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Issue no: 1210/210

• DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

PRICE: GEL 2.50

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

Georgia Attracts $417.3 mln in FDIs in Q3 of 2019 BUSINESS PAGE 3

FOCUS

ON INNOVATION IN FERTILITY TREATMENT

We speak to the head of Inova Invitro to find out how the clinic is fighting the global issue of infertility

Georgia Expects a 55,000-ton Tangerine Harvest BUSINESS PAGE 4

The Embassy of the UAE in Tbilisi Celebrates 48th National Day BUSINESS PAGE 7

PAGE 6

CoE Again Calls on Russia to Pay €10 m Compensation to Georgia BY TEA MARIAMIDZE

USAID’s Civil Society Partners are Building Brighter Futures for Children BUSINESS PAGE 8

Tbilisi Int'l Film Festival Announces best Georgian Films CULTURE PAGE 10

What Will Bring Generational Change to Georgia?

T

he Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers has for the second time urged Russia to pay €10 million compensation to Georgia for the illegal deportation of Georgians from Russia in 2006. The CoE request came after the Georgian side asked the CoE on December 3-5, 2019 to again assess the execution of the case of the deported Georgians.

POLITICS PAGE 11 Prepared for Georgia Today Business by

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COMMODITIES

Georgia’s Ministry of Justice reports that, like at the September 2019 meeting, the Committee endorsed the arguments put forward by the Georgian government and called on Russia to compensate Georgia € 10 million. As Russia had the obligation to pay the compensation before the end of April 2019, but refused to do so, the Committee highlighted that paying the fine is an unconditional obligation and despite the resistance of Russia, it must pay the compensation to the Georgian citizens. Continued on page 3

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NEWS

@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: HAPPY GREEN is a new Georgian start-up corresponding to the healthy, green, vegan tendency of the world. It offers cold, natural juice, smoothies and energetic small balls to consumers. The start-up was founded by Liz Abramishvili and Ana Gagua. The brand’s popular detox-kit combines 8 types of juice and smoothies that are used for improving people's immunity, relaxation, helping them become fitter and healthier. The brand plans to expand, and offer an even bigger selection of healthy products to society, encouraging a healthy life-style. Popular Georgian brand PARKER GEORGIA showed up in the market in 2017. Founders Kato Alania and Mariam Metreveli have created a Georgian shoe brand that produces high-quality, comfortable, colorful, handmade sandals and shoes made from natural material. They also offer designer socks and leather bags. The company’s future plans include raising the Georgian shoe brand’s availability and fame in various parts of the world. Entrepreneur Shop is a new platform of Entrepreneur which shares the strategic mission of the magazine by continuing to support Georgian entrepreneurs through an additional channel – an online shop. Unlike the functioning analogies, the Entrepreneur Shop will only offer production made by Georgian entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur Shop will unite different services and products in one space. It will include everything that is Georgian, has the best quality and was made with Georgian entrepreneurial spirit. The online shop already offers around 200 products of up to 25 Georgian brands, a number that is ever-increasing. Entrepreneur encourages every Georgian brand that creates interesting and outstanding production to join the Entrepreneur Shop community. The online shop will open new doors to member entrepreneurs: raising their brands to fame and increasing their income. 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

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

Gov't & Opposition Comment on their Second Meeting BY ANA DUMBADZE

T

he second meeting between the government and opposition parties aimed at discussing proposals for the electoral system was held on December 8. The representatives of the ruling party Georgian Dream and opposition made comments before and after the meeting, assessing their expectations and results of the dialogues and negotiations between the sides. "There are signs that we are returning to a normal political process," Speaker of the Parliament Archil Talakvadze told reporters before the meeting, which was also attended by diplomatic corps accredited to Georgia. “This meeting allows us to get acquainted with the proposals of the opposition. We will have our arguments. If there are any specific proposals by the opposition, we will ask for time to prepare and introduce answers at the next meeting. There are signs that we are returning to a normal political process. Dialogue is good for that. I, as the Speaker of the Parliament, welcome the dialogue between our political party and the opposition, and this format, where nonparliamentary and parliamentary opposition, as well as our international partners, are represented, I think it is the optimal one,” he said. "The ice has started melting, but public and our trust in the Georgian Dream is at zero, GD is known for its lies," Giorgi Vashadze, the leader of the “New Georgia” party, said, adding the 'Georgian Dream' has exhausted itself and "the time of their departure is coming."

After the meeting, he noted that no agreement was reached during the discussion and the meeting ended without significant results. “No agreement has been reached. There are no positive results. Since the parties have been unable to agree on anything for two rounds, international mediators removed the component of the multimandate constituency from our document and told us to consider this component separately. The opposition has no problem discussing the electoral system and principles according to the components,” he said. Davit Usupashvili, the leader of the Development Movement, said that they discussed the issue of distribution of 73 majoritarian mandates and election rules, however, "the government had no opinion." "The conversation continued about how to get out of the crisis. The previous meeting was mainly dedicated to the constitutionality of the proportional part of the so-called German model and we could not agree. So the document will be sent tomorrow to Vienna, then

to Warsaw. We discussed other components of the offer today. Specifically, the distribution of 73 majoritarian seats and election rules. We had an exchange of views on these topics, but the government has no opinion on this issue either. We offer multi-majoritarian parliamentary constituencies, where each voter has one vote. The authorities will come with answers at the next meeting. We are open to hearing a better solution to the current situation in the country. Today, the authorities presented nothing new,” he added. Irakli Kobakhidze, the former Speaker of the Parliament, said that the ruling party Georgian Dream would discuss all options relating to the reform of the election system. He claimed that the international partners had offered the government an electoral change independent from the so-called 'German Model,' which only applies to the majoritarian elections. "Generally, we will consider all options, including the one that was offered yesterday. Let's see how the process will develop," he said.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

3

CoE Again Calls on Russia to Pay €10 m Compensation to Georgia Continued from page 1

Georgia Attracts $417.3 mln in FDIs in Q3 of 2019 BY ANA DUMBADZE

F

oreign direct investments (FDI) in Georgia amounted to $417.3 million in Q3 of 2019 which is a 13.7 % increase compared to the same period of last year, the latest preliminary data from the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) shows. FDIs in Georgia in 2017-2019 (Million US Dollars) The top three countries that invested the most in Georgia in Q3 of 2019 were: The United Kingdom - 18.8% Netherlands - 16.4% Turkey – 10.3%

FDIs by major economic sectors were the following: Financial sector - $96 million Manufacturing sector - $49.3 million

Photo source: Geostat

Hotels and restaurants - $45.7 million The share of FDIs in these three major economic sectors reached 45.7% in Q3 of 2019.

