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Issue no: 1082/146

• SEPTEMBER 11 - 13, 2018


In this week’s issue...


City Hall, Tbilisi Transport Company Meet with Stadler

ON GEORGIAN FASHION We take a look at the latest global designer successes from Georgia




ADC & USAID Zrda Invest in Regional Economic Development of Anaklia/ Zugdidi & Surroundings BUSINESS PAGE 6 Vetements. Design by Demna Gvasalia

Ruling GD Supports Salome Zurabishvili in Presidential Elections BY THEA MORRISON


uling party Georgian Dream (GD), which decided not to have their own candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for October 28, will back independent candidate Salome Zurabishvili. The decision of the party was announced by the Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze on September 9 after the political council meeting. Kobakhidze said the Georgian Dream was sticking to its decision not to nominate its own candidate for the elections. “Georgia is a Parliamentary Republic, where power is concentrated between the parliament and the government, where the President enjoys only representative functions; and in this system, the President has to be above partisan politics, has to be unbiased and should not represent the interests of the ruling party or the opposition, but rather be a defender of the people’s interests,” he explained, adding that in order to ensure maximum political pluralism, considering the country’s interests, an independent candidate should become President. “We [GD] think Salome Zurabishvili can establish a new tradition in our constitutional system: she can fulfill the President’s functions not in the interests of an individual party or a political group, but based on the interests of the country and society as a whole,” Kobakhidze said.

Welcome to Georgia! Extends Registration to 2018 Tourism Awards BUSINESS PAGE 8

Georgia Listed among Top 5 Fastest Growing Tourist Destinations BUSINESS PAGE 8

EMUI 9.0 Promises Unrivaled Experience of HUAWEI Mate 20 series BUSINESS PAGE 10 Prepared for Georgia Today Business by

Markets As of 07-Sep-2018








Bank of Georgia (BGEO LN)

GBP 17.03



GEOROG 04/21

103.06 (YTM 5.48%)



Georgia Capital (CGEO LN)


GBP 10.28



GEORG 04/21

105.38 (YTM 4.64%)




He then called on Georgian society to support Zurabishvili’s candidacy. After the ruling party announced their choice, Zurabishvili said her expectations had been met. “This is a very positive decision for me, I think it is also a right and a democratic decision for the ruling party…I am very happy,” she added. Salome Zurabishvili was an independent candidate in the 2016 parliamentary elections and the GD decided to withdraw their candidate in Mtatsminda region to help her win the seat in

the legislative body. The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia says 46 applicants have applied to the Central Election Commission. September 18 is the deadline for presidential candidates to submit a list of supporters (no less than 25,923) to the CEC. Zurabishvili submitted signatures of more than 73 thousand supporters to the CEC. Check out GEORGIA TODAY'S EXCLUSIVE interview with PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SALOME ZURABISHVILI this THURSDAY!

GBP 2.31



GRAIL 07/22

106.01 (YTM 5.97%)



GBP 15.84



GEBGG 07/23

98.25 (YTM 6.42%)











Crude Oil, Brent (US$/bbl)








TBC Bank Group (TBCG LN)

Gold Spot (US$/OZ)

1 196,93

















FTSE 100

7 277,70







FTSE 250

20 209,61








11 959,63








25 916,54







7 902,54















1 022,98







SP 500

2 871,68








2 584,57







GT Index (GEL)

1 582,68







GT Index (USD)

1 208,13













SEPTEMBER 11 - 13, 2018

Grape Harvest Kicks Off in Kakheti BY THEA MORRISON


he Grape Harvest 2018 has begun in Georgia’s winemaking region of Kakheti. Georgia’s National Wine Agency (NWA) reports that more than 23 thousand tons of grapes have been processed in Kakheti so far, including 14 thousand tons of Saperavi, 5 thousand tons of Rkatsiteli, 800 tons of Kakhuri Mtsvane, and other kinds of grapes. The NWA has announced that the income of local farmers has already reached 37 million GEL ($14,859,436.80). The Head of the Harvest Coordination Headquarters and Deputy Head of the NWA, Andro Aslanishvili, stated around

