group, Protect the Khada Valley, in an attempt to stop the development. The group claims that the government has already claimed 8,475,775 squared meters of privately owned land in the Khada Valley for the road construction and calls upon the government to consider renovating existing roads and develop a sufficient sustainable development plan. Responding to criticism on Facebook, ADB insisted that ‘extensive assessments and consultations have been conducted with local communities, civil society organizations, and other project stakeholders during the project preparation phase.’ ADB has also funded a North-South highway in Armenia which experts criticized for costing too much money and lacking strategic sight. The planned Kvesheti-Kobi highway in Georgia is expected to cost $558.6 million, funded by ADB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Government of Georgia. Construction is planned to start in 2020.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

Minister of Economy Meets with Saudis

Image source: Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE

O

n Friday, August 2, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava met with the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Georgia to discuss the development of bilateral trade and economic ties. Ambassador Abdullah bin Hajjaj Al-Mutairi has served in his post since this spring, following a term as the Kingdom’s Ambassador to Bangladesh and a stint as deputy consul general at the Saudi Consulate in Houston. The Saudi Arabian Embassy to Georgia was opened in May of last year. During the Friday meeting, the two sides discussed trade and economic relations between Georgia and Saudi Arabia and opportunities to develop them further. Turnava recognized that the opening of the embassy in Tbilisi is encouraging and supports the deepening of cooperation between the two countries, aiding businesses in the two countries to increase cooperation, and promoting relations in various important fields, including bilateral trade, investment, tourism, and transportation. Ambassador Al-Mutairi expressed interest in cooperating with Georgia to increase exports of Georgian agricultural products to Saudi Arabia. The opening of the embassy and efforts towards increased cooperation come amidst increasing tourism from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Economy reports that from JanuaryJune 2019, the volume of Saudi tourists in Georgia increase by 68%. There are currently 11 direct flights a week between the countries. The increase comes at a critical time for Georgia, which faces a ban on direct flights from Russia, imposed by Moscow after

anti-Russian and anti-government political demonstrations broke out in Tbilisi in June. Towards the end of their meeting, Turnava invited a Saudi Arabian government delegation to attend the 2019 Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, which will be held October 22-23. The biennial Silk Road Forum is an “international platform for multilateral highlevel dialogue among senior policymakers, businesses and community leaders to discuss important issues on trade and connectivity, examine challenges facing countries along the New Silk Road connecting East and West, and find common solutions that have a positive impact on the region and the global economy,” the Forum describes itself. In April 2018, Georgian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Giorgi Janjgava and representatives of the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry announced the decision to open an embassy of Saudi Arabia in Tbilisi. A press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia explained that the decision was made, “Considering the desire to develop and further promote relations between Saudi Arabia and Georgia.” At the time, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote that “Georgia attaches great importance to the need to intensify cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To this end, an embassy of Georgia was set up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in January 2015 that made a considerable contribution to the development of bilateral and multilateral relations between the two countries, including in the political, military, tradeeconomic, investment and tourism sectors.” Georgia and Saudi Arabia engage in active political dialogue between their foreign ministries, and further cooperate through inter-parliamentary activities. As of April 2018, the Georgia Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported, Saudi direct investment in Georgia exceeds $100 million and is growing.

Georgian Railway Reacts to Employees’ Decision to Strike BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

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he pay Georgian Railway gives its employees has been the subject of interest and protest for some time now. The situation this week reached a peak and workers say they plan to go on a strike. Their demand is loud and clear: a 50% raise in salary. The new Professional Union of the Georgian Railway will reveal the start date for the strike on August 10. On Sunday, the Secretary of the Head of the Professional Union, Ilia Lezhava, pointed out that they have shown the company a written plan for the hows and whens of the demanded pay rise. As he reported early Sunday, the mediation process has also begun, but the administration of the Railway refuses any further discussions and negotiations. “At this point, 4,800 people are a part of this process – they have signed a petition, demanding the strike procedures begin. Our professional union has one thing left to do– to make sure these procedures meet the rule of law so that the strike will be legal. The administration, regrettably, has no communication with us,” Lezhava said. A few hours after Lezhava’s comment, the Georgian Railway released a statement. The beginning of the text is reassuring, explaining that it is the company’s priority to meet and satisfy the demands