“Further, the Committee of Ministers is concerned that the Russian delegation is attempting to question the sequence of enforcement of the European Court's decision, which primarily involves payment of compensation to Georgia by the Russian Federation,” the Georgian Justice Ministry reports. The Georgian side notes that the Committee emphasized that non-payment of compensation by Russia was a clear disregard of the obligation stated under Article 46, section 1 of the Convention and called on the Russian Federation to consult with the Committee of Ministers to identify modalities for payment. “Despite opposition from the Russian Federation, the Committee satisfied Georgia's demand and appointed debates to the case at its next meeting in March 2020,” the Ministry added. To note, as part of the enforcement of the verdict on the so called Deportation Case, the CoE Committee made its first decision on September 23-25, 2019, endorsing the arguments put forward by the Georgian government and calling on Russia to pay €10 million in immediate compensation to Georgia. According to the decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice on January 31, 2019, this sum should be distributed to at least 1,500 victims of mass deportation and gross human rights violations by the Russian Federation which took place in Autumn 2006 and early 2007. Those who were victims of collective expulsion will receive €2,000, while €10,000 to €15,000 will go to the victims of unlawful deprivation of liberty

and inhuman and degrading conditions of detention. Between 2006 and 2007, more than 4,600 expulsion orders were issued by Russian authorities against Georgian nationals. Of these, more than 2,300 were detained and forcibly expelled and the remainder left the country by their own means. The official Russian position was that the Georgian victims had violated Russia’s Immigration Laws and their treatment in custody and expulsion from the country was standard law enforcement. The mass deportation was preceded by the arrest of four Russian officers on charges of espionage by the previous government of Georgia in September 2006, later that year, large numbers of Georgian nationals were mistreated in Russia. The European Court of Human Rights started discussions on the case submitted by Georgia against Russia in 2009. In 2014, the European Court finally ruled against Russia and gave Moscow 12 months to negotiate with Georgia the precise terms of compensation, while in 2015, Georgia officially requested in excess of €70 million for the victims. Based on the Grand Chamber 31 January 2019 decision, the ECHR ruled that as result of the 2014 verdict, and upon Georgia's 2015 application for damage compensation, Russia has to pay €10 million to Georgia. The Government of Georgia has called the verdict a “great victory,” however, Russia has not yet fulfilled its obligation, as the deadline for paying the compensation expired on April 30, 2019.

AGHMASHENELI AVENUE 178; 0112 TBILISI — GEORGIA; T +995 (32) 222 10 35; F +995 (32) 222 10 73; EMAIL: HA1L2@ACCOR.COM


4

BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

Georgia Expects a 55,000-ton Tangerine Harvest BY TEA MARIAMIDZE

T

he harvesting process of tangerines in Georgia is underway without delay and it has been announced that a 55,000-ton harvest is expected this season. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, visited Georgia’s Ajara region and familiarized himself with the process of citrus export in the city of Batumi. Together with Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara Tornike Rizhavadze, the PM visited the Ferry Station at Batumi Port where ships are loaded with tangerine containers for further export. Gakharia stated that the harvest is well underway and there are no problems when it comes to citrus pricing and selling. “Most importantly, we see that Ajara's farmers are happy as they encounter no problems selling their products, which is exciting,” he said. The Prime Minister stressed that the most important issue nowadays is creating more workplaces, adding the Georgian economy needs more growth. “We must support the empowerment and development of local businesses, and attract and support investors as well. As you know, we expect a growth in our FDIs these last few months, and we will do everything to make sure that

Georgian business is stronger, so that it can create new jobs, this way supporting our country's economic growth,” he added. A coordination center serving farmers and factories opened in the region on October 16, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Ajara, which facilitates the storage of the fruit and the distribution of state subsidiaries to farmers growing tangerines. The center will work until February 1, 2020. Processing plants are standing ready to accept non-standard products. The amount of tangerines received by the plants for processing has already exceeded 405 tons. The storage of citrus in Ajara and Guria engages 25 companies, of which 14 work on export. These companies include 5 enterprises financed under the Unified Agro Project. Moreover, in terms of processing fruit, including citrus fruit, 7 new enterprises financed under the Unified Agro Project operate in the regions of Ajara and Guria, and one further enterprise has expanded its operations. Their cumulative investment exceeds GEL 10 million ($3,401,360). The companies have created 155 new jobs. Early this month, Georgian Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili said that 2019 will be a special year for farmers, taking into consideration the high quality of the tangerine harvest. He said that high quality tangerines will reflect on the market price and noted that the

Image source: bpn.ge

export market is more diversified this year as new export markets have been added for Georgian tangerines. The Minister underlined that this year Georgia will export tangerines to four new countries: Slovenia, Singapore, Lithuania and Qatar, alongside the tra-

ditional export countries of Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Davitashvili noted that Belarus and the Central Asian countries are also interested in importing Georgian tangerines. Georgia exported 26,775 tons of man-

darins during the 2018-2019 citrus harvest season, while this year, 7,900 tons of tangerines have been exported since the middle of October. Further, the export of tangerines grew by 25% in 2018-2019 compared to the 2017-2018 harvest.

Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards 2019

Image source: exclusivenews.ge

BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

O

n December 6, the fifth annual ceremony of Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards took place in Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace. Co-organized by Georgian National Tourism Administration of the Ministry of Economics and Sustainable Development of Georgia, it has successfully established itself as a unique platform to develop the country’s tourism sector. This year the ceremony awarded winners and finalists of 26 different nominations out of over 380 nominees, one of them being the ‘Spend Your Summer in Georgia’ campaign. This year was more festive than ever for the National Tourism Awards, being its fifth anniversary. So additionally the organizers added new nominations to cover a broader spectrum of the Georgian tourism and hospitality sector,

awarding participants for their hard work and dedication to the country’s touristic development. The new nominations were: “The Best Airline Company”, “The Best Traditional Craft”, “The Best Niche Tourism”, “The Best Rural Tourism”, “The Best Small Winery”, “The Best Responsible Tourism”. Natia Turnava, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, attended the Awards and addressed the guests, expressing her gladness for the ceremony’s 5 years of success and thanking the nominees for their dedication to showing Georgian hospitality to tourists. Turnava also touched on next year’s plans, announcing that in 2020, the Georgian National Tourism Administration will direct its marketing campaign mainly to international platforms like CNN, National Geographic, Bloomberg, Google, and others. The National Tourism Awards hosted up to 700 guests. The attendees were owners and general managers of the best hotels, restaurants, wineries, market-

leading developers, representatives from the main businesses of the country, government officials, national and local authorities, representatives of the largest hotel operators, travel agencies and tour operators, mass media and industry press and filmmakers. Here’s the list of this year’s winners: 1. Special Award for the Development of the Tourism Industry – Spend Your Winter In Georgia 2. Concept Accommodation Award – Moxy Tbilisi; Glamping Georgia 3. Concept Café/Restaurant Award – Puri Guliani 4. The Best Traditional Georgian Restaurant Award - Ethno-Tsiskvili 5. The Best Wine Tourism Award – Winery Khareba; Chateau Mukhrani 6. The Best Sea Accommodation Award – Sheraton Batumi Hotel 7. The Best Value – Premium Accommodation Award –Tbilisi Marriott Hotel 8. The Best Value - Standard Accommodation Award – Courtyard by Marriott Tbilisi

9. The Fastest Growing Company Of The Year In The Same Segment Award – Best Western Tbilisi City Center 10. Icreate - The Most Successful Georgian Brand In The Tourism Industry Award – Georgia Palace Hotel & Spa Kobuleti 11. The Best Woman Entrepreneur In The Tourism Industry Award – Keti Mikashavidze 12. Responsible Tourism Award – Marriott Hotels in Tbilisi 13. The Best Festival Or Event Award – Tbilisi Open Air / AlterVision 14. The Best Rural Tourism Award – Wine Yard N1 15. The Best Ski Accommodation Award – Gudauri Loft 16. The Best Incoming Tour Operator Award - Holiday Factory 17. The Best Adventure Tourism Award – Mountain Freaks - Mountain Travel & Adventure Agency 18. The Best Value – Low Budget Accommodation Award – Hostel Pushkin 10 19. The Best Niche Tourism Award – Trails and Wines 20. The Best Traditional Craft Award – WHITE Studio

21. The Best Small Winery Award – ბაიას ღვინო /Baia's Wine 22. H2Otel Water Saving Award - Hostel WhyMe? 23. The Best Airline Company – Lufthansa 24. Special Prize: Khetsuriani Trophy - Spend 4 Seasons in Georgia 25. The Best Hotel Of International Chain In Georgia Award – Radisson Collection Hotel, Tsinandali Estate Georgia 26. Special Award The Best Mice Tourism Award – Lopota Lake Resort & Spa Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards is an annual awards ceremony, taking place every year since 2015. The main mission of the Project is to appreciate and encourage those involved in the tourism and hospitality industry in Georgia and promote the high-achieving tourism business and brands that create a positive image of the country worldwide. The project has big support from the government and private businesses. Tbilisi City Hall and the Partnership Fund are official supporters. Bank of Georgia is a co-organizer of the project while Alliance Group is a general sponsor.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

5

UNDP: Georgia Ranks High in Human Development but Loses 12% of Progress through Inequalities

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eorgia ranks 70 of the 189 countries covered by the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) published on Monday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Recognizing that human well-being depends on more than just money, the UNDP combines health, education and income to rank the world’s countries. This year, Georgia places ahead of Armenia at 81, Azerbaijan at 87 and Ukraine at 88, but behind Russia at 49, Belarus at 50 and Turkey at 59. Georgia currently qualifies as a country of high human development. Between 2000 and 2018, the country’s HDI value rose from 0.669 to 0.786, an increase of 17.5%. Life expectancy at birth increased by 3.2 years, mean years of schooling by 1.1 years and expected years of schooling by 3.0 years. GNI per capita grew by about 19.8% between 1990 and 2018. However, these achievements lose some lustre when the HDI value is discounted for inequality. For Georgia the loss is a discouraging 12%. “Georgia’s performance in improved living standards for its citizens is being undercut by inequality,” said Louisa Vinton, UNDP Head in Georgia. “This year’s human development report is a call to action to design and adopt policies to reduce disparities, whether between men and women, urban and rural areas, or the wealthy and the poor.”

BEYOND INCOME, BEYOND AVERAGES, BEYOND TODAY Inequality is the main theme of the analysis that accompanies this year’s Human Development Index. The new Human Development Report (HDR) argues that, despite unprecedented progress against poverty, hunger and disease, many societies are not working as they should. “Different triggers are bringing people onto the streets - the cost of a train ticket, the price of petrol, demands for political freedoms, the pursuit of fairness and justice. This is the new face of inequality, and as this Human Development Report sets out, inequality is not beyond solutions,” says UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. The 2019 Human Development Report (HDR), entitled ‘Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond

today: inequalities in human development in the 21st Century,’ says that just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing for millions of people, the necessities to thrive have evolved. A new generation of inequalities is opening up, around education, and around technology and climate change: two seismic shifts that, unchecked, could trigger a ‘new great divergence’ in society of the kind not seen since the Industrial Revolution, according to the report. The report argues that while the middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia have achieved higher living standards than ever before, climate change and technological disruption could severely slow down their efforts to reduce inequalities. For instance, nearly 90% of the region’s energy comes from fossil fuels, and some 30% of land is classified as degraded. And while the region ranks in the middle tercile worldwide on research and development spending, its ratio of highly skilled to low-skilled workers is only half that of OECD countries, a gap that will become harder to close as technology advances in richer countries. To address these challenges, the 2019 HDR proposes a battery of policy options, including lifelong investments in human productivity, education and social