150 wine companies are involved in this year’s harvest process and are buying grapes from local farmers. Grapes have already been processed by 71 wine companies. “The harvesting process started in almost all municipalities of Kakheti except Sagarejo where traditionally the vintage starts later…In all regions of Kakheti, wine enterprises continue receiving grapes in the usual regime and are processing the harvest, ” Aslanishvili stated, adding the number of participant companies is growing. The Harvest Headquarters began operating in Kakheti on August 20 and is ready to register more enterprises that wish to participate in the collective harvest. The harvest coordination Headquarters was set up by representatives of the

Image source: Georgia’s National Wine Agency

Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, National Wine Agency, and State Representative-Governors of the Kakheti region. The Headquarters work 24/7 during the harvest, helping farmers and enterprises to organize the harvest, and ensuring accountability and traceability, which is a precondition for quality production. The NWA reports that the grapes are collected on the basis of the Unified Electronic Accounting system implemented by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture since 2013. In order to promote grape growing, the government issued subsidies on Rkatsiteli, Saperavi and Kakhetian Green grapes in 2017. However, this year the government decided not to subsidize grapes in the country.

City Hall, Tbilisi Transport Company Meet with Stadler BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE


ice-Mayor of Tbilisi Irakli Khmaladze and the Director of the Tbilisi Transport Company, Mamuka Kobakhidze, met Friday with representatives of the Swiss rail company Stadler. During the meeting, the participants discussed the details of Stadler’s activities in Georgia and plans for future cooperation within the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation that was signed in June. Khamaladze said after the meeting, “Several months ago, Tbilisi City Hall signed a Memorandum with Stadler. The first working meeting was held with the management and founders of the company today, where we discussed the details of cooperation within the mem-

Image source: Photo: Tbilisi City Hall

orandum. If Tbilisi City Hall and Stadler can come to an agreement on several important issues, then by the end of the year there may be a cooperation agreement. Within the scope of this agreement, a Stadler rail transport factory will be built in Georgia.” “It is an important project in terms of transport development as it will enable

us to introduce new buses and renew the metro trains in the capital,” said Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze after signing the Memorandum in June. Kaladze also said that the factory will play an important role in creating new jobs for Tbilisi residents. Stadler Rail employed approximately 7,000 people worldwide in 2017. Stadler first entered the Georgian market

in July 2016, when four new, double-decker ‘Stadler KISS’ trains began carrying railway passengers between Tbilisi and Batumi. The trains marked a significant upgrade from previous trains servicing the route as they are adapted for people with disabilities and meet European standards of safety and comfort. After signing the Memorandum, Georgian Railway JSC released a statement saying that they believe Stadler decided to build the factory in Georgia due to its previous success entering the market and the continual improvement of the domestic business environment. “Launching such a high-tech enterprise in our country bears paramount importance for increasing the export potential of Georgia, providing high-end fully equipped railroad passenger trains as well as metro and tram rolling stock for the regional and worldwide markets,” read the Georgian Railway statement.

Stadler is one of the world's leading companies in railroad transport, and has been operating since 1942. It has been working closely with Georgian Railway, Tbilisi City Hall, and the Georgian government on its plans to construct a factory in the country. The Swiss company manufactures railroad passenger trains, as well as subway and tramway cars, and has various plants worldwide. Products produced in Georgia will be designated for the local and regional market. Stadler’s holding company consists of eight subsidiaries with locations in Algeria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Belarus. In 2014, Stadler formed a joint venture with Azerbaijan-based company International Railway Distribution LLC and agreed to provide the passenger car that will run on the long-awaited Baku-TbilisiKars route.




Georgian Designers Make a Splash in Paris Showrooms BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE


t Paris Fashion Week, twice a year, top international designers present spring/summer and autumn/winter women’s ready-to-wear collections in a series of fashion shows, with smaller Fashion Weeks for men's and haute couture collections in between. A Fashion Week presents approximately 100 brands to hundreds of buyers and media representatives from around the world. In the buzz and excitement surrounding Fashion Weeks, in one of fashion’s most important cities, many showrooms pop up independently to exhibit the work of emerging designers. Products from seven Georgian designers were exhibited at the Paris showrooms of More Dash, Maison Pyramide, and Paper Mache Tiger Paris from June 19 to June 26 as part of the Men’s Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2019. The collections were supported by Enterprise Georgia, an agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, which is responsible for business support, export promotion and investment in various sectors of the Georgian economy. The showrooms displayed the brands N-Duo, Dalood, ANOUKI, Tamuna Ingorokva, Lako Bukia, Materiel Tbilisi, and LIYA. More than 22,000 Euros worth of merchandise by Georgian designers were sold across the three showrooms this June. Ukrainian promotion and sales agency More Dash represents Ukrainian and Georgian designers. Their website explains that, “From year to year we to promote a new generation of Eastern European designers to international buyers and press.” More Dash will open its next showroom, coinciding with Women’s Fashion Week, on September 27, run-

