August 21 - 27, 2015
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Georgia Today 20 p.
Who will R epr esent the Geor gian Re present Georgian
Sta te a State att the 70thSession of the
UN Gener al Assemb General Assemblly?
Democracy or petty squabbling? Georgia Today discusses just how much damage the leadership's inability to speak with one voice is doing to Georgia's performance on the international stage. P.2
Salome Samadashvili: Pr oProRussian Victor y in ictory 2016 Elections Would End Geor gian Georgian Sta tehood Statehood Georgia Today met with the former Head of Georgia’s Mission to the EU to hear her view on Russian interests and the future of Georgia.
IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE
Major P otential in Potential Geor gia-China Georgia-China Free Trade y ade,, Stud Study Finds With it’s relationship with Europe firmly established, the country’s political and business leaders are now turning their attention toward China, says a recent study by the Tbilisibased consultancy Policy and Management Consulting P.4 Group (PMCG).
Geor gia Ste pping Georgia Stepping Forw ar d in the Wor ld orld orwar ard of Business P.11
Italian Missionar y’ s Missionary’ y’s C17th P en-and-Ink Pen-and-Ink Sk etc hes No w in Sketc etches Now Tbilisi Visit the unique never before published collection of 17th century pen-and-ink sketches created by Italian missionary Teramo Christopher de Castelli during his travels around Georgia. P.15
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Wine, high society and history. Rest-orator gives you a taste of the best this summer. P.15
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Who will R epr esent the Geor gian Sta te a Re present Georgian State att the 70thSession of the UN Gener al Assemb General Assemblly? By Nino Japarashvili “Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Fellow Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is a great honor for me to represent my country here at the United Nations,” began Irakli Garibashvili, Georgia’s Prime Minister during his speech at the UN General Assembly last year. The address followed several months of intense confrontation between the President and the Prime Minister of Georgia; both Giorgi Margvelashvili and Irakli Garibashvili insisted that the constitution grants him, and not the other, the right to represent the country at international summits. In July 2014, the PM’s office announced that Garibashvili would attend the annual UN General Debate in September and would also take part in number of events which were organized on the sideline of the UN General Assembly. On the same day President’s office announced that Margvelashvili had accepted an invitation from Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, who had invited the President, together with other world leaders, to the UN headquarters for the Climate Summit on September 23, which was to be held on the eve of opening of the UN General Debate. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), led by then-Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, tried to encourage the President to revise his decision and not to participate in the UN Climate Summit as PM Garibashvili, who was expected to address the UN General Assembly, would also be attending the same event. The Ministry claimed that it would be inappropriate and “embarrassing” for the country to send “two leaders” to the same event in New York. As before the event President
Margvelashvili announced that his visit to the United States was deliberately disrupted by the PM and his office, it was obvious that eventually Garibashvili would lead the Georgian delegation and address the UN Summit. Georgia’s representation in this year’s UN annual session, one of the most representative and high-level international events of 2015, is still controversial between the two respective camps. Giorgi Margvelashvili, Head of State, or Prime Minister, Head of the Government – this remains an issue of political speculation again as the date approaches. The PM’s office has already published Garibashvili’s schedule for 15 September, in which he clearly plans to lead the delegation to the UN. He is also expected to deliver a speech on behalf of the Georgian state. However, it appears that President Margvelashvili will
also pay a visit to New York in the same period, as he has been invited by the Latvian President to attend the discussion “Future of Europe: Empowering the Role of Women.” Maia Panjikidze, the former Foreign Minister of Georgia, currently one of the leaders of the Free Democrats Party, now says: “We had a very bad practice of public discussions about who would go to the United Nations. I had hoped we would learn something from last year’s experience... I cannot imagine the PM to be the head of a delegation and the President to be a member of the same delegation or vice versa. I don’t think this has ever happened in the history of the UN.” In response to the former Foreign Minister, the President’s Advisor for Foreign Affairs Tengiz Pkhaladze said: “remarks from a person who was per-
sonally engaged in last year’s mistake are unacceptable.” At the press conference which the President’s administration held on Wednesday, August 19, Pkhaladze further explained: “Since the President will be in the US when the UN General Debates take place, it would be good if he was given an opportunity to address the UN General Assembly.” According to Margvelashvili’s Advisor, “Georgia’s President is the highest political figure, directly elected by the Georgian people; therefore, it is important for the country to maximally use his authority in the international arena.” Davit Kereselidze, Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, said any decision made at the highest level will be fulfilled by the MFA. However, it seems likely it will again be Irakli Garibashvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s trusted man, who will end
up delivering the speech in New York. The power struggle between the President and the Prime Minister of Georgia has not been limited to the representation at UN annual sessions. Similar disputes occurred when it came to signing the Association Agreement with the European Union. As President Margvelashvili drifts away from the Georgian Dream, the current ruling party led by Prime Minister Garibashvili, most likely, the confrontation between the two will continue over the coming months. One could claim this constant competition contributes to democratic developments in the country; but, what is more obvious, it seriously impedes Georgia’s performance on the international stage, as the dispute between the two leaders negatively reflects on the ability of the country to speak with one voice in its foreign relations.
Ne w Bloodshed in Ukr aine R attles New Ukraine Ra Shak y Ceasef ir e Shaky Ceasefir ire
Ukrainian government reports say that Russian-backed separatists fired upon civilians with howitzers.
