Issue no: 852/31
• JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY
PRICE: GEL 2.50
In this week’s issue... The Economics of Boasting ISET PAGE 4
Wine Export Increases by 44% PAGE 5
Georgian Airways Receives EASA Permission to Fly to EU
FOCUS ON THE CNFA
Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture celebrates its 10th anniversary of designing and implementing market-driven agricultural and agribusiness development initiatives in Georgia PAGE 3
Developing Georgian-Kazakh Business Relations BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
DAAD Scholarship for Higher Education PAGE 11
Bank of Georgia HQ Building Listed Among the Best Examples of Brutalist Architecture
ast week began with a successful Investment Forum in Tbilisi, bringing together leading representatives of Kazakh and Georgian business circles to discuss economic issues, ways of cooperation and potential projects. A few days later, government representatives of the two countries met in Kazakhstan at the 8th Kazakh-Georgian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in order to resolve existing issues and form a more favorable overall business environment for the private and public sectors. The Minister of Economy of Georgia, Dimitry Kumsishvili, noted that Georgia and Kazakhstan have enjoyed close trade and tourism relations for many years. Continued on page 2
Rustavi-2 Loses Ownership Dispute in Appeals Court, Vows to Fight On PAGE 13 Prepared for Georgia Today Business by
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JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Developing GeorgianKazakh Business Relations
Continued from page 1 In particular, the Minister said, the Kazakh side invested over USD 300 million (636 million GEL) from 2006 to 2015. “I understand that this amount will increase at least 10 times in the near future,” said Kumsishvili. The first Georgian-Kazakh Investment Forum, jointly organized by Forbes Georgia and Forbes Kazakhstan, invited 40 representatives of leading companies of Kazakhstan to Tbilisi. At the Forum, the Georgian side demonstrated the potential of the country, advantages of free trade, the tax exemption programs like ‘Produce in Georgia,’ as well as the latest achievements. “Georgia’s GDP grew by 2.5 percent in 2015. This year, the forecast is 3 percent, but the current economic indicators suggest that growth could reach as much as 3.5 percent. In addition, our country has a successful anticorruption policy and reached 23rd place in the Index of Economic Freedom,” Kumsishvili highlighted. Kazakh businesspersons paid special attention to the energy, banks, real estate and tourism sectors. “Georgia was able to host 6 million visitors last year,” said the Minister of Economy. “However,
we are planning to take 11 million tourists annually. Moreover, we see growth among Kazakh tourists – 12 thousand people from this country have visited Georgia since the beginning of 2016.” The number of Kazakh tourists increased by 5-6 times in the last three years, and the Tourism Department of Kazakhstan has predicted 20 percent of its tourists will be coming to Georgia this summer. In addition, flights between Georgia and Kazakhstan increased to 20 times a week from June. In general, the results of the Forum were positive, with both sides appreciating one important component of successful business cooperation in personal meetings and, in particular, this type of forum. With the aim of resolving existing problems, Minister Kumsishvili went to the Kazakh-Georgian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in Astana a few days after the Tbilisi Forum. According to the Minister, one of the main goals was to reach an agreement about Georgia’s debt to Kazakhstan, and as a result, a payment schedule has been set. Issues of transport, the Silk Road Corridor, as well as cargo transportation and increase in investment were also in the spotlight during the Commission meeting.
New Investment in Batumi Boulevard
BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
n additional USD 40 million (84 million GEL) is to be invested in the development and reconstruction of the New Boulevard of Batumi, reported the Chairman of Adjara Government, Archil Khabadze. According to the project, various tourist facilities will be built, such as hotels, but 50 percent of the territory will be allocated to a tourist-recreation zone. 32,000 square meters of the New Boulevard of Batumi had previously been put up for auction with a starting price of USD 2.3 million (5 million GEL). Orbi Group Millennium Construction Company bought it for USD 4.3 million (9.3 million GEL). In addition, members of the Adjara Government
10 Galaktion Street
noted that USD 520 million (1100 million GEL) had already been invested in the New Boulevard’s reconstruction in the first quarter of 2016. There are four hotels currently under construction, and another is to be added shortly. As a result, the city will receive 1,700 new rooms in total, and about 2,600 local residents will be involved in the projects. “Investment processes in Adjara are developing quite actively. The New Boulevard did not function for many years, yet now several large investment projects are underway there,” said David Baladze, the Minister of Finance and Economy of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. “In addition, the recent purchase by Orbi Group once again demonstrates the interest and economic development in the region. Based on this, we may well say that there is an investment boom happening,” he added.
Tel: (995 32) 2 45 08 08 E-mail: email@example.com
GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
USAID/CNFA Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Georgia BY ZVIAD ADZINBAIA
n June 7, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, celebrated its 10th anniversary of designing and implementing market-driven agricultural and agribusiness development initiatives in Georgia. The organization hosted a Conference and Grantee Fair at Expo Georgia, inviting high-level officials, including Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and USAID/Georgia Acting Mission Director, Thomas Morris.