ning through October 2, 2018, which will exhibit Georgian brands ANOUKI, Dalood, LIYA, and Materiel. Cairo-based Maison Pyramide opened The Showroom in March 2017, a platform that “gained immediate recognition for bringing together a heavy roster of award winning and emerging talents presenting a fresh approach to contemporary and advanced contemporary womenswear and accessories,” according to their website. Paper Mache Tiger is a fashion sales and communications agency specializing in integrated solutions for quality brands, based in London and New York with a year-round showroom in Paris. “From emerging talent to established international brands, Paper Mache Tiger provides brand partners with tailored, communicative and strategic representation and consultation,” their website reads. In Georgia, fashion is becoming more than an entertainment industry, now playing a significant role in the growth of the economy. The fashion industry has drawn attention to the country, particularly on the part of superstar designers such as Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of Balenciaga and head designer for Vetements. Gvasalia brought the post-Soviet aesthetic to the world stage and turned heads with his Georgian 90s-inspired collections. Even after proclaiming, in 2017, that “Eastern Europe is over,” young Georgians still flock to the bazaars to buy knock-offs of his designs – and the occasional authentic piece. In May, GQ wrote about the future of fashion and Georgia’s role in it in an article on their website, calling Georgia “the wildest country in fashion.” Georgia was this year’s guest nation at Pitti Uomo, one of the world’s most important platforms for men’s clothing and accessory collections and for launching new projects in men’s fashion, described by GQ as “typically known for generating insane, eyeball-twitching street style.”

The Eastern Economic Forum: An Important Platform for Regional Dialogue & Cooperation

Image source: Kremlin info



he Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) is an international forum held each year since 2015 in September, at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, for the purpose of encouraging foreign investment in the Russian Far East. The Russian President and the Japanese Prime Minister have attended this forum since its foundation. The 4th EEF will be held in Vladivostok on September 11-13. The Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Zhang Hanhui, emphasized that the EEF has become an important international platform for promoting dialogue and strengthening cooperation between the countries of the region. “With the expansion of its scale and influence in the last four years, the EEF has become an important platform for strengthening dialogue and cooperation between different countries. China attaches great importance to it and firmly supports Russia in holding the forum: we have sent high-ranking delegations to participate in the EEF in the last three years,” Hanhui said. “At present, the countries of the region show enthusiasm for cooperation in the Far East, giving

us the necessary advantages for more active interaction and development,” he summarized, going on to note that this year, for the first time in the history of the forum, China's President Xi Jinping will participate. In addition to the head of state, the Chinese delegation will include business representatives, as well as leaders of nine regions of the country. “Regarding the dialogue at the regional level, there will be nine regional leaders from the Chinese side and 13 of their colleagues from Russia, which will be a very large meeting in terms of regional cooperation,” Hanhui said. “This year is a year of regional cooperation between China and Russia: we will hold a dialogue between the heads of regions, exchange fruitful experience of cooperation in the Far East and thereby fully utilize the potential of two important platforms for interaction: between Northeast China and the Russian Far East, as well as the Volga – Yangtze Mechanism,” Hanhui added. The Yangtze-Volga Mechanism links areas along the two major rivers in China and Russia. It plays a positive role in promoting ties and cooperation between the nations and includes six regions along the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River in China and 14 federal provinces along the Volga. Over the past four years, regions along the rivers have had extensive cooperation on trade, investment and e-commerce.

Image source: More Dash

Many Georgian brands have received international success, such as Avtandil, worn by Lady Gaga and Mary J. Blige, Situationist, worn by Bella Hadid, and George Keburia, worn by Rihanna and Kortney Kardashian. In July, Materiel announced that it was anticipating orders from 30 retail stores globally, including Italy, France, the UK, the USA, China, Japan and the UAE. While the big brands are beyond the reach of most average Georgians, high-end fashion from local designers inspires street wear lookalikes

and draws culturally curious fashionistas to the boutiques and workrooms of Georgia’s top fashion houses. In June of this year, Tea Agladze, Editor-in-Chief of fashion and lifestyle magazine Bomondi, predicted that fashion tours of Georgia would be the next big trend in the tourism industry – so far, interest in Georgian designers continues to grow, but mainly in exported collections rather than domestic visitors. The 2019 Spring/Summer Tbilisi Fashion Week will be held October 19-21.