By Joseph Larsen
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Last weekend saw eastern Ukraine descend back into shocking violence. During 24 hours of fighting that began on Sunday and lasted into Monday a total of ten people we killed, the highest single-day death toll in more than a month. Separatists fired upon Sartana – a suburb of the government-held port city of Mariupol – with howitzers, killing two soldiers and two cilivilians and wounding seven others, according to government reports. Ukrainian army forces for their part shelled the rebelcontrolled cities of Horlivka and Donetsk. The pro-separatist Donetsk News Agency reported that six people were killed by government forces. The violence represents one of the largest violations of a ceasefire reached earlier this year. The February agree-
ment signed between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists resulted in large amounts of tanks, antiaircraft guns and other heavy equipment being moved back from the frontlines, but it hasn’t stopped the guns from firing. Bodies continue to pile up, and the Ukrainian government claims that separatists have violated the ceasefire no less than 140 times during the past six months. The death toll adds to the more than 6,800 people killed by fighting in Ukraine since April 2014. The flare-up has fueled concerns that the shaky February ceasefire could collapse altogether. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko interpreted the attack as part of what could be a broad separatist push toward Mariupol, commenting that “what has happened in Sartana is a challenge to our forces.” In addition,
Lysenko made clear that Sartana is a “civilian town” with no military installations. Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the pro-Kremlin Donetsk People’s Republic, said that government forces fired first and claimed that Kiev is preparing a renewed offensive to retake separatist-controlled territory. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov echoed that claim, saying that “we are worried by the developments in recent days, which strongly recall preparation for more military actions.” German foreign minister FrankWalter Steinmeier expressed concern but took pains to use language inoffensive to the Kremlin, commenting in an interview with Bild am Sonntag that “if both parties do not adhere to the peace process, the military situation could escalate again at any time.”
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Fur ther R eshuf binet Further Reshuf eshufffle Expected in GD Ca Cabinet
By Zaza Jgharkava Who should address the annual UN Assembly, the first or the third figure of the state? The answer remains unclear. The President and the Prime Minister could not agree on the exact itinerary of their trip to New York. Despite this debate between the branches of government, this disagreement has been overshadowed in Georgian politics. Last week, Georgian media announced another governmental reshuffle as the newspaper Alia wrote about expected changes in the government in the article titled “Big clean-up to start in the government”, which claimed that Finance Minister NodarKhaduri, Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili and Justice Minister Thea Tsouloukiani might be replaced.
Right now, this remains only speculation but the present government has used similar methods previously to cover up certain other problems. This time things are a bit different. It is not a secret to anyone that former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is unhappy with the current governmental team and openly expresses his discontent. He has pointed out in many interviews that his expectations for sportsmen and actors to become competent MPs has been largely unmet. “We brought our favorite people to parliament; we won elections but there are other procedures there. We need to start from laws if we want to have a democratic state. Usupashvili is reminding me everyday not to dare and bring famous actors to the parliament. Our candidates should be able to work
with laws, should have the experience and, no matter whose team he/she is in, should be able to work in the parliament. Usupashvili is telling me that there are not three people in our team who are helping him. United National Movement members have a lot of experience in this,” Ivanishvili stated two years ago, while still the Prime Minister. The speech of the actor Soso Jachvliani in parliament seemed to confirm fears of incompetence. The MP confused the abbreviation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with a brothel. It is no surprise that, after watching that, the tycoon may want to influence the kind of decision that newspaper Alia announced. Moreover, it can be assumed that this is just the beginning. A short while ago, a meeting of the political council of the coalition took place. Presumably, the pre-election period and party lists were discussed among other issues at the meetings. According to the existing information, many current political faces will not be in the new party lists – mostly the current MPs who are actors and sportsmen. The work on the lists will start soon and the process will probably be followed with confrontation and the final word and decision will be that of Ivanishvili. Besides, there is also speculation about Irakli Garibashvili and Kakha Kaladze trying to put together their own people before elections. If we judge from the recent promises of the Prime Minister and the Vice Prime Minister, Garibashvili beat Kaladze in the fight for the Interior Minister’s post. The new minister is PM Gharibashvili’s
choice. It can be assumed that confrontation for the parliament party lists will become more open as time goes on. The opinion that Prime Minister Garibashvili is starting to restore his position is supported by the presence of Justice and Foreign Ministers in the list of ministers that will be replaced. Replacing Tsouloukiani, according to backstage talks, is connected to the disagreement with the Prime Minister as the Justice Minister refused to initiate the procedure of taking away citizenship from Mikheil Saakashvili. According to offi-
cial information, Tsouloukiani’s state body is waiting for notification about the Ukrainian state structure granting Saakashvili citizenship of Ukraine while Georgia’s Ministry of Justice could appeal to Ukraine and request the document. As for Tamar Beruchashvili, ever since her appointment to the post of the Foreign Minister her position has been under threat particularly after joining the EU-imposed sanctions upon Russia, which was not agreed with the Prime Minister.
In the turmoil of Georgian politics, unfortunately, some important information for the country was barely reported. The Tbilisi aviation factory is starting to work on a new airplane Ge-31 “Bora”. Its fuselage and wings will be made in Georgia. Navigation equipment, electric systems and most importantly engines will be made in western European countries, specifically France, Great Britain or Italy. Ge-31 “Bora” is a modernized version of the world famous, Soviet-produced bombardier Su-25. If we take into consideration the fact that airplanes of this type used to be produced at the Tbilisi aviation factory, the new project could be a turning point in Georgia’s military history.