Passenger Flow in Georgian Airports up 4% During January-November

BY ANA DUMBADZE

G

eorgian airports served 4,877.963 passengers during January-November this year, which is 4% more compared to the same period of 2018. The Georgian Civil Aviation Agency (GCAA) says that an increase of about 16% was projected during this period, the slowdown is caused by the cessation of flights between Georgia and Russia. Tbilisi International Airport faced a 2% decrease of passengers in 11 months. However, the number of passengers increased at Batumi (3%) and Kutaisi (41%) international airports. Georgian Civil Aviation Agency states that based

on the 12 months data the growth in airports will be about 2-3%. In the first 11 months of 2019, Georgian airports served: Tbilisi International Airport – 3,470,411 passengers Batumi International Airport – 597,912 passengers Kutaisi International Airport – 791,399 passengers Meanwhile, passenger flow increased in the local airports of Georgia. The number of passengers increased by 22% in Mestia Airport compared to last year. It also increased by 21% in Ambrolauri Airport year-onyear. Georgian local airports served: Mestia Airport – 7,997 passengers Ambrolauri Airport – 1,885 passengers Last year, Georgian airports served 5,033,323 passengers in total.

protection; policy reforms related to international taxation and public spending; systemic steps to close gender gaps in politics, economics and society; and policies crucial to tackling the climate crisis.

GLOBAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX (HDI) The 2019 HDR shows that impressive progress has been made in the HDI since 1990 and many countries have moved up through the human development categories: between 1990 and 2018 the number of countries classified as having very high human development rose from 12 to 62, while those classified as having low human development fell from 62 to 36. The top five positions in the global HDI rankings are: Norway (0.954), Switzerland (0.946), Ireland (0.942), Germany (0.939) and Hong Kong (0.939). The bottom five are: Burundi (0.423), South Sudan (0.413), Chad (0.401), Central African Republic (0.381) and Niger (0.377). Unequal distribution of human development gains in education, health and living standards within countries remains a challenge to achieving human development for all. The Inequality adjusted HDI (IHDI) shows that globally, 20% of human devel-

opment progress was lost in 2018. The empowerment gap between women and men, as measured by the Gender Inequality Index (GII), is narrowing but at a very slow pace. There are small gains globally in parliamentary representation (24.1% of seats held by women) and in reduction of adolescent birth rate (42.9 births per 1000 women of adolescent age), but the gap in economic empowerment persists (the labor force participation rate of women is still 27 percentage points lower than of men). Georgia GII value ranks it 75 out of 162 countries. In Georgia, only 15% of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 97.4% of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 98.6% of men. For every 100,000 live births, 36.0 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 46.4 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19. Female participation in the labor market is 57.8% compared to 78.7 for men. UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in some 177 countries and territories, we offer a global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.


6

BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

Innova Invitro – The Place Where Parenting Dreams Come True the surrogacy program, stimulation is provided for the biological mother or the donor, and the fertilized egg is transferred to the surrogate mother’s womb. Surrogate mothers have no genetic relationship with the embryos.

WHAT ARE THE ROOT CAUSES OF INFERTILITY? Infertility is a sensitive global issue. The causes may range from stress, late marriage, ecology, or the deterioration of male spermogram, among others. Quite often, a delayed visit to a doctor becomes one of the major obstacles.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MAJOR PRIORITY OF INOVA INVITRO?

I

Our collaboration with Spain, an indisputable leader in the field, and working in accordance with the standards that they set, has been Invitro’s major asset. Partnering with IVI is a major advantage in terms of research, results and technical support. Inova Invitro is a clinic that never fails to adhere to the best of European standards, which is also stressed by its maintenance of an embryological laboratory, headed by Jordan Garcia Ortega, a leading specialist at IVI.

nfertility was always a very serious problem for society, both as a medical and as a social-demographic issue. In an era of late parenting, combined with career growth goals which weakened the institution of family, the hazardous effects of toxic influences of ecology and environmental factors saw infertility becoming not just a personal tragedy but a global problem. Innova Invitro, established and guided by Dr. Ketevan Osidze who is well-known for as being a doctor with excellent results, is fully dedicated to meeting patient’s expectations. The clinic has been operating since 2016 and is recognized worldwide as having international standards and high pregnancy rates.

ogy services, and outstanding specialists with up to date ultrasound and XR machines. We think that only proper diagnosis can ensure a successful medical intervention. Our multidiscipline team of gynaecologists, obstetricians, endocrinologists, therapeutics, and anaesthesiologists care about the wellbeing and satisfaction of patients and their babies. We feel special responsibility providing donation and surrogacy services, as it is not only medical intervention. We care very much about the transparency and safety of the process for all parties – couples, egg or sperm donors and surrogate mothers. This is an absolutely legal process which is well controlled by the government.

tors, including stress. We are really glad to see men overcoming the stigma of coming for a check-up and visiting earlier, sometimes even before marriage. Infertility is problem of a couple not of a single individual, so faster diagnosis gives faster results.

WE ALL KNOW THAT TO BE A LEADING CLINIC IN TBILISI REQUIRES HARD WORK. PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT INNOVA INVITRO.

WE KNOW THAT YOU HAVE VERY POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM PATIENTS. WHAT MAKES YOUR CLINIC DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?

WHAT DOES PARTNERING WITH IVI MEAN FOR YOUR CLINIC AND WHAT IS THE PRIORITY AREA OF ACTIVITY FOR INOVA INVITRO?

I am really happy to have such an amazing team. I have 16 years’ working experience in the field of IVF but my goal was to start with the best possible embryology lab. I chose one of the leaders in the field of IVI, the Valencia Institute of Infertility, as a provider of accreditation and runner of our embryology service. Our Embryology Lab Director Jordan Garcia Ortega is a well-known professional worldwide with amazing experience. I think having such an influential person here had an overall impact on the service and quality in this region. We are proud that several Georgians have been trained by him. We continue to employee embryologists from IVI as the number of patients is growing constantly.