SEPTEMBER 11 - 13, 2018

Carstensen on German-Georgian Relations & Georgia’s Growing Agriculture Potential BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES


eter Harry Carstensen is known as a political figure in Germany. He was a Member of Parliament there from 1983 to 2005, and from 2005 to 2012 he was Minister-President of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, serving as President of the Bundesrat in 2005/06. His experience is related to agriculture. He passed his Abitur in 1966 and worked in agriculture before beginning a course of study in agronomy in 1968, finishing in 1973 as a qualified engineer. He was employed as a teacher of agriculture at the Bredstedt Agricultural School and also as an economics advisor in the Agricultural Ministry of Schleswig-Holstein until 1983. He is a very important person in Germany and great friend and advisor for Georgia. GEORGIA TODAY asked him to elaborate on his connection with the country.

MR. CARSTENSEN, YOU RECENTLY VISITED GEORGIA, AND NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME. WHAT WAS YOUR MISSION IN TBILISI THIS TIME ROUND? I’m very proud when I see what we achieved. 5-6 years ago, we were talking about potato chips with local entrepreneurs. We were talking about Georgia, which has such fertile soil, and we were thinking about how people could develop strong agriculture – everything you see here is the result of our conversations. We sowed about 50 hectares of potato; most of the produce of which goes to a potato chips factory now. Not only do we have agricultural products, but we also have production, which has additional value. We have almost 60 employees in high season. This includes the output of the product in Georgia and new jobs for Georgians. It makes me proud to see it working.

YOUR FIRST VISIT TO GEORGIA WAS 10 YEARS AGO, AND NOW YOU’RE A GREAT FRIEND OF THE COUNTRY, SHARING YOUR EXPERIANCE AND KNOWLEDGE. HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE POTENTIAL OF AGRICULTURE HERE AND WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR GEORGIA NOW? I believe that the biggest challenge is knowledge and experience. If you have knowledge of agriculture and then build it up structurally, this can make the rural market more profitable. It was our goal to introduce more structure and education in this field. We have a Polish manager here with a lot of experience and a Georgian manager who has studied in

Germany. When you want to sell a product, it’s obvious that the infrastructure should be good. Georgia has a lot to work on. We Germans are very interested in Georgia and believe in its capability to develop; we’ve seen people unite, one with a desire to build a potato factory, the second wanting to make potato chipsdoing it with their own hands and work, asking for help when needed. This is a positive development for Georgia.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ECONOMIC STABILITY? Georgia is amazing exactly because of its fertile soil. The first time we came here, we saw people outside the market selling vegetables, watermelons, potatoes, all grown on this fertile land. Today, the main aim is to use this land optimally. What we did here is not only the result of good land, we also had capital, we had experience, advisors and even people we could work with: that’s exactly what we have to keep doing! With the emergence of jobs in the country, Georgia will develop- this is clear. That’s what happens when you have such factories on the Georgian territory.

TO WHAT EXTENT ARE YOUNG PEOPLE INTERESTED IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN YOUR COUNTY? HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE? I was an agricultural advisor and spent some time teaching in an agricultural school: agriculture is in my heart and I want to pass my knowledge to others! Are young people interested in agriculture? This is a very interesting question. Obviously, I cannot give you a clear answer. In Germany, when people come to us from the village, they are interested in the development of this culture. In Germany, there is another structure- the area is bigger than here, there is a lot of potential, but we don’t have many farmers. This potential should be used efficiently. I have to think how to create agriculture that will benefit. This is what I think is still not being done in Georgia, meaning we need to make people more enthusiastic. People should be proud they can produce food.

IN YOUR CAREER, YOU’VE MADE A GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF GERMAN AGRICULTURE. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS IN GEORGIA? I’m a pensioner now but I still have a lot of energy and strength, so I will gladly continue sharing my experience and knowledge. I believe that Georgia has a good future ahead. One of the most important things here is to develop within the

Peter Harry Carstensen. Photo by Frank Osssenbrink

boundaries. You should try to create the same product you see here in other regions of Georgia. I’ve done so much here, and if I could do the same in other regions, I would be very proud of it. There are many fields left to develop; we should feel it and look for it. That’s my mission.