The Fair featured almost 20 grantees that are currently receiving support and technical assistance from the USAID Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) project, an ongoing CNFA-led program. REAP is committed to increasing income and employment in rural areas by delivering investment and technical assistance to expanding the operation of existing smallholder farmers and rural enterprises. In his opening speech, Giorgi Kvirikashvili declared that CNFA has not just been a partner but has also been a friend to the Georgian farming community. “CNFA has played a vital role in transforming Georgia's agriculture,” he said. Ex-Minister of Georgian Agriculture, David Kirvalidze, who currently serves
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili with CNFA Board of Directors, CNFA Grantee Fair, Expo Georgia
as a member of the CNFA Board of Directors, emphasized the organization’s role in boosting entrepreneurship in Georgia. “Private enterprises are what CNFA is all about,” Kirvalidze underscored, adding, “it assists individuals and encourages entrepreneurship.” USAID Georgia Chief, Thomas Morris, spoke of CNFA’s support toward Georgia’s western course. “We will continue supporting Georgia on its path to EU and NATO. CNFA is stimulating economic growth in Georgia through entrepreneurship,” Morris stated. The conference incorporated a number of other prominent speakers, among which was Michael Espy, CNFA Board of Director and former US Secretary of Agriculture. Espy said that during a recent visit to Gori, he saw Russian soldiers and their occupation, which he regards as an ‘old way’. He believes that CNFA offers a ‘new way’ of development, entrepreneurship and economic growth. He gave the example of a successful enterprise in Gori, which was supported by CNFA. John Castelo, CNFA Europe Board Chairman, spoke of David Kirvalidze’s personal leadership and his commitment to Georgian agriculture and the well-being of the country. “We are all engaged in the right process here in Georgia,” Castelo declared. On May 30, President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, awarded John Castelo with the
President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, awards CNFA Europe Board Chairman, John Castelo with the Golden Fleece Order for his significant contribution to Georgian agriculture
Golden Fleece Order for his significant contribution to Georgian agriculture and international assistance programs for Georgia. The conference concluded with a presentation by Darejan Kanteladze, owner of a dairy processing plant, Santa Ltd, who highlighted significant achievements that the company has accomplished as a result of working with USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and CNFA over the past eight years. Since 2006, CNFA has led or been involved in eight projects, three of which are currently ongoing. These projects, as a result of US Government assistance through USAID and MCC, and in partnership with the Government of Georgia, have supported more than 430 agro-businesses, created over 3,500 jobs, generated USD 51 million in new gross sales, and trained more than 140,000 individuals. “We are extremely fortunate that CNFA continues to work in Georgia and the reason behind this is simple: our local Georgian staff,” said CNFA President and CEO, Sylvain Roy. “None of this would be possible without their hard work and dedication- some of them have been with us since our very first project. It is thanks to our
staff’s commitment and passion that CNFA has been able to truly make a positive impact in such an incredible country.” The conference and grantee fair was the last event of a six-day visit to Georgia for seven CNFA Board of Directors to experience firsthand some of the work being implemented and to see the historical impacts of CNFA-supported projects. Other members of the CNFA Board of Directors delegation included Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Senior Policy Advisor, Devry Boughner Vorwerk; Elin Miller Consulting, LLC Principal, Elin Miller; and former Archer Daniels Midland Company Senior Vice President, Richard P. Reising. CNFA specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives. CNFA builds strong local and global partnerships, incorporates innovative approaches in its programs, and fosters inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to underserved groups. Since 1985, CNFA has managed more than USD 600 million in donor-funded agriculture development programs and has worked in 43 countries around the world, in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.
JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
THE ISET ECONOMIST A BLOG ABOUT ECONOMICS AND THE SOUTH CAUCAUS
The ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI, www.iset-pi.ge) is an independent think-tank associated with the International School of Economics at TSU (ISET). Our blog carries economic analysis of current events and policies in Georgia and the South Caucasus region ranging from agriculture, to economic growth, energy, labor markets and the nexus of economics, culture and religion. Thought-provoking and fun to read, our blog posts are written by international faculty teaching at ISET and recent graduates representing the new generation of Georgian, Azerbaijani and Armenian economists.
The Economics of Boasting BY OLGA AZHGIBETSEBA AND FLORIAN BIERMANN
HO BOASTS, AND WHY? As argued by Omer Moav and Zvika Neeman in a 2012 paper (Moav taught at ISET in the past), boasting is a way to pretend that one has hidden income (“Saving Rates and Poverty: The Role of Conspicuous Consumption and Human Capital”, Economic Journal 122, pp. 933-956). While people may have a rough idea of the incomes of their neighbors, colleagues, friends, and other people they interact with, they usually do not know exactly how much they make. Hence, there is some wiggle room for speculation, and if one sees a colleague coming to work with a Bentley, people will update their beliefs about his or her financial potency. But why do humans want to appear richer than they actually are? Evidence points at an evolutionary advantage, as command over resources seems to contribute to the sexual attractiveness of a person (in particular of males, who, for evolutionary reasons not to be discussed here, compete more fiercely for mating partners than females). It has been shown, for example, that the relationship status is a reliable predictor for the extent of a man’s conspicuous consumption – single men buy more expensive smartphones and cars than those who are married (e.g. Hennighausen and Schwab (2014): “Relationship Status Moderates Men’s
Conspicuous Consumption of Smartphones”, Letters on Evolutionary Behavioral Science 5, pp. 13-16). Like male peacocks, whose lavish plumage indicates to females that their reproductive resources are so abundant that they can afford to have highly visible (and therefore risky), resource-intensive, and even obstructive feather coats, a human male who buys a Rolex shows to human females that he is so rich that he can afford to buy a watch for several thousand dollars which essentially yields the same utility as a $20 watch. Paradoxically, conspicuous consumption seems to be more frequent in poorer societies. Moav and Neeman accumulated a lot of evidence for this (detailed sources can be found in their paper): median spending on festivals comprises about 10-15% of annual income in rural India, and Black households in South Africa spend on average a year’s income on an adult’s funeral. At the same time, they typically spend less than 1% of their income on less transparent forms of entertainment like movie theaters. A New York Times article describes the case of a poor Indian farmer who sold his land for $109,000 and then rented a helicopter for $8,327 to fly his son two miles to his wedding party. The explanation given by Charles, Hurst, and Roussanov (2009) is that conspicuous consumption is more effective in a society of poor people (“Conspicuous Consumption and Race”, Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, pp. 425-67). Their argument is threefold. Firstly, by the law of supply and demand, an attractive trait is more precious on
In one of the short films of the 'Real Georgian man' series (ქართველი ვაჟკაცი), a Georgian with an expensive car has a gas system installed, which saves money but reduces the car's engine performance. A clear case of conspicuous consumption. Source: www.tv11.ge
the mating market the scarcer it is. “Hidden income” is therefore more attractive when most people are poor. Secondly, revealing that one is rich is more
Like male peacocks, whose lavish plumage indicates to females that their reproductive resources are so abundant that they can afford to have highly visible, resourceintensive, and even obstructive feather coats, a human male who buys a Rolex shows to human females that he is so rich that he can afford to buy a watch for several thousand dollars which essentially yields the same utility as a $20 watch.
of a surprise in a poor society, and hence the impact on one’s reputation is more significant (if everybody already assumed that one was rich, buying a Porsche does not really make a difference). Thirdly, in a rich society it is much more expensive to impress others. When upper class cars are ubiquitous, as it is the case in some European countries like Luxembourg and Switzerland, then one needs to go for a Rolls Royce or Bentley to really impress. In a low-income country like Georgia, on the other hand, a plain Toyota Land Cruiser or a BMW X6 will do the job.