Ukr ainians Gr owing War mer to Idea of N ATO Member ship Ukrainians Gro armer NA Membership By Zviad Adzinbaia Last week, popular American Magazine Foreign Policy (FP) published an article claiming that for the first time in its post-Soviet history, a majority of Ukrainians approve of their country joining NATO. “The drastic change of attitude marks a sea of change in Ukrainians’ attitudes toward the security alliance even as it poses a palpable challenge for the country’s infantile political class,” notes FP. The publication recalls a recent poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, which made headlines in Ukraine: “64 percent of respondents said they would vote for NATO accession in a hypothetical referendum (Only 28 percent would oppose.) This result marks a landslide and rapid shift in Ukrainians’ perception of the European security architecture adding in 2009, only 21 percent of Ukrainians’ said they supported NATO accession, while almost 60 percent were against.” Inthe pre-Euromaidan period twothirds of Ukrainians’ couldn’t
envisage Ukraine being part of NATO, but now the picture has significantly changed. According to the analysis, Ukraine’s public attitudes toward NATO have long been shaped by emotional divisions between Westernizers and “proRussians,” leaving little space for informed debate:“Ukraine’s third president, Viktor Yushchenko, used to pontificate about joining NATO without delivering on the reforms needed to achieve that goal” – it says adding this resulted in growing apathy towards NATO membership and, in the international realm, in a resounding rejec-
tion of Ukraine’s accession plans at the notorious 2008 Bucharest Summit. In addition, currently, the publication claims the first elements of a growing political consensus on NATO accession seem to be in place in the country that is waging war with Russia for here astern regions. “This time, the officials’ words are finally backed up with action: Ukrainian political commentators point out that the country now spends a much larger share of its GDP (about 5 percent) on defense than the NATO-wide 2 percent standard, which few existing members meet. And just this summer,
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Ukraine has held three major military exercises — Rapid Trident, Fearless Guardian, and Sea Breeze — with NATO troops” – it maintains. “The non-lethal support and training that Kiev has received from the United States and Canada in the course of the war against Russian-backed separatists further boosted NATO’s image as a credible international partner. Never before has a prospective alliance with Western nations had such a prominent presence on Ukraine’s political agenda and in the media” add FP. Foreign Policy refers to some statistical information citing some drastic changes in Ukraine’s public opinion in recent months — particularly since the failure of the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement, which was intended to stop the conflict in the east. It says that in March, immediately after the agreement was signed, just 43 percent of Ukrainians said they would support NATO accession, while 32 percent expressed opposition. At that time, the newly signed ceasefire gave many hope that diplo-
macy could put the war on hold. As a conclusion, the analysis assumes that, differently from the picture of five years ago, when some European leaders and Ukrainian politicians could credibly claim that Ukraine lacked public support for NATO membership, the argument is ringing increasingly hollow, as Ukrainians are rapidly turning into staunch supporters of the alliance. Analysis by Georgia Today’s Zviad Adzinbaia The topic of Ukraine’s NATO accession has been in hibernation since Vik0tor Yanukovych came to power. Similarly to Georgia, when before the Rose Revolution of 2003 there was not even a mere chance of becoming a member of EU or NATO, the landscape has changed unrecognizably. Despite Russia’s continuous opposition to the troika’s (Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova) membership to any of the above-mentioned organizations, the three countries have kept their course consistent. Indeed, Russia has exhausted itself to drag these three states into its Eurasian Union, to minimal avail so far.
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Salome Samadashvili: Pr o-R ussian Victor y in Pro-R o-Russian ictory 2016 Elections Would End Geor gian Sta tehood Georgian Statehood By Zviad Adzinbaia Georgia, after its laborious path from failed state to successful reforms, is currently at a historical crossroads to preserve independence and join the European family; or reject its Western aspirations and become Russia’s subordinate nation in the Caucasus. Russia, to pursue its goals in Georgia, widely utilizes its hybrid warfare strategies, which aim to destroy Georgia’s state institutions and the country’s image at domestic and international levels. Moreover, it is in Russia’s declared interest to keep Georgia unstable and undeveloped. For detailed analysis, Georgia Today talked with Salome Samadashvili, former Head of Georgia’s Mission to the EU, Visiting Fellow at the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies and Executive Director at the Center for Strategic Communication and Democracy. Q: Russians utilize diverse methods of informational war in Georgia. What is the correlation between Russia’s hybrid and informational war? A: Informational war is an essential part of Russia’s hybrid warfare in Georgia – these two terms are inseparable. Hybrid warfare appears to be a general military concept and informational war
influences in Europe. An illustration of this is Brussels, where Gazprom [Russian state gas company] as a single entity has contracted a number of different consulting and lobbyist companies including some former senior EU representatives and politicians - they have permeated entire EU structures. Relatively, they not only receive operative information from leading EU bodies, but are also able to seed their information within the EU system through their networks. Finally yet importantly, the Russian side has effectively used the trolling system for attacking any negative statements from any analyst, scholar or NGO representative. In fact, a colleague of mine from the Brussels-based Martens Center was threatened for making some speeches against Russia. Q: How significant is cyber war in this hybrid warfare? A: Russia, differing from other periods, appears to be well prepared with regard to cyber warfare, which we [meaning Georgia] experienced in 2008, and the Russo-Georgia war. Russia, throughout the past years has advanced itself in this regard, while the West underestimates this component. Surprisingly, not only Georgians but also Baltic States, with their continuous claims around Russia’s activities in the area, are frequently ignored by represen-