and needs of its workers. “That said, the employees’ needs and demands also, must meet the company’s abilities,” it said, implying the demand of 50% salary increase. The Georgian Railway’s statement released on Sunday goes into detail to describe the “senselessness” of the recent demand. “We’d like to once again to point out that the company management is willing to negotiate with our staff around any logical demand. However, to participate in a mediation process that asks for 50% growth of salaries is senseless.” The company called the demand “an unrealistic, populist issue” and brought into question the points made by Lezhava, saying that “since each Georgian Railway employee is fully aware of the company's financial situation, it is not true that some 4,800 employees are preparing to go on strike. What’s more, the professional union unites only 400 members and so has no legitimate ability to speak for the whole collective, nor to announce the intention to go on strike with a demand that cannot possibly be satisfied.” As the official statement promises, starting from March 1 of 2020, each employee of Georgian Railway that is monthly paid less than 1500 GEL, will get 10% raise. Additionally, each staff member, regardless of their salary, working for the Georgian Railway, will get a fixed bonus twice a year. The statement confirms that the terms of the strike will be presented and discussed on August 10 at the company’s assembly.

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BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

Support the Lelos at Rugby World Cup 2019 with Georgia Travel Holding Japan Tour Guided by Renowned Georgian Photographer Goga Chanadiri

Rugby has always been a subject of national pride for Georgians. “Rugby is our game!” is the main motto of Georgian rugby fans when supporting their favorite team. And it has been proved many times already: rugby definitely is a Georgian game. Georgia Travel Holding, a rapidly growing and successful travel company focused on creating maximum comfort for customers, is offeringyet another unique opportunity for rugby fans and travel enthusiasts - an unforgettable tour in Japan to support the Georgian National Rugby Team, the Lelos, at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The tour, to be guided by renowned Georgian photographer Goga Chanadiri, lasts for 10 days (from September 24 to October 6) and represents an excellent opportunity to support your favorite team at the world’s most important rugby championship and, at the same time, visit distinguished tourist attractions of Japan, “Country of the Rising Sun”. The exclusive offers of the Japan tour include: a return flight (Tbilisi-Tokyo-Tbilisi) with Qatar Airways; accommodation in 4-star hotels with breakfast, two tickets to attend games of Georgian Rugby Team (the September 29 Georgia-Uruguay game at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, and the October 3 Georgia-Fiji game at Hanazono Rugby Stadium); lunches in local restaurants; guide service during the tour; excursions in Tokyo, Hakone, Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara; entrance tickets to museums; fast train tickets; transfers: airport-hotel-airport, hotel-stadium- hotel, hotel-railway station-hotel and internal transport during excursions; a gala dinner with renowned Georgian sumo wrestler Tochinoshin (Levan Gorgadze); travel insurance and consular services. During the trip, you will discover the unique culture of Japan, the dream destination of many travelers, where modernity merges with strong, centuries-old traditions, and visit the most famous tourist sites of the country. Everything is charming and exciting in Japan, be it culture, architecture, landscape, literature, sports, or humans. The main goal of Georgia Travel Holding is to give unforgettable holidays to travelers, so you are guaranteed perfect service during the whole trip. Regus Georgia, Vazha-Pshavela 71, 0186, Tbilisi Facebook, Linkedin – Georgia Travel Holding Tel: +995 599 041555, +995 599409919 gthsale@gmail.com