IS IT ECONOMICALLY DETRIMENTAL? On the surface, one might think that a society of posers is beneficial for the economy. Doesn’t it boost the demand for expensive smartphones, watches, and cars? Moav and Neeman show that the issue is more complicated, and that a veritable poverty trap can arise from conspicuous consumption. The first problem is that conspicuous consumption competes with more useful expenditures, say, like saving for one’s retirement or the education of children: “The very poor spend only 2-3% of their income on their children’s education, do not eat well, experience ill health, and report that they are worried and anxious to an extent that interferes with their sleep and work. In many cases, they fail to make trivial investments in their business and save so little that they cannot avoid cutting back on meals when they suffer a temporary decline in income.” The second problem, according to Moav and Neeman, is that conspicuous consumption becomes more important the less human capital a person has acquired. Having a degree or a title is a strong signal about one’s income and reduces the necessity to buy, say, a Mercedes Cabrio. A vicious cycle may be the result: when people or societies get poorer, they expend more on conspicuous consumption and less on the education of their children. The reduction in human capital in the next generation leads to lower income and increases the necessity for conspicuous consumption, both through the higher payoff from boasting and because human capital cannot serve as a substitute for showing off. Therefore, people consume even more conspicuously, leading to even less investment in human capital, and so on.
AND GEORGIA? There is casual evidence for conspicuous consumption in Georgia, like a high density of Toyota Land Rovers and BMW X6’s in the streets of Tbilisi. For poorer Georgians, having a car at all instead of going around with public transport may already be conspicuously motivated. From a bank employee we heard that during the financial hardship in 2008, many people would rather sell their apartments than their cars. The density of iPhones may also be higher than what one would expect in a country with $300 nominal monthly average income, and a low savings rate and a big trade deficit also fit the story. While we do not have numbers to substantiate our claim, it is likely that the same patterns observed in other low-income countries also apply in Georgia. One difficulty about conspicuous consumption is that one cannot tax it away – by increasing the prices of Veblen Goods, one will make them even more attractive. And in democratic, individualistic societies, one cannot act like Emomalii Rahmon, the president of Tajikistan, who banned gold teeth, the use of cell phones in universities, and large birthday parties. He criticized wealthy citizens “for showing off their wealth by throwing elaborate parties and thereby setting a standard for others who try to appear wealthy by holding a large party despite having only modest incomes.” The President restricted the number of people and amount of food served at weddings to prevent Tajiks, 60% of whom live below the poverty line, from “using their life savings just to compete with their neighbors.” The only way to escape the vicious cycle of conspicuous consumption is to turn it into a virtuous cycle. If one incentivizes people to accumulate more (relevant) human capital and invest more in the education of their children, they will become wealthier, and conspicuous consumption will lose importance. It may indeed be the case, however, that such positive dynamics have already set in, given the attention the educational system receives by the government, the general appreciation for literacy within the Georgian population, and the high growth rates that were achieved in the last years. If things go well, driving big cars, using expensive cellphones, and other immature behavior will become less and less prepotent in the years to come.
GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
MAQRO Construction Commences New Housing Project In Tbilisi PREPARED BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
income they generate from rent.
aving delivered its first housing project, Green Budapest, in Georgia, MAQRO Construction has now shifted its focus to a new housing project in Tbilisi. The Green Diamond, consisting of 1772 apartments, was announced to the public with a commencement ceremony on May 28. Renowned footballer twins Achil and Shota Arveladze participated in the new project’s introductory film. The Green Diamond is a massive new housing project with not only apartments but a variety of infrastructure, social activities and a green area. Oguz Kaan Karaer, MAQRO Construction’s Chief of Project Development PR, Sales & Marketing Officer says there is a need for qualified and complete apartments in the country. “MAQRO develops projects responding to such needs. We have already begun delivering our first project, Green Budapest and the sales and marketing process for the new Green Diamond project began on May 28, 2016.” Karaer went on to underline that the confidence created by their high quality apartments allows these products to be swiftly and easily rented out. Consequently, he said, investments made in MAQRO projects can redeem themselves within seven or eight years with the
The Green Diamond project that is being built in Tbilisi will consist of 1772 residential apartments. The payment plan that will be offered with this massive project taking place over a field of 70 thousand square meters will also make it easier to purchase homes. Prices are to start from 25,000 American dollars. It can be possible to be a homeowner in Green Diamond by paying 2.500 USD down payment, and monthly installments of 250 USD.
LIFE AT THE PROJECT WILL BEGIN IN MAY, 2018 “Apartments in the new project will be built to European standards and delivered after total completion. Those who buy the apartments will be able to move in and start living on the date of delivery. We are aiming to finish this project quickly, by May 2018. We are confident we can do it,” said Karaer.
NEIGHBOR TO A LARGE UNIVERSITY “The project’s growing investment value will contribute to the region’s development,” said Karaer, ading that a new university will be based 600 meters from the Green Diamond project. “The Georgia Institute of Technology is being built over a field of 240 thousand square meters and the foundation has been
laid. Furthermore, there are other private universities in the region. This project is located in the most convenient place to live or to rent. On top of that, it is being built with the quality and trust of MAQRO.”
LARGE HIGH-QUALITY SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOOD Underlining that Green Diamond has important opportunities for socialization, Karaer says that the project makes a difference by its use of ecologic and green fields. “Green Diamond presents buyers with an opportunity as valuable as gold. A massive neighborhood with high standards and 1772 residential apartments built in Tbilisi in a neighborhood with its own kindergarten, school, swimming pools, social areas, outdoor and indoor fitness centers, market, café, pharmacy, and more.