Russia spends colossal amounts of money on its PR and propaganda campaigns and directly ‘buys’ influences in Europe. An illustration of this is Brussels Gazprom… is a tactic of this doctrine. If one analyses Russian approaches to this topic, they [Russians] don’t even hide that informational warfare is much more profitable for them compared to a conventional one. Additionally, hybrid warfare involves different non-state actors and groups, directed to create a fog of reality. Q: What do you think are Russia’s major means and capabilities in this informational warfare to achieve [their] goals against Georgia and her friends such as Ukraine and Moldova? A: Russia not only wages this sort of activity against these [above-mentioned] countries, but it fights the West in a broader sense. In particular, what we need to take into account is that Russian informational and hybrid warfare including her informal actors in the process is a highly integrated system with a very clear chain of command. As for the means, firstly, they are quite solid broadcasters and TV channels, such as Russia Today (RT), which is formally being renamed, though it should be taken into account that some Western citizens watch this media source without knowing its ethos. RT not only distorts information, but also frequently fabricates it and extensively utilizes some Western ultra-right or ultra-leftist politicians and analysts to increase its legitimacy in the West. Furthermore, the internet plays one of the core roles for Russia, e.g. online journals, newspapers, blogs, which makes it quite complicated for the reader to distinguish the derivation of these social media sources. In my study “Muzzling the Bear”, I have included the fact that one of the Kremlinfinanced online outlets was even awarded in the West for innovations as they did not know of the official involvement. In addition, Russia spends colossal amounts of money on its PR and propaganda campaigns and directly ‘buys’
tatives of some Western countries who claim Baltic countries are “traumatized by their past” for their proactive politics regarding Russia and the threat coming from the empire-minded country. Russia-Europe economic relations play a nontrivial role in complicating the decision making process for the EU against Russia. In particular, Germany and France, the leading EU countries, have close economic ties with Russia, which unfortunately affects the EU politics regarding Russia. Fortunately, the US is not dependent on Russia’s economic or oil spheres, which enables this country to be more pragmatic and stronger when dealing with the Russian Federation. Q: What about Russia’s Fifth Column and Soft Power implementation against Georgia? A: Unlike previous times, Russia has mastered the very Western information
tion rules out any Russian perspectives in the country, Russians have activated their Fifth Column and some soft power elements here. As the majority of Georgian citizens are not sufficiently informed about the EU and NATO integration, Russian forces can easily misinform them. In this regard, I believe even the previous government should have done more to educate its citizens about the country’s course, Western integration perspectives and benefits. In these troubled waters, Russia finds our citizens vulnerable to simple manipulation. Likewise, Russia has stimulated cultural, religious or economic factors against Georgia’s statehood, and if we don’t counter these attacks with some strong mechanisms, I assume even at the 2016 elections we will face some serious problems. As I know, Georgia Today is widely read by foreign diplomats in Georgia and it is important to draw the right conclusions from the process and send clear messages to their governments. I believe that the West misleads itself when they assume Georgia’s Western course is taken for granted, as the country needs wider international support and actual instruments to keep itself safe from Russian aggression. Finally, public opinion changes over time, particularly in Georgia when Russia’s informational propaganda is at its height. However, the essential thing is for the West to assist us to offer Georgian society something valuable to destroy the hypothetical wall built by Rus-
As the majority of Georgian citizens are not sufficiently informed about the EU and NATO integration, Russian forces can easily misinform them. technologies, leading to their effective utilization. They [Russians] realized that only tanks and boots are not what they need to pursue their goals. As for the situation in Georgia, it is clearly mirrored by Ukrainian developments. Through these actions, the West grew afraid of Russia’s aberrant nature to increase the risk of loss. All these have their multiplier effect on Georgia, where one can believe that some sort of current breakthroughs for Georgia’s swift Western integration are less expected. Moreover, Russia has understood that the only way to reverse Georgia’s Western course is through elections,at the hands of the Georgian people. Assuming that Georgia’s Western integra-
sian forces as if the West were a “monster” or “depraved”. Q: What should Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova do to increase their international support and reduce Russian influence on their own lands? A: The core issues these three countries need to solve are penetration of Russian money and mass media, which directly work against these countries’ sovereignty. In this regard, the very first priority is for these countries to take some defense measures in terms of limiting and discouraging those Russian media sources which profoundly act to revive religious discord and hate speech, intolerance and anti-state disinformation in these societies. Secondly, the troika
needs to have a clear strategy of action to counter the attacks coming from Russia. For instance, it’s necessary for all of them to launch awareness campaigns with respectable members of their societies to prove that for the majority of citizens, Europe is a value-based, civilized and well-being-oriented family which cannot be altered by Russia. Thirdly, the governments of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine must essentially act jointly to raise awareness of their problems on international platforms. At this moment, Georgia has almost disappeared from the international stage and this is the ‘achievement’ of the government of the Georgian Dream. Q: Finally, do you think the Russian Federation will activate most of
and is instead a subordinated part of Russia. Georgia’s northern neighbor will celebrate its victory in Georgia when this country not only rejects EU&NATO integration, but also joins the Eurasian Union. In addition, I assume that if the ongoing international sanctions do not exhaust Russia economically and militarily, Russia will utilize most of its resources in Georgia at least to influence a newly elected parliament to initiate rejection of the Association Agreement and start negotiations about the Eurasian Union. Unfortunately, the current government is not only incompetent and unsuccessful, but also discredits Georgia’s Western integration. Moreover, this causes a growing apathy in Georgian society about
I believe that the West misleads itself when they assume Georgia’s Western course is taken for granted, as the country needs wider international support and actual instruments to keep itself safe from Russian aggression. its resources in Georgia for 2016 to help pro-Russian forces win the elections, or at least hinder the democratic process? A: Unlike many others, I believe that Russians will only be satisfied when Georgia is not an independent country
the country’s path to the EU and NATO. For this reason, the sole solution for me appears to be creation of pro-Western forces as an alliance with a broad spectrum of public support and strong, pragmatic vision. Otherwise, 2016 will be the end of Georgia’s statehood.