Angela Merkel was here, though the topic of "potato breeding" was not on her agenda. The kind of development we’re looking for in Georgia is not necessarily related to finances or politics, but more to transmit knowledge. We have an employee who studied agriculture at a German university. I think that's exactly what we need - the exchange of knowledge. And if I can do something towards it, even collaborating with universities to help Georgia, I'm delighted to do so. I have contacts and will use them with pleasure. I think Georgia has one of the biggest potentials in the ex-Soviet space. In Geor-

gia, there was fruit and vegetable production and export. Georgia is a country where wine was created, Georgia has the greatest potential to profit from agriculture. What I love in Georgia is that in the 4th century, I think in 353, it became a Christian nation in a political region where sometimes everything looks different. Maybe this is the moment that made Georgia so profitable. And when a man travels around Georgia, he assures you how good the lands are here: mountains, sea, lakes, the most fertile soils with abundant water sources… we can do many things in agriculture and I’m always happy to help move things forward in this regard.

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ADC & USAID Zrda Invest in Regional Economic Development of Anaklia/Zugdidi & Surroundings



n Monday, September 10, Anaklia Development Consortium’s (ADC) CEO Levan Akhvlediani, and USAID Zrda’s Chief of Party, Brian King, signed a Partnership Agreement within the Anaklia Community and Economic Development Program. According to the agreement, ADC and USAID Zrda are to invest $2 million to promote the regional economic development of Anaklia/ Zugdidi and its surrounding areas. USAID Mission Director Peter Wiebler, ADC Founding Partner Mamuka Khazaradze and other public and private sector representatives attended the signing ceremony. The new project will focus on three major directions: increasing the competitiveness and growth of MSMEs in the region; building a workforce qualified to meet the market demand for both port operations and the wider economy in the region; and facilitating the development of community infrastructure necessary to meet Anaklia and the region’s needs. USAID Zrda and Anaklia Development Consortium are investing $1 million each in the joint project. According to Wiebler, “This partnership symbolizes the US government’s commitment to building self-reliant communities across Georgia. It also represents our intent to engage with the private sector to achieve our shared goals. We are excited to work with Georgian and US private partners as visionary and ambitious as the members of the Anaklia Development Consortium. While international donors and government help set the foundation for economic growth, the collaboration and commitment of private sector actors make such growth durable and sustainable.” “The wellbeing and prosperity of the people of Anaklia and surrounding areas has been among our most important goals since the very beginning of the Anaklia Port project,” said ADC’s Khazaradze. “We are happy that this purpose will now be realized with this new, very significant project that we commence in partnership with USAID Zrda. I want to express my gratitude towards USAID and the US Government for being part of this important initiative, and, overall, for their expressed support in the development of Anaklia and the Anaklia Deep Sea Port.” The Anaklia Community and Economic Development Program will provide support to communi-

ties in western Georgia to maximize their ability to capitalize on the coming economic development opportunities presented by the $2.5 billion Anaklia Deep Sea Port mega project, which is a joint venture of a Georgian-US consortium. The new deepwater port is envisioned to transform Georgia into a regional economic hub and a key link and transport corridor between Aisa and Europe. Construction of Georgia’s first deep sea port started in December 2017, and the first phase of the project - construction of the primary container terminal - will be completed by the end of 2020, which also coincides with the timeline of the joint development program between USAID Zrda and ADC.

ABOUT ANAKLIA DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM ADC is a Georgian-American consortium, mandated to develop the Anaklia Deep Sea Port in accordance with the Investment Agreement relating to the build, operation and transfer of the Anaklia Deep Water Black Sea Port dated 3 October 2016 between ADC and the Government of Georgia. ADC’s vision for the Anaklia Port is to create a world class port complex for Georgia and establish Anaklia as a focal point for trade to and from Central Asia and on the New Silk Road trade route between China and Europe. ADC’s goal for the Anaklia Port is to improve the port infrastructure in Georgia, thereby providing reduced costs for those who use the port and subsequently improving economic opportunities regionally and domestically. As part of its corporate social responsibility strategy, ADC is committed to promote the regional economic development of Anaklia and its surrounding areas, facilitate the development of community infrastructure necessary to meet Anaklia’s needs, as well as to support growth of MSMEs in the region and to develop and sustain skilled workforce.