PERFECT PAYMENT CONDITIONS Unit prices start from USD 25,000 in Green Diamond. It is possible to buy an apartment with a down payment of USD 2,500 and then monthly installments of USD 250. Units will start redeeming themselves within 2 years with income generated from rent. Investors who invest in Green Diamond will be able to redeem their investment with only income from rent over seven years. Customers should pay a 10% first installment, only 1% monthly for 30 months and
60% when the construction is completed. The more down payment you pay, the more discount you can get, up to 15%. “In Georgia, people have a great desire to improve their lifestyles, are willing to have better life conditions, but unfortunately the financial situation often prevents them. Green Diamond is the best opportunity,” Karaer said. “According to our flexible payment terms people have the chance to pay only down payment (2500 USD) and monthly payment (totally 7500 USD for 30 months), that is only USD 10,000 USD and the remaining 60% from the rent fee, as the last payment is in the period when they can use a bank loan. MAQRO construction has created unprecedented and tailored payment terms to help people have a different, modern life. With this kind of payment term the construction of Green Diamond is financed by MAQRO construction’s own finances, not from the proceeds of sales.
ARCHIL AND SHOTA TO ADVERTISE THE PROJECT The advertising faces of the Green Diamond project, the Arveladze twins, are among the home owners in Green Budapest project. “Deliveries in the company’s first project, Green Budapest, began as of this month. Green Budapest is the first project through which we met the Georgian market. We are demonstrating the qual-
ity of our company to the Georgian public by completing this project on time. Green Budapest consists of 351 fully furnished homes. This investment is among the top 10 foreign investments in the country, according to Georgian National Statistics Bureau,” Karaer said. Proceeding with the goal of becoming a global brand, MAQRO Construction has made investments throughout Georgia. The company built the four-star hotel of Mercure Tbilisi Old Town and turned it over to the managing company Accor Group. Due to MAQRO’s advantageous circumstances in business and investment environment, Accor Group continues its cooperation with MAQRO in their new project. The company is planning to open its new hotel investment, being undertaken in cooperation with Accor Hotel, the IBIS STYLES HOTELS Tbilisi, in 2017. DINEHALL Tbilisi, recently introduced as the first casual café-restaurant in the world and located in the heart of the city, also opened its doors to guests in June with a concept of bringing food and art together. MAQRO is also operating in the retail sector with its furniture brand, Bellissa.
JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Contest Winners for New Georgian Digital Print Announced BY TATIA MEGENEISHVILI
he winners of the TBC Georgian A contest were named at an award ceremony on June 9 which saw participants having to create their own print of the Georgian alphabet, containing all 33 letters. The winners were expected to be named in eight categories. However, at the decision of the Jury, participants of only seven categories were awarded. Participants of Modern A, Shorthand A, Adapted A, Academic A, Artistic A,
This is our national treasure. We should promote the use of Georgian print and language in everyday life and defend it
Zviad Tsikolia gifts a watch, designed by him, to Jumber Betchvaia, who was the author of his chosen print
Technical A, and Futuristic A categories presented very good samples while samples in the Succinct A category, were apparently less than satisfactory. Funded and supported by the TBC Bank, the project came about thanks to well-known Georgian Designer Zviad Tsikolia as part of the #WriteinGeorgian (#წერექართულად) campaign which aims to preserve and develop the Georgian language in both print and use. The competition was open for any person, with participants able to con-
tribute in any and every category. However, participants were allowed to present only one print in each single category. According to the organizers, an unexpectedly high number of samples was received- in total 160 different Georgian prints were registered from March 21 to April 30. Each category had two winners. TBC bank granted 2,000 GEL to the first place winner and 1,000 GEL to the second, while E-book house Saba gifted 50 and 25 electronic books, respectively.
Additionally, Tsikolia gifted a watch, designed by him, to Jumber Betchvaia, who was the author of his chosen print. Chairman of the Supervisory board, Mamuka Khazaradze, said that project #WriteinGeorgian (#წერექართულად) is something really “quite special and rare.” “The project launched by us is unique and many interesting initiatives have been implemented through it. For example, we held a special course for print engineering. Also, within the project, we
created the largest Georgian - English digital dictionary. Further, a special congress for lexicography is going to be organized. We also want to create a Microsoft translation platform,” Khazaradze said, adding that the goal of the project is to defend and develop Georgian print and language. “This is our national treasure. We should promote the use of Georgian print and language in everyday life and defend it from barbarism. As such, we intend to make this contest an annual one and create as many good Georgian prints as possible,” Khazaradze said. Winner in five different categories, Zurab Miminoshvili, said that this is only beginning and the tradition should continue. “I’m very happy that people like me were given the chance to show their work to the Georgian people. I won in many different categories and I’m very grateful that members of the jury appreciated my work,” stated Miminoshvili. Another winner, Ia Darakhvelidze spoke of the family tradition that led to her participation in the print contest. “My father started creating prints many years ago and I’m just continuing his work. I’m overjoyed that my father’s dream came true and our joint creation will soon be in common use,” she said. “In my opinion, Georgian print is one of the most beautiful among existing languages. Since the world is getting more and more digital, our print also needs to be upgraded. This contest has contributed to its development,” Tsikolia said.
JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Georgia’s Foreign Direct Investment Spikes in Q1 2016 BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
oreign direct investments (FDI) in Georgia amounted to USD 376 million (800 million GEL) in the first quarter of 2016, up 103 percent year-on-year according to preliminary data from the same period in 2015, the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) said. Geostat named Azerbaijan, Turkey and the UK as Georgia’s leader investor countries. Azerbaijan has already invested USD 137 million (291 million GEL), or 36 percent of all FDIs. Geostat said the majority of Azeri investments went to projects carried out by British Petroleum in Georgia’s transport and communication sectors. Investments from Turkey significantly spiked in the first quarter of 2016, reaching USD 57 million (121 million GEL). Turkish investments in the same period
in 2014 amounted to USD 25 million (53 million GEL) and USD 27 million (57 million GEL) in 2015. First quarter investments from the United Kingdom also showed a dynamic increase, reaching USD 44 million (93 million GEL) that 12 percent of all FDIs. Since 2014, South Korea has invested only USD 29 million (61 million GEL) into Georgia in the third quarter of 2015. That total was easily eclipsed in the first quarter of this year with South Koreans already investing USD 32 million (68 million GEL). The data provided by Geostat shows that three major economic sectors make up 79 percent of all FDI’s in the first quarter. The largest share, USD 200 million (425 million GEL), of FDI’s was allocated to the transportation and communications sector. Just over 58 million (123 million GEL) was invested into the financial sector and USD 40 million (85 million GEL) into the energy sector.