Our priority is high standards of medical service, and an individualized and timely approach to any case with properly planned interventions. We have a special department for international patients to make it easy for them to plan and prepare for surrogacy and donation services. They arrive only at the final stages for the procedure and have to spend only several days in Tbilisi. I have to mention that they usually want to stay longer just as tourists and usually come back for several weeks with friends after the babies are born. I can say that medical tourism is contributing a lot to the rise of tourism activity overall. Timely and planned visits and long-distance services are very important to local customers as well, as a lack of time is a reality for many.

The priority area for Inova Invitro is the comprehensive diagnosis and management of all pathologies of infertility, all the while adhering to international standards pertaining to the treatment procedures. The main focus is on vitro fertilization and donation-surrogacy programs. We are home to personnel of the highest calibre with 15 years’ working experience in the realm of in vitro fertilization. The collaboration with IVI gives our specialists the opportunity to, along with providing the best standards of treatment, develop an integrated approach that incorporates complex diagnostics and consultation.

WHAT IS MAIN DIAGNOSIS OF YOUR PATIENTS?

Premature ovarian syndrome, genetic abnormalities, poor quality eggs or embryos are among the conditions that urge us to recommend egg donation. Egg fertilization is carried out in the embryological laboratory by the recipient's partner or donor sperm, then transplanted into the uterine cavity of a "potential mother" under ultrasonography. About 12 days after embryo transfer, a pregnancy test or blood test is performed to determine pregnancy. In case of infertility, when referring to

WHAT IS MAIN ACTIVITY OF YOUR CLINIC? We offer services of any difficulty as we are fully equipped and have the knowhow. To performing IVF and ICSI – intracytoplasmic sperm injection, we can add genetic tests of embryos PGT-A, PGD, and NIPD tests for pregnancies. Our main activity includes ambulatory treatment and diagnostics of infertility. The clinic has all the necessary means to treat women and men: an external control hormonal lab, referral department of laparoscopy, endocrinology and androl-

It is most commonly infertility due to tubal patency problems post-inflammation or post-surgery. Everyone is concerned about the very fast decline in sperm parameters and subfertility and infertility. Along with genetic errors in the Y chromosome, this situation is connected with ecology, air pollution, chemicals in food, steroid abuse and heavy metals in building materials, possible the harm of Wi-Fi and other urban fac-

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS? We follow all the advances in reproductive medicine field. We would like to share our experience and expertise with professional society by participating in international research and training programs. As part of social responsibility, we will continue to make efforts to make society more informed and educated about infertility treatment and prevention.

WHAT MAKES PATIENTS TURN TO DONATION OR SURROGACY? WHAT DO THESE TWO PROCEDURES ENTAIL?

WHAT IS THE PACE OF DEVELOPMENT FOR THE FIELD OF REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE? The field is developing rapidly; new methods are emerging, such as the socalled "gene modification" or embryonic genetic evaluation. All new discoveries are accessible at our clinic and we apply them strictly in accordance with healthcare licensing. The field of reproductive medicine is undergoing some outstanding developments in Georgia, as the country's healthcare system actively supports it. Under our state-controlled regulations, the patient receives a safe and comprehensive service within a high quality program. The rights of patients, donors and surrogates (with whom the clinic works in close cooperation) are maximally protected.

TELL US ABOUT THE IMPROVING TRENDS OF LATE. The newly emerging trend is that an ever-increasing number of men address our clinic. Even before marriage, the couples conduct research and check on their health. Egg and embryo freezing methods are also becoming popular- all these are vital turning points!

HOW DOES YOUR TEAM WORK TOWARDS THE CLINIC’S COMMON GOAL?

WHAT ARE YOUR LAST THOUGHTS OR ADVICE FOR PATIENTS?

The success of Inova Invitro almost entirely lies in our team's passion and effort to deliver the latest in state-of-theart expertise and innovation. IVI specialists are valuable members of our team. Our clinic is home for specialists from all the adjacent fields to fertilization, which is another remarkable asset. One can benefit from all the services he/she needs in the comfort of a single space.

This century has brought to light that the ecological situation and a stressful backdrop work against us. Even with Wi-Fi, the spermogram concentration is weakened and the indicators are corrupted. Consequently, there are many things to consider in terms of pregnancy. Timely referral to a doctor will prevent many problems.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

7

The Embassy of the UAE in Tbilisi Celebrates 48th National Day BY SOPHO BOCHOIDZE

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n December 2, Biltmore Hotel hosted the celebration of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Day organized by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Tbilisi. The event, celebrating the 48th anniversary of the announcement of the Union and the establishment of the UAE, was attended by the Deputy Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Georgia, H.E Alexander Khvtisiashvili who delivered a congratulatory message on behalf of the Government of Georgia, in which he wished the Emirate people further prosperity and well-being and underlined the importance of the brotherly relations between the two friendly countries which has resulted in an increased number of UAE tourists and investments in Georgia. Among with the government representatives, diplomatic corps and business sector, Mufti Yasin Aliev and Protopresviter Giorgi Zviadadze joined the festivities. UAE investment companies in Georgia such as Majid Al Futtaim - Carrefour Biltmore Hotel, Tera Bank, Sheraton Tbilisi Grand Metechi Palace, Air Arabia, Fly Dubai and Fortune Group of Hotels, presented their brand stands at the Event and awarded prizes to guests via a raffle. 2019 was declared the UAE Year of Tolerance to reinforce the fact that it is

a country where more than 200 different nationalities live in an atmosphere of openness, mutual respect and coexistence based on the principle of tolerance. The concept also encapsulates the vision of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, who believed that a successful, tolerant and progressive society can only be achieved by empowering women and ensuring their full participation in the construction of this country. Representation of women in the Federal National Council is now at 50%, which underlines their significant national, social and human knowledge, skills and experience. “There can be no better illustration of this tolerance than the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the UAE; the first visit by a pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula, and his signing with the Sheikh of Al-Azhar the document of “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Georgia, H.E. Essa Albasha Alnoaimi told guests, referring to a document that enshrines the country’s determination to instill a spirit of tolerance in society, and establishing a culture of openness and dialogue, “rejecting all kinds of discrimination based on religion, gender, race, color or language.” Another highlight of this year the Ambassador mentioned was the remarkable progress made by the UAE diplomacy in terms of the strength of the UAE passport, which now ranks the most powerful in the world, according to the Global Passport Index. Hence, more visa