$600 bln Needed to Meet Regional Aircraft Demands by 2038

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egional aircraft markets will need $600 billion in investments to meet the demand for 150-seat 10,550 aircrafts by 2038 due to rise in air travellers, according to a report by aerospace company Embraer. Market growth will drive 65% of this demand for aircraft, while the remaining 35% will replace ageing aircrafts, the report adds. These developments will be one of the highlighted investment opportunities at the next edition of Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS). GIAS is an initiative of the UAE General Authority of Civil Aviation (GCAA) and will be held on 27-29 January 2020 in Dubai under the theme ‘Enabling Global Aviation Growth through Fund Raising and Key Partnerships’. The mega event will bring together more than 200 investors, besides selected government officials, aviation organisations, finance & insurance firms, aviation asset owners, aircraft operators & logistic service providers and legal consultants, and it highlights the biggest investment opportunities in the aviation industry with all its various sectors throughout the globe. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE-GCAA, said, “Investments in aviation are more vital now as regional aviation enjoys the economic benefits of robust tourism and improved regional connectivity. The rapid growth of aviation is propelled by many factors, including booming tourism industry, lower air fares, improved connectivity, and the rise of disposable incomes with the middle-class expansion. All these and more will be part of the investment opportunities that will be presented at GIAS.” Asia Pacific will drive the highest market share for 150-seat aircraft capacity by 28 per cent or 3,000 deliveries with North America following closely behind with 2,780 (27%), Europe with 2,240 (21%),

Latin America with 1,140 (11%), CIS with 580 (6%), Africa with 450 (4%) and the Middle East with 360 (3%), according to Embraer, the leading Brazilian manufacturer of commercial aircraft with up to 150 seats. Contributing to the greater demand for airline services is the successful tourism promotion of emerging economies. To cater to the demand, global aviation industry has been improving its connectivity for emerging destinations and ensuring increase in flight frequencies. Airlines have also adopted low-cost carriers, a segment that contributed to the consistent decrease in air fares by 0.9% annually, greatly impacting market competition. More details on georgiatoday.ge

Georgian Post & Georgian Airways for Local Entrepreneurs

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eorgian Post and Georgian Airways are offering entrepreneurs a new campaign titled ‘1 GEL and 1 Tetri,’ aimed at contributing to the development of the air freight business and export of Georgian products. Within the framework of the campaign, companies will be able to directly transfer Georgian products to 17 countries worldwide at a cost of 1.01 GEL per kilo of goods. The two national companies are uniting to encourage Georgian business and contribute to the import of Georgian products. Within the framework of the project ‘1 GEL and 1 Tetri,’ a special export offer was introduced (1.01 GEL/kg) a tariff which includes the custom services and air freight costs. The Georgian Post’s customs and warehouse terminal is located at the Tbilisi International Airport and comes fully equipped with the modern technologies required for ground and freight shipping services. The terminal’s 24-hour operation regime, high standard of safety and separate exit to the airport ensure efficient and quality air freight services in accordance with international standards. The company employs highly qualified, certified

specialists. In 2018, the Georgian Post terminal exported more than 2.5 million tons of cargo. “With this project, we aim to use all the resources at our disposal to help national production discover new markets and export Georgian products to new destinations. This will help expand local production, creating new jobs and boosting the country's economy,” said Levan Chikvaidze, Director General of Georgian Post. Air carrier Georgian Airways is equipped with modern medium-range aircraft: the Boeing 737, Embraer and CRJ. The company’s activities are focused on safe and reliable transportation and high-quality services for passengers and cargo. Georgian Airways implements on average 10 flights, carrying 7500 tons of cargo daily, and exports 225,000 tons of cargo per month. “Georgian Airways will again support local companies producing Georgian products many times in the future - not only through air freight but also in business development,” said Roman Bokeria, Director-General of Georgian Airways. “Georgian Airways, as a bridge, connects small and medium Georgian businesses with international customers, and this course will continue in future.”


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

9

Baghdati Introduces New Concept for Promoting Town as Tourist Destination

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he municipality of Baghdati in western Georgia welcomed colleagues from the Polish town of Kostrzyn for a four-day Staff Exchange Program aimed at strengthening opportunities for tourism in the Georgian municipality. This intense exchange, which involved international as well as local participants, resulted in the introduction of a new concept for promoting Baghdati as a tourist destination, during a final workshop. Launched within the framework of the EU’s ‘Mayors for Economic Growth’ (M4EG) initiative, Staff Exchange Programs send experienced municipal staff from EU countries on week-long missions to selected signatories in order to share their experience and render assistance. To date, 50 signatories from the six Eastern Partnership countries have applied for such support; in Georgia, the municipalities of Baghdati and Kutaisi were among the beneficiaries selected for the first nine missions to take place in 2019. Baghdati seeks practical advice on how to organize annual festivals and fairs of locally made products in accordance with European standards, and on how to attract tourists from both Georgia and abroad. The municipality of Kostrzyn volunteered to share their experience with Baghdati, which provided significant co-financing for the mission. The Polish delegation was led by Kostrzyn’s Mayor, Andrzej Ludwik Kunt, who was accompanied by the manager of the town’s European Integration and International Co-operation Office, Agnieszka Zurawska-Tatała. The work-