ABOUT USAID ZRDA ACTIVITY IN GEORGIA The USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia is a fiveyear program designed to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in 81 communities of five regions of Georgia by improving MSME growth, increasing productivity of rural households, facilitating market linkages between producers and buyers, and promoting local economic development by establishing and strengthening networks. As a result, Zrda will create at least 2,400 jobs, increase sales for at least 860 MSMEs, increase incomes of 13,200 households, and generate measurable improvements in community resilience.



International Maritime Forum to be Held in Batumi for 2nd Time



n September 12-14, the International Maritime Forum 2018 will be held in Batumi for the second time, under the initiative of the Government of Georgia and under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze. The main purpose of the forum is to enhance and popularize the image of Georgia as a maritime country globally. High-ranking officials of the international marine industry will attend the forum, including International Maritime Organization Secretary General, Lee Kitaki, global maritime administration officials, commissioners and various maritime transport sector ministers and other people of influence in this area, including regional and international media. The first forum in Batumi was hosted in September 2016, and as the General Secretary of the International Maritime Organization stated, it was a success, attended by up to 400 delegates of 40 countries, including ministers of transport in the world's leading maritime states, representatives of maritime business sectors and other high-ranking officials. With the support of the forum, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the maritime administrations of the world's leading maritime

states, which greatly contributed to the spread of employment of Georgian sailors; in the State Register of Georgia, 10 units engaged in international sailing were registered (today this number has increased to 35); a Memorandum on Ferry Traffic was signed with Ukraine; the Georgian Women's International Maritime and Trade Association Branch was established; and awareness was raised of Georgia being a maritime country and of interest to the world’s maritime industry. During the upcoming forum, a number of seminars and meetings are planned, including: -Global Seminar on "Global Marine Energy Efficiency Cooperation" (GloMEEP) in connection with ports and energy efficiency; -Regional Workshop - International Maritime Organization's civil liability conventions; -Meeting of the Second Maritime Monitoring Committee of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) within the framework of the Black and Caspian Seas Project; -Meeting of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding of the State Control of the Mediterranean; -Workshop on investing in small cruise ships on the Black Sea. The International Maritime Forum is organized by the Maritime Transport Agency, supported by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Georgia, once every two years.





Welcome to Georgia! Extends Registration to 2018 Tourism Awards ADVERTORIAL


HIS IS FOR YOU! This is YOUR chance to be recognized as a leader in the tourism and hospitality industry! Due to a lot of requests from tourism and hospitality market representatives, registration within the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards competition 2018 is being prolonged until 24 September!!! Do not miss your chance to fight for affirmation on the market, to stand out from the crowd, to develop together with us and most importantly to be rewarded for your successful work and achievements. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! The Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards invites hotels, restaurants, wineries, touristic attractive festivals and major events, tour agencies, tour operators and other companies working in the tourism and hospitality industry to participate in the annual competition. This is the place where the best representatives of the field fight to be named THE BEST! WHY ENTER? • Because your contribution to the tourism and hospitality industry must get recognition!

• Because your teams' successful work must be appreciated! • Because everyone should know about your company! • Because you are ready for future development and aren't afraid of competition! Most importantly, the project gives you an opportunity to express yourself and to be highly appreciated! The project has huge support from the government and from numerous private businesses. The Georgian National Tourism Administration of the Ministry of Economics and Sustainable Development of Georgia is a co-organizer. Tbilisi City Hall and the Partnership Fund are Official Supporters. Bank of Georgia is a co-organizer of this Project. Alliance Group – General Sponsor. Independent Auditor of the Award - BDO Georgia and Financial Consultant -Altido. For more information about the project and for the latest news, please visit our official website and keep an eye on our social network. THE WELCOME TO GEORGIA! NATIONAL TOURISM AWARDS TEAM WISHES YOU GOOD LUCK AND HOPES TO SEE YOU AT THE AWARD CEREMONY.