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New Coliseum Shaped Luxurious Hotel Opens in Batumi A new five star luxury hotel has opened in Georgia’s costal city Batumi. The new five-star Coliseum Marina Hotel in the shape and design of an elliptical amphitheater like the ones of ancient Rome has opened today in the seaside city of Batumi in Georgia’s western Adjara region. This is the third hotel to open among 20 planned projects implemented this year in Batumi. The construction of the hotel began in March 2013 and Mari Group invested $14 million to build the 10-storey hotel with 101 rooms, all with a view of the Black Sea coastline. The facility has a total area of 14,427 m sq. Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili opened the Coliseum Marina Hotel with representatives of the local government. He highlighted that the new Coliseum shaped luxury hotel will attract more tourists to Batumi. “This year 20 projects of new hotels are ongoing in Batumi, in total an amount of $700 million has been invested. This indicates that demand is
growing and the numbers of tourists are increasing in Batumi and in the region itself. Tourism is growing in Georgia and it is necessary for the state to support and encourage business,” Garibashvili said. Currently, the hotel has 100 employees. Once the hotel is fully operational about 170 people will work there.
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Major Potential in Georgia-China Free Trade, Study Finds By Joseph Larsen Georgia is uniquely positioned to be a bridge between East and West. With it’s relationship with Europe firmly established, the country’s political and business leaders are now turning their attention toward China, currently its 4th-largest trading partner and 3rd-largest source of foreign direct investment. In June 2015 Georgia became a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and last month Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili referred to China when commenting that “Georgia is not only looking West” with regards to foreign policy. Both Georgia and China would benefit from closer economic ties, says a recent study by the Tbilisibased consultancy Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG). Titled the “Joint Feasibility Study on China-Georgia Possible Free Trade Agreement” and produced in collaboration with the University of International Business and Economics, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the Ministry of Economy of China, the study projects that a free trade deal would boost Georgia’s annual exports to China by 9 percent and
China’s to Georgia by 1.7 percent. Georgia’s top exports to China currently are copper ore, copper scrap and wine, all of which could see higher volumes from a more open trade regime. Wine and non-alcoholic beverage producers would benefit most, according to the study, with annual wine exports to China projected to increase by 28.5 percent and non-alcoholic beverages by 36.7 percent. On the Chinese side, most exports to Georgia are higher value-added goods like electronics, steel and shoes. China’s gains would be more modest (Georgia already has very low tariffs on Chinese goods), but the study projects that under a free trade agreement more Chinese goods would be purchased by Georgian consumers. The benefits of a free trade deal would not be limited to trade in goods, however. According to the Joint Feasability Study, an agreement would also facilitate trade in services and FDI, the latter being of particular importance to Georgia. Chinese firms currently invest in major projects in Georgia’s infrastructure sector, including the Poti Free Industrial Zone. More FDI is seen as crucial to the country’s continued economic development.
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GPI Holding Protects from Natural Disasters
4, V. Daraselia Str. Tbilisi, Georgia
June 13 flood damage in Tbilisi. By Zviad Nikolaishvili/GT
By Eka Karsaulidze Georgian drivers now have an opportunity to insure their cars from natural disasters. The initiative belongs to GPI Holding insurance company and is being carried out in the framework of a social responsibility program, free of charge. The insurance package is available from August 3, 2015. According to representatives of GPI Holding, the new insurance includes flood, storm, landslide, heavy snowfall, earthquake and downpour. The idea of creating this service appeared after the tragic floods in Tbilisi on June 13 when the city suffered serious losses. Recent studies have shown that the June losses amounted to 200 million Lari, while insurance companies of Georgia reimbursed only 4,239,722 Lari. “It is not because we do not want to pay more, just that it turned out only 20-30% of the affected
cars were insured. And until now, authorities still are discussing the fate of the uninsured cars,”noted Paata Lomidze, Director of GPI Holding. Unfortunately, Georgia is located in a geographical area in which the probability of natural disasters is high. Based on international practice, heads of states always call to include those disasters that are most likely to occur in the country in compulsory insurance. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, there were about 34 cases of storms in the country with a loss of 14.8 million USD during the last five years. Floods occurred 89 times and brought damage amounting to 224 million USD. Landslides are the most frequent cases of natural disasters in Georgia, having occurred 1729 times in the last five years to a loss of 298.5 million USD.
According to ACT, a leading research and strategic consulting company in Caucasus region, one of the main reasons why people do not purchase insurance is a lack of information about insurance offers (47%) and the high price (23%). This was one of the reasons for creating a new insurance package, which now protects drivers from natural disasters free of charge. Lomidze said that free insurance from natural disasters will help to avoid major expenses and it recalls the benefits and privileges of insurance itself. “We want insurance to become a habit, so for this point, first of all, it should be available,” he said. “You just have to come to GPI Holding’s office and ask for this insurance. You do not have to pay anything. Nevertheless, if you want additional insurance services, then you have to buy a separate package,” he added. GPI Holding is the first and only insurance companies in
Georgia to provide this kind of service. This insurance package already has its first customers. The company noted that the package would be valid until the end of the year. Lomidze claims that at this stage, it is important to give full information to people about this service and if it will be demanded, GPI Holding may continue it next year. “Currently there are 960,000 registered cars in Georgia, and only 51, 782 are insured. When we were creating our new package, we have taken into account all the risks. And we want to say that we are willing to serve all these cars in the framework of this program. Of course, I doubt that the owners of 960,000 cars will come to us, but if so, we are ready for this,”said Lomidze.