shop also included representatives from the M4EG initiative, the Georgian National Tourism Administration, the government of Georgia’s Imereti region as well as local groups and small businesses from the towns of Kutaisi, Terjola, Zestaponi and other neighboring areas. After a series of welcoming speeches, the Polish delegation presented an international tourism growth case study from Kostrzyn, and familiarized their Georgian colleagues with international standards to help them overcome the challenges of ‘going global’. In turn, Baghdati municipality presented their new concept, ‘Come to Baghdati: Promoting the city in new ways’. These presentations were followed by lively discussions during which all the participants made numerous recommendations. Following the workshop, Archil Gogsadze, the Mayor of Baghdati, noted that “Our work was very productive, and we held many discussions with our guests. The Polish experts gave us directions and advice for organizing festivals in Baghdati according to international quality standards. We are now more confident of being able to adopt European values and standards in our region. We have already planned to hold a wine and art festival in Baghdati this autumn, and we hope this event will attract many visitors thanks to the new approaches.” For his part, Mayor Kunt, declared that “We are glad to have been given the opportunity to support the municipality of Baghdati. In Kostrzyn, we organize a great number of festivals every year, which are attended by almost half a million people. Sixteen years of experience in this field have enabled us to advise

Baghdati on how to arrange successful events. We are truly fascinated by the town’s great potential for tourism, which is due to its amazing natural surroundings and the hospitality of its people, who are hard-working and ready to be actively involved in the municipality’s growth and development.’ Zviad Archuadze, the M4EG Country Coordinator for Georgia and Azerbaijan, highlighted the fact that “The M4EG Initiative’s Staff Exchange Programs enable our signatories to learn about the best European practices and to benefit from advice in their fields of interest. Nine Georgian signatories applied to the program this year, of which two munic-

ipalities, including Baghdati, were selected, but this is only the first year of the Staff Exchange Program, and we might soon announce the next edition in order to give other municipalities the chance to learn from their European colleagues.” In the meantime, a second staff exchange will see another team of EU experts visiting the Georgian municipality of Kutaisi this August.

ABOUT THE ‘MAYORS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH’ (M4EG) INITIATIVE The EU’s ‘Mayors for Economic Growth’ (M4EG) Initiative was launched in Jan-

uary 2017 in the 6 Eastern Partnership countries in order to increase the capacity of local administrations to stimulate economic growth and job creation in their area. By the summer of 2019, over 300 local authorities had already joined the Initiative, over half of which have already been promoted from Junior to Acting Members upon drafting and beginning to carry out their unique local economic development plans. In order to support the efforts of these Acting Members, the M4EG Secretariat launched a Staff Exchange Programme to send experienced municipal staff from EU countries on one-week missions to share their experience and render assistance.


10

BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

On Georgian Copyright MUSIC IN PUBLIC SPACES SUCH AS BARS, CAFES AND GYMS, WHERE YOUTUBE IS OFTEN USED. IS IT LEGAL TO DO SO?

Gigi Kobaladze, Chairman of the Georgian Copyright Association

It would be against the law and discriminatory for CMO members to oblige users to choose a specific repertoire, so we issue a blanket license that covers the whole repertoire and users are entitled to use any musical piece they like. As for YouTube or any intermediary, its availability does not mean that business entities can use it for their business. For example, buying a licensed CD means you have obtained the right to listen privately or with your friends and family- you only obtain a physical CD and not the right to use the music. If you are a restaurant owner and you play a licensed CD, play YouTube, Adjaranet (though they are licensed themselves by CMO and even if they were not licensed), play radio, or play live music, this is qualified as a public performance of musical works and you have to obtain a license from the CMO.