Wine Export Increases by 44% BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
he National Wine Agency has published data which shows that 15,053,106 bottles of wine (bottles of 0.75 liter) were exported from Georgia to 34 countries worldwide in January - May 2016. This is 44 percent higher than this time last year. In the review period, USD 35.04 mil-
lion (74 million GEL) worth of wine was exported, 16 percent higher yearon-year. The Agency also stated that in total, wine, chacha, wine materials, brandy on tap and brandy alcohol export income this year has already exceeded USD 61.1 million (129 million GEL) making wine a consistent sales and export leader. Georgian wine exported to China rose by 106 percent, amounting to 1,242,523 bottles. This is followed by Ukraine and Russia with a 73 percent
and 59 percent increase, respectively. Russia is also a leader among the importing countries with 7,560,974 bottles. Ukraine has 1,853,663 bottles and in third place is Kazakhstan with 1,620,046 bottles from Georgia so far this year. In addition, 3,330,333 bottles of brandy (0.5 liter bottles) were exported to 13 countries worldwide, 69 percent more year-on-year with 2015. In total, USD 7.7 million (16 million GEL) worth of brandy was exported this year.
GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Georgian Airways Receives EASA Permission to Fly to EU
50 Enterprises in Mountainous Areas Benefitting from Special Taxation System BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
he Georgian Ministry of Finance announced that 50 enterprises located in different mountainous areas are already benefitting from the Mountain Law state program. The special taxation system allows entrepreneurs in the mountainous regions of the country to be exempt from paying profit and property taxes for legal entities,
while physical entities are exempt from paying income and property taxes for a ten-year term. The program was initiated this year and already has 50 businesses benefitting from it. The main aim of the program is to make doing business in mountain areas easier, as well as to develop such directions as furniture manufacturing, construction, production of wine, beer and soft drinks, producing milk and processing milk products, baking, production of agricultural products, poultry farming, and more.
“50 companies are already operating under the new legislation,” said Nodar Khaduri, the Minister of Finance of Georgia. “Moreover, we are actively working in this direction to promote the scheme, running various information campaigns to highlight the benefits available to encourage the establishment of more enterprises in the regions.” Any interested party can submit an application to the Revenue Office of the Ministry of Finance, with the final decision being made at a Governmental meeting.
BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
heEuropeanAviationSafety A ge n c y ( E A SA ) h a s announced that national flag-carrier Georgian Airways has met all of the body’s safety requirements and will be allowed to carry out flights to Europe. According to the declaration, Georgian Airways can perform flights to 32 EASA member countries – 28 EU members and four EFTA countries: Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Lichtenstein. The European Commission recently decided that all airlines from non-EU countries should obtain EASA permission before being allowed to operate in
European airspace. The Commission claimed that this document would confirm their compliance with international aviation safety standards. Tbilisi’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development stated that the decision fully reiterates that Georgian Airways has met all international standards to operate in world’s largest air traffic region. Georgian Airways was established in September 1993 when it initially operated charter flights to the United Arab Emirates, Italy, China, Egypt, India, Syria, as well as the regular flight to Vienna. The airline currently carries out regular flights to Amsterdam, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Yerevan, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Contact: www.edelbrand.ge Phone: 599 461908
JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Successful Experiments with Chardonnay BY ROLAND BURDIASHVILI
hardonnay is French white grape vine variety and one of the first foreign grape varieties to be introduced in Georgia in the 19th century. At first, due to its low harvest, it was not widespread, but from the beginning of the 20th century Georgian specialists were showing more interest and by the 1930s we could find Chardonnay in Mtskheta, Kaspi, Kharagauli, Zestaponi, Bagdati, Gori and Aspindza regions. Chardonnay has been crossbred with Imeretian grape varieties, bred as a hybrid marked by high productivity and early ripeness. Chardonnay is now most commonly grown in Upper Imereti. Chardonnay vine varieties also passed tests in western Georgia to be grown on Digomi and Vatchevi farms and in fact, the regional climate and soil conditions of Kakheti turned out to be the best to get highquality wine products. Among the positive sides of Chardonnay, aside from the high dignity of the production is its high ability of endurance to powdery mildew, frost and drought. As researchers have noted, Chardonnay cannot stand phylloxera, so for propagation of the vine it is necessary to graft it with properly selected phylloxera-resistant rootstock. Studies found that in Georgian conditions, Chardonnay was best used as a material for improvement to make high-quality champagne. Nowadays, wine companies in Kakheti have numerous vineyards planted with Chardonnay and Schuchmann Wine Georgia has planted four hectares of high quality Chardonnay vineyards. From the bulk wine of the Chardonnay vineyard we produce the sparkling wines traditionally used in champagne bottle technology. Wine production and technologies are developing annually, and as such the customer is always waiting for news. Aiming to create new products, namely to produce fortified dessert Kagor type wine, “Kavkasioni,” from the Chardonnay grape variety, which ideally should be 16% alcohol 16% sugar, we made the following tests. The major principle lays in the fact that in the production method we used the grape stone, enriching the wine with nutritional and taste qualities. The grape was harvested with 22-23% sugar content and was processed in two different ways.