Georgian Kids Given Priceless Experience by Mastercard at 2015 UEFA Super Cup
Based on the results of national promo campaign announced by MasterCard in Georgia at the end of May, 11 children from Georgia won a priceless experience to attend the 2015 UEFA SUPER CUP, held in Tbilisi on August 11, with their parents. Moreover, the child-winners accompanied the football stars from two Spanish teams - Barcelona and Sevilla - hand in hand onto the field. The 11 children were chosen based on the national pro-
motion campaign “First 11 lucky Georgians at UEFA Super Cup 2015” announced by MasterCard on May 30, 2015. Being a proud sponsor of the UEFA Super Cup, MasterCard runs such campaigns in many countries of the world but this was the first time that MasterCard cardholders in Georgia could join in. The promotion was held from May 30 until July 15, 2015 at all sales points where MasterCard cardholders in Georgia could make payments through POS terminals or internet. Every trans-
action automatically became a lottery ticket giving the cardholder a unique opportunity to win a ticket to the August 11th UEFA Super Cup game and a chance for his/her child to stand with the world famous football players on the field. The 11 lucky winners were revealed on July 27 by lottery. The winners’ package from MasterCard included 2 tickets to the 2015 UEFA Super Cup match in Georgia (1 for the cardholder and one for his/her child) together with a priceless experience for the children to
escort the football stars onto the field hand in hand for the opening ceremony. MasterCard pays special attention to projects with future generations and thanks to their initiative, many children around the globe have already gotten the priceless experience of escorting football stars onto the field. However, this was first time that kids from Georgia got the chance to act as players’ escorts. MasterCard SEE Markets Region Manager, Hakan Acar said: “We are happy to announce that our national promo “First 11 lucky Georgians at UEFA Super Cup 2015” conducted for the first time in Georgia was successful and attracted such a high interest among the population. Now we are delighted to see emotions of Georgian winners here on football field and share their priceless moments.”
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AUGUST 21 - 27
er ence Confer erence Geor gia Ste pping F orw ar d Digital Conf Georgia Stepping Forw orwar ard hed in Geor gia Launched Georgia Launc in the Wor ld of Business orld By Eka Karsaulidze
Georgia has rightly proved itself ready to host another successful investment forum with September 18th 2015 already marked on the calendars of many international investors. On that day Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown, together with the Georgian National Investment Agency and the government of Autonomous Republic of Adjara, are planning to organize the “Investment Forum, Batumi 2015” at the Hilton Hotel Batumi in the Black Sea Region. The aim of this forum is to provide an intensive dialogue between international investors and Georgian counterparts, with the view of efficient future cooperation. Local and foreign investors, regional and central government representatives, and business organizations will come together to discuss various topics, including investment projects, proposals, investment climate characteristics and expansion of the commercial real estate and hotel development sector, something that has proved to be in demand for many years in Georgia. “In recent years, Batumi has become not only a major tourism center of the Black Sea region, but it’s also the most attractive investment destination. This has resulted in a growing interest towards the whole Adjara region from both foreign and local investors. The forum will provide potential investors with an opportunity to get familiarized with Georgia’s attractive investment environment, as the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow is the main priority for both central and regional governments. The aim of the forum is to inform interested groups about the investment potential of the Adjara region, its leading economic sectors, and ongoing projects,” said David Baladze the Minister of Finance and Economy of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. A similar forum was organized in London in May 2015 by Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown, together with the Georgian National Investment
Agency, and the event has definitely showed reported success. Georgia demonstrated itself to be an opportunistic market for investment and gained further international recognition as a competitive country to invest in. “On behalf of Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown, we fully support the initiatives to bring additional investments to Georgia and look forward to a successful business forum on September 18th,” said Steve Brown, Managing Partner at Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown. “Meanwhile, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the main priorities for Georgia. Thus, a flexible investment environment, tax and legislative benefits, simplified company registration procedures, liberalized manufacturing regulations and a positive approach to foreign investors is a big step forward for attracting FDI to Georgia,” Brown continued. It is obvious that this specific and other similar investment forums, will lead to Georgia’s further economic success, and undoubtedly this shall assist global investors to enter the Georgian market, increasing demand for various real estate properties, form new enterprises and hospitality related áervices, and also the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects; this shall lead Georgia towards progressive development and vast economic success. “Georgia has a fair, transparent and
secure investment environment, a vast untapped potential in different sectors of the economy, excellent geographic location and free trade agreements with strategically important countries,” said Giorgi Pertaia, Director of the Georgian National Investment Agency. “But, still to this day, one of the main challenges for Georgia is awareness at international levels. This is why largescale business events inside and outside the country are very important for attracting more companies to Georgia. With the help of the Batumi 2015 investment forum we aim to focus attention on the advantages and business opportunities in our country,” Pertaia said. According to Pertaia, the Forum will bring together up to 250 business decision makers and investors from the region. “They will have direct access to the representatives of government, consulting companies and organizations providing access to finance and we are sure that this will be a productive platform for engaging investors from the wider region into some large and medium-sized commercial projects in Georgia,” Pertaia added. One thing is clear: Georgia has demonstrated repeated readiness to serve as a positive investment environment. Therefore, September 18th 2015 is a significant date in the Georgian investment climate, so Ready, Steady, Go Georgia!
Tak es Mor e than 5 F acts to Explain R ussia’ s Economic Dec line akes More Facts Russia’ ussia’s Decline The Times Magazine released an analysis explaining the 5 main reasons of Russia’s economic decline based on some high-caliber research by leading experts and organizations such as International Monetary Fund or Pew Research Center. “For the first time since 2009 - low point of the global economic slowdown - Russia is in recession” - cites the publicationadding its economy will contract 3 percent this year, though Moscow’s $360 billion in cash reserves will cushion the immediate blow.” It summarizes that although Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s continuedattempt to assert Russian power on the international stage, it has become clear that he is now ruling a “submerging market.” Among the other hard problems, lack of diversification, high dependence on its oil resources and no incentive to change are some very aspects, which can simply underline Russia’s fragility in this technology-based world of 21st century. “For years, the Kremlin has supported and protected large state-owned companies at the expense of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). But those smaller firms are the foundation of any strong and well-diversified economy. SMEs spur innovation and respond effectively to changing times, technologies, and consumer tastes. In the EU, SMEs contribute an average of 40 percent to their respective countries’ GDP; in Russia, SMEs contribute just 15 percent. Those are daunting figures for anyone looking to start a business in Russia” – the Times emphasizes.