IS A SUBSCRIPTION METHOD FOR LOCAL SITES BEING DISCUSSED AS A LEGAL OBLIGATION? ARE GEORGIAN MUSIC AND MOVIE SITES COMMITTING A COPYRIGHT VIOLATION?

BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES

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users’ reports (paying directly to local members and for foreign right holders to the respective foreign CMOs which represent right holders in the report). “Apart from the main tasks, the GCA is actively engaged in public awareness activities,” Kobaladze tells us. “We often participate in different workshops and seminars, issue a magazine covering copyright topics, and participate in various media activities, like interviews, TV shows, etc. We’re known as a regional leader and example of success in the region.” He cites as evidence of this success the letters from international umbrella organizations which it is a member of: Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC), International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO), and Societies' Council for the Collective Management of Performers' Rights (SCAPR). “An obvious example of success is how the GCA performs its main task- the collection and distribution of royalties. Before the reform began in the organization in 2012, the average annual collection of royalties was approximately 250,000 GEL. Last year, we collected nearly 5,100.000 GEL, which is twenty times more.”

nyone who’s lived in Georgia a while will know that copyright is a gray area, with movies, music and literature readily available for free if you know which site to use, much more so than in the West. But, as with many things I’ve seen in my 12 years here, things are changing and moving towards international standards- copyright awareness and enforcement among them. Looking to find out more, I contacted Gigi Kobaladze, Chairman of the Georgian Copyright Association (GCA). Established in 1999, the GCA is the sole Collective Management Organization (CMO) in Georgia. The main tasks of the GCA are to sign membership agreements with local right holders (authors of music, works of literature, audiovisual works, performers, etc.) by which they assign economic rights to the GCA; sign reciprocal agreements with foreign CMOs (PRS in the UK, SACEM in France, GEMA in Germany, ASCAP/BMI/SESAC in the USA, etc.), by which the GCA authorizes foreign CMOs to collect remuneration on behalf of GCA members and vice versa; set the tariffs for the usage of copyright and related rights works; issue licenses for the use of copyright and related rights works; collect royalties paid by users; and to distribute royalties to the rights holders indicated in the

WHAT AREAS OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT ARE MOST COMMON IN GEORGIA, WHY DO THEY EXIST AND WHAT LAWS APPLY?

The Georgian gov't is considering implementing a law on ISP liability that would help fight online piracy

The most common infringement types occur in the sphere of music and movies (Audiovisual Works). Most infringements take place online because in the modern world the digital product is becoming more and more popular and this results in massive online piracy. The essence of infringement is using copyrighted work without consent and payment of due royalty. The main law in this sphere is the Law of Georgia on Copyright and Related Rights, which includes all the necessary regulations one has to follow. If the law is breached, the fines are prescribed by Georgian Administrative and Criminal Codes. Administrative and Criminal fines are not very high (from 500 to 5000 GEL); however, Administrative and Criminal procedures are rarely used in practice. The most common

practices are civil cases when a right holder goes to court against a user who has not obtained authorization to use the work and has not paid the royalty. The latter is the most effective way of copyright protection.

WHAT IS THE GCA’S CONTRIBUTION TO COPYRIGHT PROTECTION? Our contribution to copyright protection is limited to our competence, which is prescribed by the law. We have individual cases when individual authors reach agreements with the users of their works only after GCA involvement (consultation, sending letters, etc.). However, when it comes to court cases, we are entitled to file complaints only against users who use copyrighted works and refuse to obtain a GCA license, or who violate the license agreement terms. All the cases are won by the GCA or are settled by the parties.

TELL US ABOUT THE PLAYING OF

Image source: wpdlegal.com

Adjaranet, for example, is licensed for communication to the public of music (including music in movies). We do not have the competence to check whether or not Adjaranet obtains movies legally: it is only a right holder that can require Adjaranet or any other website to purchase content legally from them. The situation is quite complex because some rights are administered collectively and, in this case, the CMO (GCA) issues a license, and there are cases when the CMO does not have the competence to require a license. In Adjaranet’s case, the CMO is only entitled to ask Adjaranet to obtain a license for music when it is communicated to the public, but before that, they have to obtain movies legally directly from the right holders or their distributors, which is a process that can be controlled only by the right holders.