Option 1: we put the grape in the shaft peeling and pressing machine, after which we heated the crush to 70-80 Celsius over 24 hours, at the same time mixing it. After this we brought the crush to boiling temperature, the grape stones were added to the chilled crush (250 g/l -dal) after which we added yeast to the crush whereby it was heated at 20-22 C0. On the 14th day of fermentation, when the sugar content came down to 18%, we mixed it with alcohol, as a result of which alcohol formation stopped. As soon as formation was stopped, we pressed the crush and the wine-material was placed on a low heat. The sediment was then removed, leaving the content with alcohol and sugar making up 16%. Option 2: Gross undamaged grapes were placed in a wooden barrel, pure yeast culture was added and locked hermetically, thus the fermentation began under C 2. Over the barrel was placed a C 2 output pipe, for removing C 2, we observed the fermentation from the surveillance tube. As in Option 1, when the residual sugar composition came down to 18% we mixed it with alcohol, as a result of which the fermentation stopped. The crush was pressed and the wine-material placed on a low heat. In both options we used 96% wheat alcohol, that for two weeks was placed and staid on the chardonnay dried grape stone. In both options, the obtained product is characterized with high nutrition value. The product obtained through the study is a fortified category dessert wine that is distinguished with a dark straw color and taste. Further, in the obtained product the composition of phenolic compounds is high, about ten times the phenolic compounds in white wines produced through the European method. It is further characterized by a high-extract and moderate content of tannins, is naturally stable and sophisticated, and has a great potential for aging. Our experiment was a success! As a result a highquality wine has been created that is rich in its physical and chemical characteristics. In 2016 Schuchmann plans to produce a large amount of such wine and put it into regular production. In the first year we will offer our new product to Georgian customers, and in future we plan to export. Roland Burdiashvili is a Doctoral Student of the Iakob Gogebashvili Telavi State University and Production Director of “Schuchmann Wine Georgia” LLC
GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
DAAD Scholarship for Higher Education
ithin the framework of the German Language Month, Goethe-Institut hosted an information meeting with DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) aiming at giving information to those who wish to acquire higher education in Germany. GEORGIA TODAY met Dr. Martin Praxenthaler, the head of DAAD, to discuss the program and eligibility for gaining the scholarship.
Our aim is to make parents believe they should give a good education to their childrenbe it German education or even in the English language- but in Germany
WHAT STANDARDS SHOULD A STUDENT MEET IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE DAAD SCHOLARSHIP?
WHAT ARE THE MAIN AREAS FINANCED BY THE DAAD SCHOLARSHIP? The most popular applied-for program is the Master’s program. The scholarship for the program sees the greatest success and lasts from one to two years. In this case an applicant is free to choose either German or English language programs. Study is available in anything from humanities to law and medicine. In addition, PhDs and teachers’ programs are available in German and English languages. We also offer a scholarship for the Arts, which is an exception to the Georgian reality.
WHAT IS REQUIRED FROM
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urge everyone not to miss such a great opportunity because this is the only such country offering the best education for free. Our aim is to make parents believe they should give an education to their children- be it German education or even in the English language- but in Germany.
First of all, an applicant should know in what language they want to study – in German or English. As a rule, there is a greater choice in English Master's programs. It is necessary that a student know both languages at B1 level. The second prerequisite is to hold a secondary school diploma, though in order for the diploma to be recognized in Germany, the applicant must pass through a one-year foundation course at preparatory college, after which s/he will be able to enroll in a university in Germany. Alternatively, s/he must cover one academic year here in Georgia and then continue studying in a Bachelor’s program, but from the beginning. To be accepted for the Master’s program the applicant must hold a higher education diploma from an accredited university.
ARE THERE INFORMATION CENTERS WHICH HELP STUDENTS TO PREPARE DOCUMENTS OR LOOK FOR UNIVERSITIES?
AN ARTIST TO APPLY FOR SUCH A SCHOLARSHIP? The first precondition is that the artists come to us and submit documents as well as recordings. The recordings must be done to the highest quality and the potential beneficiary must have already connected with professors in Germany. After this they can contact us. Additionally, the applicants must have a Bachelor's degree or be a fourth-year student or graduate. In short, they do everything on their own and come to us for financial support.
WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION?
The documents should be submitted a year in advance because it takes about 6 months to process applications. The deadline is the end of October while for researchers it continues until November 15th. An applicant sends documents to us, then the Commission arrives from Germany and selects a contingent, after which 130 up to 250 students remain for the next level. The Commission’s decision goes to Germany and the scholarships come from Bonn. Further to this scholarship, studying in Germany can be achieved independently. Germany is the only country with a strong economy in the European Union which offers study free of charge. So I
We do not see the need for such centers because we are here. We think that if a student is not able to look for a university independently and collect all the documents him/herself, then s/he will have difficulties studying abroad. The pre-going process is a kind of test that every student must pass. They should be organized before going and know every detail necessary.
WHAT DOES THE SCHOLARSHIP COVER? The graduate scholarship consists of EUR 750 Euro but we expect it will go up to EUR 850 next year. This covers living costs and is calculated absolutely accurately, being enough to rent an apartment in Germany. If you decide to rent in a large city, DAAD can add to this amount. The scholarship also covers expenses if you are together with your spouse and/or child. What’s more, if you apply for English courses then DAAD offers a scholarship to also learn German.
JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Bank of Georgia HQ Building Listed Among the Best Examples of Brutalist Architecture
n eccentric Soviet style building located on the outskirts of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi has been listed as one of the top 10 examples of Brutalist architecture in the world. The building, which is now the Bank of Georgia’s headquarters, was the former Ministry of Highway Construction for Soviet Georgia. It was built in 1975 by Giorgi Chakhava, Deputy Minister of the Georgia Ministry of Road Construction, both a client and the building’s architect. Although influenced by the Soviet Union’s Con-
structivist architecture of the 1920s, Chakhava says that the building’s monumental interlocking structural grid is rooted in nature. His aim was to occupy as little ground space as possible with the various floors of the building opening out like branches from the central root of a tree. The New York Times named it as a “Surprising Discovery for Westerners.” The building has also been listed by many international publications as one of the most vivid and marvelous buildings of late Soviet architecture.