Georgia Listed among Top 5 Fastest Growing Tourist Destinations

Image source: Travels of a Bookpacker



he United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2018 Tourism Highlights Report sheds some light on the fastest-growing tourist destinations in 2017, based on international arrivals. Georgia is listed among the Top 5 fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. Georgia welcomed 27.9% more visitors last year. The list of the UNWTO Top 10 fastest growing destinations is as follows: 1. Egypt – up 55.1% 2. Togo - up 46.7 0% 3. San Marino – up 31.1% 4. Vietnam - up 29.1% 5. Georgia - up 27.9% 6. Palestinian territories - up 25.7% 7. Niue - up 25.4% 8. Nepal - up 24.9% 9. Israel - up 24.6% 10. Northern Mariana Islands - up 24.3% The report reads that global tourist arrivals grew 6.8% in 2017, hitting 1.32 billion. That's 84 million more travelers than the previous year, the highest

increase since the 2009 global economic crisis hit and well above UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% per year for the period 2010 to 2020. A total of 1,323 million international tourist arrivals were recorded in destinations around the world, some 84 million more than in 2016. By region, Africa and Europe grew above average and by sub-region, North Africa and Southern and Mediterranean Europe led results in 2017, reflecting strong demand for destinations around the Mediterranean. “2017 marks the eighth year in a row of sustained growth in Europe, the world’s most visited region,” the report says. As for the world’s most popular destinations, which attracted the highest number of tourists in 2017, the list is as follows: 1. France - 86.9 million 2. Spain - 81.8 million 3. United States - 75.9 million 4. China - 60.7 million 5. Italy - 58.3 million 6. Mexico - 39.3 million 7. United Kingdom - 37.7 million 8. Turkey - 37.6 million 9. Germany - 37.5 million 10. Thailand - 35.4 million.



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EMUI 9.0 Promises Unrivaled Experience of HUAWEI Mate 20 Series ADVERTORIAL


t the IFA 2018, the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, the Customer Business Team (CBG) of HUAWEI introduced the operating system EMUI 9.0 based on Android Pie. The EMUI 9.0 is one of the first personalized systems to have an intuitive interface and a variety of functions to satisfy even the most demanding user requirements. The 10th exhibition-sale of IFA was hosted in Berlin, where innovative products of the world's most popular brands have grown into one space. Much attention was paid to the Android Pie-based operating system EMUI 9.0. It is noteworthy that HUAWEI's latest personalized operating system is much more precise than its predecessor: 12.9% faster when operating and switching applications. The combination of EMUI 9.0 and recently presented Kirin 980, promises users an amazing experience

in the HUAWEI Mate 20 series. Within the framework of IFA 2018, many press conferences and presentations were held to provide more detailed information for customers and media. “Today's smartphones are overloaded with many features that consumers do not need daily and which can be quite confusing,” said the HUAWEI President of the Software Engineering Department, Vang Chenglum. “The idea of creating the EMUI 9.0 came from the awareness that the system should be pleasant, consistent and simple. Additionally, by submitting EMUI 9.0, HUAWEI became one of the first smartphone companies to offer customers a personalized operating system based on Android Pie, which, in our opinion, speaks about the close relationship between us and Google.” The EMUI 9.0 comes with GPU Turbo 2.0, meaning more support for game lovers. Another important function that comes with the system is HiVision, which gives the camera the ability to identify famous monuments and paintings and provide information to the user. The function is quite simple: “apply

a Smartphone Camera to the Object of Interest and you will get full information from history and interesting facts,” explains the company. HUAWEI products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world's pop-

Georgian fusion restaurant "Meama" with an authentic taste tradition! Adress: 8 Dzmebi Zdanevichebi str. Tbilisi Mob: 558 31 11 33

ulation. According to 2015 data, the smartphone market is the third largest in the world. 16 Research and Development Centers operate in the US, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. HUAWEI Consumer BG is one of the three business units in Huawei, one of

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Christianity: Ukraine Another Solar Power Plant Launched in Azerbaijan Might Diverge Further from the T Russian World BY DIMITRI DOLABERIDZE

he solar power station in the Baku village of Sahil has been connected to the power grid, Deputy Chairman of the State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources Jamil Melikov announced. Today in Azerbaijan, solar power plants function in the cities of Gobustan and Samukh, and in the Baku villages of Pirallahi, Surakhani and now Sahil. “The solar power plant in Sakhil is already connected to the power grid and is functioning. At the same time there is preparation to connect a solar power station in Sumgayit. We expect it to be put into operation before the end of the year,” Melikov said. The design capacity of the Sahil power plant is 2.8 megawatts. The potential of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan is over 25.3 thousand megawatts, which will generate 62.8 billion kilowatthours of electricity per year. By 2020, it is planned to reach a capacity of 2,676 megawatts, which will be about 20% of all electricity produced in the country. Most of the country's potential in this area comes from solar energy, and this potential is estimated