IF SOMEONE REPORTS A VIOLATION TO YOU, AND CONSIDERING THE CURRENT LACK OF AWARENESS OF COPYRIGHT, DOES THE GCA FIRST GIVE "FAIR WARNING" TO A BUSINESS OR INDIVIDUAL, AND GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO OBTAIN A GCA LICENSE, OR DOES IT GO STRAIGHT TO COURT?

Georgian copyright legislation is in full harmonization with the EU regulations The GCA is not a state body and violations cannot be reported to us because we do not have the competence to impose a fine. Only state bodies have such competence. For example, if someone has their car stolen, they have to go to the police, which is a state body. It means individual cases are managed individually. However, if individual authors approach us about violations, we always try to help them; communicate with the party who violated the law, etc. We go to court on issues which are in our competence – our collective licenses.

WHAT DOES A GCA LICENSE COVER FOR BUSINESSES? We have different types of user segments for different types of business in the sphere of Music, Literature, Dramatic Works, Visual Arts, Audiovisual Works (movies), etc. There are up to 40 segments.

WHAT CHALLENGES REMAIN AND HOW CAN THE GCA/ THE GOVERNMENT/ SOCIETY TACKLE THEM? The main concern is online piracy, as it is in the rest of the world. The Georgian government is considering implementing a law on ISP (Internet Service Provider) liability that would help the process of fighting online piracy. On the other hand, the best option is to lead an active educational and social campaign, because raising awareness in this sphere could change users’ behavior and lead to a reduction in the number of infringements. Happily, Georgian copyright legislation is in full harmonization with the EU regulations and this task was given to our government initially in the EU integration process, including with the DCFTA. Problems are connected not to the legislation as such, but to a lack of enforcement practice and the culture of user behavior.


SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY AUGUST 6 - 8, 2019

11

Fostering the Growing Environmental Awareness of the Youth!

CENN and Carrefour collaborate to teach the youth about reducing waste at USAID/CENN WTMR II programme’s Green Camp

BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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hile the world enjoys the various technological innovations of the 21st century, the vital issue of protecting the environment and our surroundings often finds itself in second place. CENN is one of the leading NGOs working on protecting the environment by fostering sustainable development throughout the South Caucasus. CENN places a lot of emphasis on youth-focused sustainability programs in Georgia, based on the belief that the younger generation will shape the country’s future and change attitudes in the longterm. The six-day Green Camp was held within the frameworks of CENN's waste management program (WMTR), which

is funded by USAID. The Green Camp brought together 22 youth participants from the regions of Kakheti, Ajara, Shida Kartli and Tbilisi. It is one of 10 youth Green Camps to be held by CENN throughout the summer of 2019, each with a specific environmental theme. Carrefour joined the Green Camp this July to provide supplies for one of the camp's activities. The overall focus of the Green Camp was to educate participants on the underlying principles of sustainable waste management and the current waste-related projects ongoing through the Waste Management program. However, given the interconnected nature of environmental issues, the campers also learned about a range of topics including environmental conservation, sustainable forestry, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and environmental leadership skills. Sessions included interactive activi-

ties such as a bird watching hike focused on the importance of biodiversity, discussions and debate examining the concept of a linear vs. circular economy

and the 4Rs (“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover”); a training was given on public speaking skills and environmental communication; and a ceramics-making workshop was offered using natural clay and led by artists from a Tbilisi ceramics studio. Towards the end of the week, after participants had already learned about the significance of reducing packaging waste, they had the special opportunity to participate in a DIY Zero Waste Workshop led by a guest from the Embassy of France with support from the MAF Carrefour. Campers learned how to make their own toothpaste and household cleaner from natural ingredients with minimal packaging, and got to take home their creations in reusable glass jars. The Carrefour supermarket chain supported the Green Camp by donating all the necessary material for the DIY Zero Waste workshop, and giving the campers goody bags packed with reusable items, while the members of the Carrefour Georgia team, namely, Nino Ramishvili (Head of PR and Commu-