Burning Old Rubber: Min of Internal Affairs Reveals the Dismal State of Georgia’s Vehicles
91% of cars on Georgia’s roads were produced before 2006 BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
he amount of vehicles in Georgia is increasing by the year and the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs recently announced that that growth rate amounted to 8.23 percent in 2015. The number of old cars (those produced before 2006) makes up 91 percent of the total, with threeyear-old or younger cars making up only 1.4 percent of all vehicles currently on Georgia’s roads. Worse news, though less surprising to those of us
who so often get stuck behind such a rust-bucket spouting out various fumes that would have seen said car scrapped in an EU country, the number of cars 20 years old (or older!) amounts to 50,153945 percent of the total vehicles in Georgia, the Ministry claims. The share of seven to ten-year-old vehicles stands at 5.6 percent, while 4-6 year-old cars totals 2.1 percent. As for the destination of newly imported cars, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that 38 percent of the registered vehicles go straight to the capital city, Tbilisi, 13 percent head to Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi, while 9 percent end up in Kvemo Kartli and 8.2 percent and 8 percent are taken to Kakheti and Adjara, respectively.
GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Rustavi-2 Loses Ownership Dispute in Appeals Court, Vows to Fight On
BY TAMAR SVANIDZE
bilisi’s Appellate Court on Friday upheld an earlier City Court ruling over a controversial ownership case regarding Rustavi-2, the country’s largest independent media organization, and the transfer 100 percent of its ownership to former owner Kibar Khalvashi more than a decade ago. Following the ruling, Judge Natalia Nazgaidze, who chaired the tribunal, emphasized that an appeal can be filed with the Supreme Court within 21 days. Rustavi-2’s current owners, Levan and Gia Karamanashvili, said they plan to file an appeal after their lawyer called
the decision a ‘punishing measure’ against Rustavi 2 and freedom of speech in Georgia. Paata Salia, a lawyer representing Khalvashi, told journalists that the Court had made a correct and fair decision. “The dispute is not over. The fight will continue, and I hope that Kibar Khalvashi will win,” Salia said. Disputes over Rustavi-2 ownership escalated last year when Khalvashi, who owned the company in 2004-2006, attempted to reclaim his shares after he said his assets in the company had been forcibly seized by the government of exPresident Mikheil Saakashvili. Khalvashi demanded USD 500,000 in compensation from the current shareholders and demanded that their ownership be annulled.
As part of Khalvashi’s lawsuit, Tbilisi City Court Judge Tamaz Urtmelidze ordered a freeze of all of Rustavi-2’s assets and stripped the executive powers of its general director Nika Gvaramia and financial director Kakha Damenia. On November 2, 2015, the same judge ruled in favor of Khalvashi. Urtmelidze, however, partly overturned his decision and reinstated Rustavi-2’s top management, including its director general and financial director. Supporters of Rustavi 2 and the largest opposition parties say that the court case is an attempt by the authorities and exPrime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the eccentric billionaire oligarch who is widely considered to wield significant influence over the current government, to silence Rustavi-2 as it is critical coverage of the government’s policies. Ivanishvili rejects the claim, saying he has no influence over the courts. During a June 7 press conference with national media, Ivanishvili emphasized that shifting ownership of Rustavi-2 before the October 8 parliamentary election would be an ‘unpopular and damaging’ decision for the country. Rustavi 2 is one of the leading TV channels in Georgia. The company does not hide its ideological affiliation with Georgia’s main party, the United National Movement. Gvaramia, who held a number of leading positions in Saakashvili’s government, denies any direct involvement by the UNM in the activities of Rustavi 2. He claims that Rustavi 2’s goal is to contribute to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and freedom of speech in the country.
Want to know WHERE to Go, Stay, Eat, Drink and Buy? New Essential Travel Guide to Georgia Now Available
Grab your free copy of WHERE (without discount cards) at one of the hotels or café-bars in central Tbilisi. Feel free to call WHERE HQ anytime to order your copy of WHERE & WHERE Discount Cards. TEL +995 032 2295919.
JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
The Gated Krtsanisi Residence PREPARED BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
rban Development, collaboratively with Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown, have reached and signed a beneficial longterm agreement on an exclusive base for the upcoming Krtsanisi Residence development. The project is spread over 26, 000 sq.m. in Krtsanisi Residential Area. The address was particularly selected for its incomparable combination of geographical location and climate zones. The development comprises a limited number of exquisitely designed community that incorporates Town Houses, Lofts and Villas with magnificent modern exterior. The project is scheduled to be completed by May 2017. While capturing a premium, ecologically friendly, secured and private environment, the development is just a 3 minute drive from the Old Town. The Krtsanisi Residence is surrounded by Diplomatic Corps (the embassies of Switzerland, Japan, France, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Lithuania and Germany) which additionally guarantees a high level of safety, security and privacy to the community residents. Technologically it is above the board in every detail and meets all international standards as guaranteed by the internationally and locally revered names that have been contracted to secure all the crucial sectors of development.