With the subtitle of “at the Mercy of Oil Markets”, the analysis reviews Russia’s dependence on oil prices citing the price of oil has now fallen below $45 a barrel - welcome to the new normal. “OPEC continues to pump oil at historic rates as it tries to price out competitors, and Iran expects to bring over a million new barrels a day to world markets after the lifting of international sanctions. These are deeply troubling developments for Moscow, which relies on oil and gas sales for nearly 50 percent of its government revenues”. According to the article, Moscow’s growing so reliant on energy sales leads it to the condition whenfor each dollar the price of oil drops, Russia loses about $2 billion in potential sales.“For Russia to balance its budget, oil will need to surge back to $100 a barrel.” Considering Russia’s over-reliance on crude oil (up 40 percent of Russia’s state budget) - the country is left vulnerable to the current international sanctions. “Given the age of many existing fields, Russia will increasingly depend on cutting-edge technology from Western firms to pump oil from difficult-to-reach shale
and deep-water reserves.”It seems that Russia’s endeavors to turn for help to Chinadoes not lead the country to alter the western market because of China’s lack ofthe technology Russia needs to draw those resources from the ground. According to the IMF the sanctions could eventually cost Russia 9 percent of its GDP. At the same time, Russia, which vitally needs rapid technological and economic growth to endure those western sanctions and be a competitive force in the world markets, it has rather opted for something radically different. Moreover, as the Time assumesRussians aren’t nearly as productive as for each hour worked, the average Russian worker contributes $25.90 to Russia’s GDP, while the average for U.S. is $67.40. There are other deadly elements, such as endemic corruption, massive brain drain from the country, lack of freedom and no potential to change – all of these makeone hard to predict the Russia’s positive development in the near future.“It’s no surprise then that well-educated Russians are leaving their country in droves. Between 2012 and 2013, more than 300,000 people left Russia in search of greener economic pastures, and experts believe that number has only risen since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea last year”. The article ends with the assumption that “Putin knows what his people want to hear however,It’s just not clear if he knows how to fix his flailing economy.” In summation, there might be five facts but more to explain Russia’s economic decline.
Tbilisi hosted the first international digital conference Future Georgia on August 15-16 during which twenty speakers from Georgia and neighboring countries shared their experiences and achievements, talked about business development and the necessity ofnew technologies to bring products to a new level. The Future Georgia Conference became an excellent platform to exchange knowledge and create new projects, according to the Conference organizers. “Recently in Georgia a large number of creative agencies were opened, startups launched, and people started to develop these areas. That is why it is important to hold such conferences with the participation of foreign experts,”said Gigi Janelidze,
acquire new skills and gain knowledge. The audience actively communicated with the speakers. Opportunity to talk face-to-face with an interesting speaker was another advantage of Future Georgia. “Beside inspiration and practical information from most of the Future Georgia’s speakers, it was very important, personally, for me to get some insights from Alpha Bank’s Research and Development Chief Dmitry Andronov during the break,” said Shalva Bukia, Co-founder of In2circle Incorporated and audience member at the Conference. Andrey Manirko, one of the Co-organizers of Future Georgia, noted that besides many positive feedbacks, there were questions why so many Russians took part in the Conference. “Both Georgia
Future Georgia Conference 2015 (from the Conference facebook page).
Co-organizer of Future Georgia. Digital media, branding, PR, marketing and IT were the main topics at the Future Georgia Conference. Specialists from Russia and Ukraine shared their experience and knowledge about digital communication strategy, trends in media, virality, startup strategy and more. Ilya Krasilschik, publisher in Meduza Project, described how to create quality and leading media from zero in a short time, as well as how to build new kinds of relationships with partners and advertisers. “Website banners are not relevant any more. Today we need to find new ways to advertise. For example, Meduza, together with partners, creates games. Recently, together with Airbnb, we offered our readers the chance to play a game and correlate an apartment and the city,” said Krasilschik. Speakers were not limited in time, on average they had about 20 minutes – enough time to discuss the most important things. Nevertheless, there were exceptions, like Andrey Buzina, Founder of Smetana Viral Marketing Agency whose speech about the effectiveness of viral videos lasted more than an hour. “I had no idea that the viral video can be so effective, interesting and not as irritating as ordinary advertising is. It was so exciting that I did not even notice how time passed,” said Yana Israelyan, Freelance journalist and audience-member at the Future Georgia Conference. Future Georgia provided not just lecture sessions, but also roundtables with the participation of representatives of Meduza Project, Coub, Look At Media and Yandex. Participants talked about how to create and promote startups,
and Russia have emerging markets. Not so long ago, the Russian market was at the same stage of development as Georgia is now, but the country was able to develop and achieve high results, especially in terms of media and startups. That’s why we thought that the Russian example could be interesting and relative to Georgia,” explaqined Manirko. Georgian speakers also played a huge role in Future Georgia Conference. Their participation gave to the audience the chance to compare, catch the differences and find out local success stories. Among Georgian speakers were Levan Lepsveridze and Giorgi Avaliani from Leavingstone Advertising Agency, who recently gained a Bronze Lion in PR at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and Sopio Elizbarashvili from Myvideo.ge, leading video platform in Georgia, who each told how they had achieved their goals and are going to enter new markets. Aside from the abundance of marketing and new technologies topics, FutureGeorgia also highlighted topics like contemporary art. TommyPetrov, CoFounder of DaDa Agency, reported that modern art, theatre, cinema and advertising exist thanks to the era of Dadaism. “The distinctive feature of Dadaism was context changing- when you take something well known and add something new, like Marcel Duchamp did when he painted a mustache on Mona Lisa,”said Petrov. Indeed, it seems that the main idea of Future Georgia Conference is all about Dadaism – you just need to take foreign expert knowledge and add something of your own and fit it to the Georgian context.