exemptions were granted with 177 countries where UAE nationals are allowed to enter without a visa. As for the UAE’s interest in advanced technologies, the country has paid special attention to the development and support of modern technologies. 2019 also saw the launch of the “Mohammed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence”, the first graduate level, researchbased artificial intelligence university in the world, which aims to empower students, businesses, and governments to advance AI and use its extraordinary potential as a global force for positive progress. “The UAE has spared no effort in empowering young people, as evidenced

by the Emirati leadership’s support for Hazza al-Mansouri, the first Arab astronaut to visit the International Space Agency, who has become an inspiration and a role model to many young Emiratis,” Ambassador Essa Albasha Alnoaimi went on. “The UAE has an international reputation for both security and stability, and this has enabled us to become a magnet for many creators and talented individuals, who seek an environment that supports their skills and talents, and appreciates and rewards their intellectual prowess.” It was noted the UAE has been at the forefront in carrying messages of peace and cooperation to the world, something

which helped them to win the right to host Expo 2020 Dubai, the largest event to be staged in the Middle East. “Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase human achievements in many fields, with the participation of more than 200 countries, companies, organizations and educational institutions,” the Ambassador said. “This global event confirms our nation's ability to connect and inspire millions of people around the world to celebrate human progress, solve global challenges, and create a better future. Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Georgia, H.E. Essa Albasha Alnoaimi expressed gratitude to the Georgian people and the Government of Georgia for their participation in the ceremony, and for the close relations “based on cooperation, strengthening common interests, promoting peace among people and consolidation of culture of tolerance.” She highlighted the first political consultations between the two countries held in Abu Dhabi this April, as well as the opening of the first Georgian airline route in the United Arab Emirates as it will help to further boost tourism flow between the two countries and the Fortune Palace Hotel opened in Tbilisi, which adds to the chain of the Emirati hotels in Georgia. While highlighting the achievements of 2019, the UAE Ambassador referred to the appointment of H.E. Paata Kalandadze as the first Ambassador of Georgia to the United Arab Emirates, as an enrichment of bilateral relations between the two friendly countries.


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BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

USAID’s Civil Society Partners Building Brighter Futures for Children

A boy looks on at the "You've Got a Message" campaign launch in Gori. Photo Credit: Society Biliki

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ariambeamswithyouthful confidence. “I’m going to be a lawyer. I’m going to work on children’s rights,” she announced. A 16-year-old public school student in Gori, Mariam sees a bright future for herself. She also feels a keen sense of responsibility, planning to dedicate her future to helping others. In contrast, many children – not only in Georgia but all over the world – don’t look forward to a bright future. Instead of being nurtured into confident young adults, many kids are left to face challenges largely on their own. Poverty and neglect are global problems, and Georgia is no exception. In the worst cases, children become victims of violence. According to a UNICEF study, more than half of Georgians believe that physical discipline is an acceptable method of

parenting. “There is really a big problem with children’s rights. Many of them are victims of violence as well as bullying,” Mariam explained. To help change things for the better, she volunteers with a Goribased civil society organization called Society Biliki (“pathway” in Georgian). Biliki has advocated for local children since 1997, operating shelters for at-risk kids and families, providing education, and lobbying for more investment in children’s services. When we met Mariam, she was volunteering with “You’ve Got a Message,” a campaign to raise awareness about violence against children. In Gori, Society Biliki and other local organizations took action to reach a broad audience, including parents, teachers, and public officials. Local organizations hosted monologues and artistic renditions to demonstrate

how children are negatively affected by violence. They moderated public discussions with youth, parents, teachers, and school administrators about the quality of pre-school education. They collected signatures for a petition to present to local and national government. The petition was drafted by the Coalition for Children and Youth, a network of 49 civil society organizations from communities around the country. It calls for increased investment in pre-school education, more training for childcare workers, improved methods for identifying and responding to violence against children, support services for children and families, and more effective policies to combat poverty. The “You’ve Got a Message” campaign received financial and technical assistance from USAID’s ACCESS program, a nationwide initiative that helps civil society organizations build connections in local communities. By building capacity and supporting outreach, the program enables community organizations to more effectively impact policy to represent the interests of local citizens. Lela Mindiashvili, a Biliki representative coordinating activities on the ground in Gori, told us about her organization’s efforts. “The most important thing is that our messages are directed at different parts of society,” Lela said. “It’s not only targeted to children, but to teenagers and also parents, teachers, media, government, and all different groups in society.” While Lela and Mariam were hard at work in Gori, parallel events took place in Kutaisi and Telavi. The broader campaign was coordinated by the Coalition for Children and Youth. At the local level, Gori University and others offered up venue space and technical support. Other partners included Save the Children, the Civil Development Agency, the USAIDsupported Network of Centers for Civic Engagement, and youth groups sponsored by USAID’s Promoting Integration Tolerance and Awareness Program.

Keti Kalandadze, one of the coalition’s leaders, highlighted that the campaign was both focused on local communities and national in scope: “There were two addressees, one was the local municipality and the second was the Georgian central administration,” she said. “There are different things that can be done nationally and locally.” While the activities lasted three days, signs point to it making a lasting impact. In Gori alone, the petition received more than 300 signatures from members of the community, significantly exceeding expectations. To support stronger communities, USAID works with organizations like the Coalition for Children and Youth and Society Biliki to more effectively advocate for local citizens. Among other things, it helps organizations build capacity so that campaigns like this one make a lasting impact. Just as important, by supporting local civil society, USAID encourages young people like Mari find their own ways to make a difference.