President Ilham Aliyev at the launch of the solar power plant. Image source:

at 5,000 megawatts. Wind energy is 4,500 megawatts, biomass is 1500 megawatts, geothermal energy is 800 megawatts, and the remaining 350 megawatts comes from the potential of small hydroelectric power stations. In 2018-2020, the State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources of Azerbaijan plans to implement 23 projects with a total cost of about 13 million Manat ($7,635,829.50) within the framework of the strategic roadmap for the development of public services (electric and thermal energy, water and gas supply).

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Russian Patriarch Kirill and Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev. Image source:



he Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is experiencing troubles in Ukraine. Territory once considered as uncontested land of the Russian Patriarchate may now split and become autocephalous (independent), adding yet another dimension to the challenges Russia is facing in the borderlands. One of the major features of Russian history of the last several centuries was the battle over territories spanning from the Baltic to the Black Sea in the south, then turning eastward towards the South Caucasus. Those are the lands for which the Russians fought the Swedes, Poles, Nazi Germans, Napoleon’s armies, Turks and the Iranians. To the Russians’ credit, they fought their geopolitical competitors successfully, stalling European advances into the arc of lands around the Russian heartland, where most of Russia’s industrial and human potential laid. When it came to direct military confrontation, the Russians have never been fundamentally weaker than their European or Asian competitors. Deficiencies in the organization of the Russian military machine always existed, alongside a lack of modern military capabilities, but those problems were alleviated by Russian geography, large landmass, and difficult to penetrate and poor road infrastructure. Like its earlier versions, the modern Russian military does not fundamentally lag behind its western competitors. The gap historically has been so small that neither Russia nor any of the European powers was totally dominant on the continent for an extended period. Therefore, it is at times baffling to hear that nowadays the Russians are afraid of NATO expansion near the Russian borders. True, it would be difficult for any major player to accept rival armies near its own borders and Russia is no exception, but in the Russian mindset, surely NATO expansion near Russian frontiers is no different from what previous invasions of European commanders were? How serious a problem the NATO troops constitute for Moscow is largely doubtful. NATO troops are already in the Baltics, and Turkey is a member

of the Alliance. Considering modern military technologies and Russian abilities to defend the country, it is surprising to see how much emphasis Moscow is putting on military aspects, while crucial developments in the borderlands take place in the economic and cultural realms. I have written often on how Russia is losing its grip on its borderlands primarily in the economic realm. For centuries, western economic reach into Russian borderlands was meagre and, as said above, Russian rulers faced only a military threat which they repelled successfully. In the last 20-30 years though, Western powers have been successful in expanding their economic reach. The European Union (EU) is a powerful entity as it has already attached the former Soviet protectorates in eastern Europe and all the three Baltic states. Moreover, the EU is active in Ukraine, Moldova and the South Caucasus to the level that much of these countries’ trade is now associated with the West. Beyond economics, the changing geopolitical landscape is also being tilted in favor of the West on the local level. Elites in Ukraine and Georgia are being redirected to the West through economic and political incentives. Youngsters, when facing the choice of studying abroad, predominantly head to western universities and upon return to their native countries, go on to occupy key governmental positions. Even in the spiritual realm where the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) was predominant throughout centuries, claiming its right to unite Orthodox Christians over large expanses of the Eurasian landmass, it is now experiencing troubles in Ukraine. The latter’s Church was canonically under the ROC’s jurisdiction, but ever since the Ukraine conflict in 2014, Kyiv has been successful in its efforts to distance itself from the Russian Church. Ukrainians claim that the transfer of the Kyivan Metropolitan See in the late 17th century to Moscow was unlawful. The meeting held on August 31 between Russian Patriarch Kirill and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signaled that the Ukrainian Church is likely to gain autocephaly (independence). If this scenario plays out, then it will be yet another indication how Russian influence may be diminishing over its borderlands. Religious developments in Ukraine go hand-in-hand with geopolitics between Russia and Ukraine.



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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1082 Business  

September 11 - 13, 2018

Issue #1082 Business  

September 11 - 13, 2018