nications) and Josef Kocandrle (General Manager of Carrefour East Point) joined the activity and spoke about the wastereduction practices launched by the company so far. “One of our sustainable projects is the environmental campaign ‘Honor nature,’ which we started last year to raise awareness about how plastic harms the environment and the advantages of using reusable bags instead,” stated Carrefour’s representative at the event. We were happy to hear about the Green Camp in Georgia and were glad to have a chance to visit and contribute to the theoretical and practical, environmentally-friendly activities. For those who have never visited CENN’s Green Camp, it’s an amazing very green and perfectly maintained location, where kids, in a very positive and interesting manner, are taught how to protect the environment. It was a great opportunity to share the same spirit and see the younger generation so interested.” By the end of the week, not only had campers gained a deep understanding of the key principles of sustainable waste management, they also formed deep and meaningful friendships with participants from different regions of the country. This social aspect of the Green Camp helped campers expand their worldview and gain a more nuanced understanding of environmental issues facing the country. WMTR Program launches the next camps on August 3.

Huawei's Revenue Jumps 23.2% in First Half of 2019

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UAWEI announced its business results for the first half (H1) of 2019. The Chinese smartphone giant’s revenue for the first half of 2019 increased by 23.2%. The company's net profit margin for the first half of 2019 was 8.7%. According to HUAWEI’s Chairman, Liang Hua, operations are smooth and the organization is as sound as ever. With effective management and excellent performance across all financial indicators, HUAWEI’s business has remained robust. In HUAWEI’s carrier business, H1 sales revenue reached CNY146.5 billion, with steady growth in production and shipment of equipment for wireless networks, optical transmission, data communications, IT, and related product domains. To date, HUAWEI has secured 50 commercial 5G contracts and has shipped

more than 150,000 base stations to markets around the world. In HUAWEI’s enterprise business, H1 sales revenue was CNY31.6 billion. HUAWEI continues to enhance its ICT portfolio across multiple domains, including cloud, artificial intelligence, campus

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George Sharashidze COMMERCIAL DEPARTMENT

Commercial Director: Iva Merabishvili Marketing Manager: Sesili Tikaradze

GEORGIA TODAY

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT:

Editor-In-Chief: Katie Ruth Davies

networks, data centers, Internet of Things, and intelligent computing. It remains a trusted supplier for government and utility customers, as well as customers in commercial sectors like finance, transportation, energy, and automobile. In its consumer business, H1 sales rev-

Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Zaza Jgarkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze, Samantha Guthrie, Amy Jones, Thea Morrison, Ana Dumbadze, Ketevan Kvaratskheliya Photographer: Irakli Dolidze

enue hit CNY220.8 billion. Its smartphone shipments (including Honor phones) reached 118 million units, up 24% y-o-y. The company also saw rapid growth in its shipments of tablets, PCs, and wearables. HUAWEI is beginning to scale its device ecosystem to deliver a more seamless intelligent experience across all major user scenarios. To date, the HUAWEI Mobile Services ecosystem has more than 800,000 registered developers, and 500 million users worldwide. “Revenue grew fast through May,” said Liang. “Given the foundation we laid in the first half of the year, we continue to see growth even after we were added to the entity list. That’s not to say we don’t have difficulties ahead. We do, and they may affect the pace of growth in the short term.” He added, “But we will stay the course. We are fully confident in what the future

Website Manager/Editor: Katie Ruth Davies Layout: Misha Mchedlishvili Webmaster: Sergey Gevenov Circulation Managers: David Kerdikashvili, David Djandjgava

holds, and we will continue investing as planned – including a total of CNY120 billion in R&D this year. We’ll get through these challenges, and we’re confident that HUAWEI will enter a new stage of growth after the worst of this is behind us.” HUAWEI products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world's population. There are 16 research and development centers operating worldwide in the USA, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. HUAWEI Consumer BG is one of three business units of HUAWEI, mainly focusing on the production of smartphones, personal computers, tablets and cloud services. The HUAWEI Global Network is based on 20 years of experience in the telecommunications business and serves to the production of innovative technologies to customers around the world.

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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1174 Business  

August 6 - 8, 2019

Issue #1174 Business  

August 6 - 8, 2019

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