Lela Mindiashvili represents Society Biliki, an organization that advocates for children in Gori and the surrounding area. Photo Credit: Anna TsurtsumiaZurabashvili

Mari volunteers to help local kids in Gori. She plans to become a lawyer promoting children’s rights. Photo Credit: Anna Tsurtsumia-Zurabashvili


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

Renowned Georgian Director Dies at 54 BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

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eorgia grieves Zaza Urushadze, the renowned Georgian filmmaker who died on December 7, at the age of 54. Urushadze’s credits include the Oscarnominated drama Tangerines, which was also nominated for the Academy Awards in 2015. Urushadze was one of the country’s most prominent filmmakers, critically acclaimed for his works in the contemporary film industry. He was engulfed in cinematography: in addition to his directing work, he also headed the Georgian National Cinema Center between 2002 and 2004, and until recently, the Georgian Film Academy The news about his sudden death broke on the night of December 7, during the closing weekend of the Tbilisi International Film Festival. Attendees of the festival took to social media right away to express their deep sorrow and regret over losing one of the most important figures in modern Georgian cinematography. The media soon reported that the cause of Urushadze’s death was a heart attack. However, this turned doubtful as the following day the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that an investigation has been launched into the sudden death of the film director. The MIA reported that an investigation is underway under Article 115 (Bringing to the Point of Suicide) of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Urushadze was born in Tbilisi in 1965, to the family of a famous football goalkeeper. He has directed one TV series and 6 movies throughout his career. Urushadze was first featured in a movie called ‘I Have Arrived’ as an actor in 1981. He first wrote a screenplay for ‘For Those Who Were Left By the Father’ in 1989. His directing career really kicked off in 1998’s with ‘Here Comes The Dawn’. The movie played international festivals and was even submitted by the country to the Oscar’s, though no nomination followed.

Image source: zimbio.com

In 2008, he directed Three Houses, and also appeared in the film as an actor. After ‘Stay with Me’ (2011) and ‘Last Stroll’ (2012). In 2013, Georgia’s beloved film director came back with his most renowned work, Tangerines. The movie premiered at the Warsaw Film Festival, immediately becoming a hit. Tangerines was eventually nominated for the Golden Globe and Oscars in 2015, which further led to its acquisition for US distribution by Samuel Goldwyn Films. Urushadze directed two cinematographic works after that: the 2017 drama The Confession (played at numerous festivals including Chicago and Busan), and the 2019 drama Anton. The director died before the premiere of the latter.

Global Campaign '16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence' Marked in Akhalkalaki

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NFPA Georgia Country Office, the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), the Akhalkalaki Local Action Group, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia and the Department of Rural Development and Vocational Education of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs joined forces to mark the global campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence” in Akhalkalaki along with other cities and municipalities of Georgia. An exhibition of photographer Dina Oganova was opened at the public school #3 in Akhalkalaki on December 7, showcasing two photo projects: “Girls from the Future” and “Peers for Equality”. Through pictures and quotes, Oganova's photo project “Girls from the Future” shares the stories of adolescent girls aged 10-16 from different parts of Georgia. The project promotes the idea that realizing full potential of girls, creating equal opportunities and an enabling the environment for them, encouraging their access to education and healthcare, plays a crucial role in the advancement and development of the country. Every girl should be given the opportunity to complete education and make informed decisions about their own life and health. The project “Peers for Equality” tells a story of twelve young people from Georgia. Within the frameworks of the photo project, they talk about gender equality, healthy lifestyle, reproductive health, education, activism and their own initiatives. Both proto projects were made possible with the support of UNFPA Georgia Country Office, and are part of a large-scale advocacy work, which the UNFPA is carrying out for eliminating the harmful practice of early marriage and promoting reproductive health and the rights of adolescents and young people. An Equality Corner opened in the library of the same school, in cooperation with UNFPA Georgia Country Office and the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. The Equality Corner will enable the adolescents and young people residing in

Akhalkalaki to raise their awareness on equality with the help of contemporary fiction. Giorgi Kekelidze, writer and director of the National Library of Georgia, opened the Equality Corner. Within the framework of the event, he delivered a public lecture and talked about the idea of gender equality and its importance. Opening the Equality Corner aims at supporting the realization of the potential of adolescents and youth. Authors of the initiative consider that it is of utmost importance to have as much space as possible in Georgia where adolescents and youth are able to get informal education, enjoy meaningful free time and share ideas. Within the framework of the event, Nana Kashakashvili, head of the Department of Rural Development and Vocational Education of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, awarded certificates to the training center’s graduates of the Georgian language and special painting course. The training center was founded at the Local Action Group of Akhalkalaki, with the funding of ENPARD, and its goal is to improve social integration in regard to education, culture, youth and gender equality issues. This also enabled the local population to visit the exhibition of graduates of the training course in a special drawing. The event was attended by the representatives of UNFPA, local government bodies, Akhalkalaki LAG, GIPA and National library. The event was held within the framework of the global campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence”.

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CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

Tbilisi Int'l Film Festival Announces Best Georgian Films BY ELENE DZEBISASHVILI

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he award ceremony of the 20th Tbilisi International Film Festival revealed its winners last night. The festival’s main award 'Golden Prometheus' went to films in the following categories: Best feature film - Dito Tsintsadze’s latest work Inhale-Exhale. With utter

simplicity and a masterful touch, the Georgian director narrates the story of a woman who struggles to fit into society after a prison sentence. Best documentary - Mari Gulbiani’s Before Father Gets Back. The film tells the story of Eva and Iman, two Muslim girls for whom the experience of longing and separation becomes a turning point, inspiring them to take the camera and start filming their daily lives. Best short film- Giorgi Sikharulidze’s Fatherland. On the 63rd anniversary of

Stalin's death, his worshipers gather in Gori to demand his canonisation as a saint, when something uncanny materializes. Tbilisi International Film Festival brings great emphasis and awareness to the process and purpose of Georgian cinema. Every year the festival screens the latest Georgian films so as to pave the way for local, upcoming filmmakers to compete on the international stage.

Running between December 1-8, this year’s edition offered a selection of classic and new Georgian cinema along with the focus programme of British filmmakers and other global works. The festival also hosted screenings of works by Mexican director Carlos Reygadas, the recipient of three Cannes Film Festival awards, along with nominations for the European Film Awards and other highly esteemed honors.