The Krtsanisi Residence is our first ambitious project. We are creating a familyfriendly community that will be the best place for socializing and interaction
“We believe that the Krtsanisi Residence will provide more than just services and amenities; it will have an atmosphere that inspires. We are committed to creating an unprecedented residential opportunity that will reflect all international standards,” said Giorgi Arveladze, Managing Partner at Urban Development. “Market research and our experience have revealed that there is big demand for a modern residential community and we believe that the combination of unique architecture, amenities and exceptional service standards will satisfy the needs of the buyer. To secure all the important sectors of the development we have approached internationally well known names in their respective fields. The Krtsanisi Residence will feature the latest technological advances and the highest level of design. For this purpose we have approached Henning Larsen Architects, an international architectural company with a very strong background. Our goal was to create vibrant, sustainable buildings that reach beyond themselves.” Henning Larsen Architects is behind the design of the numerous visionary and distinctive projects, its experience reflected in the many prestigious and international awards it has received over decades of work. They have developed the concept and architectural design of
the project to create an environmentally friendly, energy efficient solution that characterizes the project with a high degree of social responsibility. “Each apartment interior is open to the outdoors, allowing natural light to come into the rooms. The ceiling height adds value to the project, the higher the better, which is why we decided to keep it 3.22 meters. Additionally, the Krtsanisi project has open planning that adds a sense of elegance to the development. Good architecture retains the value, so when it comes to the residences, we believe that there is no better place than Krtsanisi Residence,” Arveladze said. Sustainable architecture and going green is all about finding alternative solutions to decades-old problems. Such advances are not always obvious to the naked eye. However, many modern buildings are full of exciting innovations that make them far friendlier to nature than their predecessors. Whether they add green space to our urban environment or power up using renewable energy, structures designed with sustainability in mind are becoming more common around the world and now in Georgia, too. “The location of the Residence is ideal, as Krtsanisi is now becoming a new heartbeat of the city with its location, surrounded by an ecologically friendly, secure and private environment,” said
David Kvirikadze, Managing Partner at Urban Development.. “The Krtsanisi Residence is our first ambitious project. We are creating a family-friendly community that will be the best place for socializing and interaction. Moreover, big squares and multiple amenities will bring the Old Tbilisi culture back into the modern gated community. In this regards, our idea was to create high-level expectation in every detail,” he said. The environment is recognized to be changing for the worse due to mass energy consumption; however, more buildings are needed for businesses and residences to satisfy an expanding population. As such, it is important to develop a more eco-friendly atmosphere. “Initially, our concept was built around this idea, so we created an energy efficient, eco-friendly gated community. Correspondingly, we recommend new investments to be put into eco-friendly buildings. In the fastexpanding city where the majority of districts are highly polluted, we aim to construct a beneficial, and non-harmful to the environment, resource-efficient project,” Kvirikadze said. “Life in Krtsanisi Residence will offer exceptional residential and ownership experience. Residents will be assisted by attentive and discreet staff that are intensely aware of all unique preferences and will perfectly anticipate everyday needs. Fur-
ther, the project benefits from extraordinary services such as concierge, security 24/7, handyman, gardener and cleaning service. As for amenities, the development will feature meeting room/business lounge, gym and sauna, parking, an open playground for children and outdoor fitness equipment,” the company claims. “We believe that exclusive service belongs to an exclusive home. Your Residence becomes an extension of your own highly refined world. Knowing that your Residence will be impeccably managed gives you total ease and freedom. In Krtsanisi Residence you are not buying an apartment, you are buying a community,” said Giorgi Arveladze. “One of the most prestigious and promising real estate projects” - is how the Krtsanisi Residence is defined. Opinions towards the project are actively shared by society and industry professionals in growing interest and demand to live in an ecologically healthy environment with close proximity to the city center and qualities that time does not change, such as the location. Considering these views and the architectural uniqueness, the Krtsanisi Residence is indeed one of the most desirable projects in the city. For additional information call: +995 599 21 21 00 www.veritasbrown.com
GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 14 - 16, 2016
Wooden Clock and Furniture Enterprise to Open in Georgia
Energy Security Conference Shows Georgia as Reliable Partner
BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
he International Energy Forum ‘Energy Security – Old and New Geopolitical Paradigm’ opened in Tbilisi on June 9, focusing on the rapidly changing global energy environment, the pressure of globalization, and the existing trends and challenges in the energy field. In attendance were representatives of the diplomatic corps and civil society, politicians, scientists and experts from different countries. Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, addressed participants and spoke about Georgia’s energy security, the current and planned energy projects, Georgia's role as a transit country and about the country's strategic geographical location. He also mentioned the investment opportunities and the importance of the New Silk Road and Economic Belt project, connecting East and West. He also mentioned that the overall volume of investments made in the energy sector amounts to USD 45 billion (95 billion GEL), of which USD 2 billion (about 4 billion GEL) was invested directly in Georgia. “We recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first transit project, the Baku-Supsa Pipeline. The pipeline was the first project to put Georgia on the energy map. Since then we have implemented several important projects, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the South Caucasus gas pipeline and the Shah Deniz project, which guar-
antees supply of additional gas to the pipeline,” said PM Kvirikashvili. Kvirikashvili then focused on joint programs with Azerbaijan and highlighted the role of the US, which provides strong support for ensuring energy security. “The United States is an important strategic partner. This is a partnership that has been in place for 25 years, since Georgia regained independence. Therefore, implementation of strategic projects, such as the "Baku-Supsa", "Baku-TbilisiCeyhan Oil Pipeline," and "Baku-TbilisiErzurum gas pipeline" became possible largely due to US support. The US is a power of great regional importance. Our region has frozen projects- we face terrorism related threats and, therefore, it is impossible to mitigate and fight these dangers without the support of the United States,” said the PM. He also noted that Georgia has demonstrated that it is a stable partner for the West, and represents a decent base for the expansion of cooperation between the countries of the East and the West. The role of Georgia and neighboring countries, including Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, in the global energy processes was another main theme of the Conference. The discussion also touched upon the ability of the European Union and western countries to foster the transit role and function of Georgia and strengthen its comparative advantage. The conference was organized by the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and the US Embassy to Georgia.
PUBLISHER & GM
George Sharashidze COMMERCIAL DEPARTMENT
Commercial Director: Iva Merabishvili Marketing Manager: Mako Burduli
Editor-In-Chief: Katie Ruth Davies
furniture and clock production company is soon to opened in Georgia, claims the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The company will open in the framework of the state program ‘Produce in Georgia,’ with an approximate investment of up to 1,793,000 GEL. The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia says that
Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Tamar Svanidze, Zviad Adzinbaia, Beqa Kirtava, Meri Taliashvili, Eka Karsaulidze, Zaza Jgharkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Karen Tovmasyan, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Maka Lomadze, Tim Ogden, Ana Akhalaia, Robert Isaf, Joseph Larsen, Will Cathcart, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze
the Woodmaster Company will produce furniture, wooden products, and watches and their components. Within two years, the company will be expected to be producing at least 3,000 units of furniture, 1,500 wooden products and 50 clocks. At present the government is considering a process of direct sale of the enterprise to Woodmaster, which is currently under state ownership. The Prime Minister pointed out that more and more companies are making use of the state program and are included in the Produce in Georgia list. “There is a high number of companies which were
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created thanks to the project in its early stages. I’m confident this trend will continue,” Kvirikashvili said.
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June 14 - 16, 2016