EU Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, awarded Uta Beraia's Negative Numbers the EU prize for being this year’s best film depicting human rights related issues. Beria’s film is set in Georgia in the early years of the last decade, when economic standstill pushed the country’s youth into petty crime, many of them ending up in juvenile detention facilities.

2019 Saba Literary Prize Winners Revealed BY ELENE DZEBISASHVILI

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he winners of Georgia’s leading literary contest Saba have been announced. The full list of winners is: Novel of the Year- Aka Morchiladze, Cupidon at the Kremlin Wall (Bakur Sulakauri Publishing) Prose Collection of the Year- Zaal Samadashvili, Meeting the Master (Intellect Publishing) Poetry Collection of the Year- Zaza Bibilashvili, Puzzle (Nodar Dumbadze Publishing) Essay and Documentary Prose of the Year- Sulkhan Saladze, Unknown Old Adjara (Batumelebi Newspaper) Debut of the Year- Temur Babluani, Sun, Moon and Wheat Field (Manushaka Waits for Me) (Bakur Sulakauri Publishing) Play of the Year- Aleksandre Lortkipanidze, Distoplays (Books in Batumi) Georgian Translation of the Year- Nana Tonia, Euripides' Heckabee (Logos Publishing); Lela Dumbadze, Virginia Woolf's “Orlando” (Sulakauri Publishing)

Prize for the Outstanding Contribution to Georgian Literature - Manana Gigineishvili This year, the Saba jury could not reveal a short list of the best critics of the year, and the award for this nomination, as well as the jury's verdict, was split into two different nominations: Essay and Documentary Prose - Nino Lomadze, Apple Gardens (Indigo Publishing) and Literary Debut - Niels Simeon (George Maskharashvili), Theory of 14 Crystals (Sulakauri Publishing). The annual Literary Award Saba, founded by TBC Bank back in 2003, is now the most prestigious and influential award in Georgia. Each year, the jury reviews literary compositions (novels, poetic/prosaic collections, documentary prose etc.) along with the Georgian translations of foreign texts of the previous year. This year, the prize fund has been increased - the winning authors will receive GEL 6,000 instead of GEL 4,000. The monetary prize for the nomination for the Outstanding Contribution to Georgian Literature is now GEL 10,000, up from GEL 8,000.


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 10 - 12, 2019

11

What Will Bring Generational Change to Georgia? OP-ED BY EMIL AVDALIANI

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hose who study modern Georgia often focus on large issues such as the country's relations with Russia, aspirations to join NATO and the EU, or simply internal political processes. What remains largely undiscussed and possibly with far reaching effects on the future of Georgia, is the generational change. Georgia is amidst a generational change. True, the occasional protests which have taken place across Georgia throughout 2019 often featured youngsters of various political affiliation, still the critical mass of large-scale demonstrations would be filled by much older generations (born in the 1970s and 1980s). However, this is bound to change in the coming few years. Those born after the collapse of the Soviet Union will approximately, by 2024, dominate the street protests, whether small or large. They will be increasingly oppositionminded, protesting even a small scale mistake by any government ruling Georgia. This is not to say that they will be linked to any concrete party; their actions will be more characterized by traditional activism so common in the West. Any future Georgian government will experience difficulties staving off the demonstrations, which in turn will lead

to much higher responsibilities from political forces. This will also be a generation which will not remember the 1990s or United National Movement's rule (2003-2012), but will be mainly forged in 2012-2020/22. On a much higher level, the 2020s will be also characterized by gradual changes in Georgia's ruling class (even if we presume it to be a very divided one). Those born in the 1980s and 1990s will consti-

tute the absolute majority of low- and mid-level positions in government and non-governmental organizations. This will have a major impact on how the country will be run. It is likely that more attention will be paid to establishing a more effective administration, improving the level of education, economy, and the military. The new Georgian elite, predominantly born in a post-Soviet country, will also be more amenable to

public demands. Those generational changes will also affect major Georgian parties. Members aged just under 30 will eventually strive to gain bigger roles inside the parties. However, since the party leaderships will be unwilling to cede their primary roles, there is a big likelihood we will see the creation of a number of new splinter parties. Thus, one of the major certainties for the 2020s is a sharp increase

in pro-Western parties. Current opposition forces are also likely to lose whatever popularity they enjoy, as younger generations will adhere to newer, predominantly pro-Western, political entities. Major influence will be put on the Georgian political elite, which I discussed in earlier pieces. Though currently there is an extremely divided political elite in the country, in the 2020s there will be a gradual increase in coordination between different new political groups on basic foreign and internal state interests. This will be a major rupture with the developments Georgia has experienced since the 1990s. The generational change will also have a gradual but nevertheless big geopolitical influence. One of the features will be a steep decline in the knowledge of the Russian language and general attraction the Russian culture has had for older generations in Georgia. This will mean that pro-Russian forces will lose even the slightest attraction they currently enjoy in Georgia. These generational changes are directly tied to the regional geopolitics. Though Moscow influences Tbilisi through its military presence in Georgia's Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, on the ground the balance is shifting significantly and not in Russia's favor. Eventually, it all will come down to what culture people are more attracted to. It is based on this that grand strategic shifts or allegiances to alliances are made.

SPORTS

Russia Handed 4-year Ban from All Major Sports by World Anti-Doping Agency BY BEKA ALEXISHVILI

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ussia has been handed a 4-year ban from all major sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This declaration from the international agency means that the Russian flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and football 2022 World Cup in Qatar. But athletes who can prove they are unconnected to the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag. WADA's executive committee made the unanimous decision in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. It comes after Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) was dubbed non-compliant for influencing laboratory data handed over to

investigators in January 2019. Russia had to hand over data to WADA as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2018 after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping scandal. WADA says Rusada has 21 days to appeal the ban. If it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas). A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned following the 2014 Games, which it hosted in Sochi. Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015. Despite the ban, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 (in which St Petersburg will be a host city) as European football's governing body UEFA is not defined as a 'major event organization' with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.

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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1210 Business  

December 10 - 12, 2019

Issue #1210 Business  

December 10 - 12, 2019

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