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AUGUST 21 - 27
Five Tips For Marketers By Facebook’s Former Client Partner
Scott Hicks, Former Client Partner at Facebook.
Scott Hicks, Former Client Partner at Facebook and one of the region’s biggest experts in Facebook marketing is delivering a half day workshop at the Marketing Kingdom Georgia 3, Georgia’s leading marketing event, taking place from 28-29 September at the ExpoGeorgia in Tblisi. We recently sat down with him and asked him about his views and tips on today’s rapidly changing marketing world. His fascinating anwers are below! 1. MOBILE AS A PRIORITY: With mobileonly users on facebook growing by 34%, and largescreen phones now accounting for more than onequarter of all sales, brands need to think about how their social presence can cater to mobile users. Brand campaigns now need to start with mobilefirst then scale up to desktop / laptop.Plan for everyone to experience everything, from marketing emails through websites to social post, on mobile
exclusively. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT FREE: It’s now a Pay-to-Play social world. Brands should invest in smart social advertising (paid amplification). Take the time to dig deep on audience segmentation and targeting on social platforms that are right for your brands. Focus on storytelling and use the power of technology to add value in your communications. 3. CONTENT MARKETING IS HARD BUT WORTH IT: Marketers will continue to be challenged to produce meaningful / informative / entertaining content for more channels (social, websites, organic search, newsletters, press, paid search and more). Brands should be smart about how content can be leveraged and repurposed, and look to their social audiences (fans) as inspired sources of content that can be curated into authentic and highly sharable brand relevant content. 4. ONLINE VIDEO ISN’T JUST ABOUT YOUTUBE ANYMORE: From short video on Twitter’s Vine channel and Instagram, to even shorter GIFs on Tumblr, and full length shows on facebook, digital video is here to stay and is growing way beyond its traditional home on YouTube. Brands need to understand how to leverage video across their full marketing mix and look for more creative (and less expensive) ways to produce video content. 5. SOCIAL SHOPPING: From Twitter Product Cards to the facebook “Buy” button, social commerce is quickly gaining traction giving brands yet a new way to drive sales. Brands need to understand how to blend storytelling with commerce, and leverage / facilitate friends recommendations in a way that adds value Vs being intrusive. If you want to meet Scott and 10 other marketing gurus from Coca-Cola, Unilever, P&G, Visa International and BBC get your ticket today for the Marketing Kingdom Georgia 3 by visiting the event’s official website: http://www.thepworld.com/pevents/event/99/ marketing-kingdom-georgia-3
AUGUST 21 - 27
United Na tions P opula tion Fund (UNFP A) Mar ks Inter na tional Youth Da y in Geor gia Nations Popula opulation (UNFPA) Marks Interna national Day Georgia Every year, on 12th of August, youth is placed in the center of public attention. The International Youth Day is an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners and key agents for change. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and hardships facing the world’s youth, and celebrate the actions they take around the world to improve their well-being and that of their communities. This year, the main theme of the day was “Youth Civic Engagement,” to commemorate the importance of youth civic activism for sustainable development. As the part of the worldwide celebration, UNFPA Georgia Country Office organized an amateur version of the intellectual game “What? Where? When?”. They invited more than 50 young participants to compete in answering questions from various
fields- including the representatives of different NGOs and initiative groups active in youth-related issues such as healthcare, social protection, education, employment, development and civic engagement. At the end of the intellectual game, members of the winner teams were awarded gifts and certificates by the UNFPA Georgia Country Office. “The event was great. We were happy to have the opportunity to demonstrate our knowledge and get awarded for it. We found the questions interesting and challenging and the prizes were also very attractive. I hope there are more such events in the future, so that we can participate and engage more,” said Giorgi Mikeladze 24, member of the winning team. UNFPA is the leading UN Agency that advances the rights and opportunities of young people. UNFPA’s efforts to promote youth leadership and partici-
pation enable young people to develop the skills, knowledge and support needed to make informed decisions about their bodies, lives, families, communities, countries and the world. UNFPA has been supporting the government in development of the National Youth Policy and the Action Plan in Georgia, which aims at establishing an enabling environment for the comprehensive development of youth to fully realize their potential. “Young people are driving change towards a better future in the world. Unfortunately, there still exist barriers precluding their full development and participation. Even today, adolescent girls are often burdened by child marriage, sexual violence and unplanned pregnancies, preventing their development and full participation. It is impossible to achieve country’s sustainable development without investing in power
of youth, their education and health, and enhanced civic engagement, as well as without creating equal opportunities for all adolescents and young people for development of their full potential. This can be only achieved by multi-sectoral approach in partnership with young people”, - Lela Bakradze, Assistant Representative at UNFPA Georgia Country Office. The history of the International Youth
Day dates back to 1999, when the United Nations General Assembly declared 12 August International Youth Day.“I am calling on young people to speak out – and I am urging leaders to listen,” – for International Youth Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded young people’s activities and fresh ideas in finding solutions to global challenges. The event in Tbilisi was organized with the support of the UNFPA Georgia Country Office by the Youth Initiative Group established within the Advocacy Campaign “Youth Voice”, which is a regional initiative taking place in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, aiming to ensure a broad consultation and coordination with the young people in the region and their full participation in the ongoing discussion around the post-2015 development framework.
1878 of Cha teau Mukhr ani is Mor e than a R estaur ant... Chateau Mukhrani More Restaur estaurant... By Mako Jaoshvili for Rest-orator magazine More than Wine! This is how I familiarized myself with Chateau Mukhrani a few years ago. Afterwards, the charm of the first impression attracts me even more and fills me with warm memories of the place. Although there are many magnificent places in Georgia, Chateau Mukhrani is still different. What makes it distinguished, you ask? It’s incomparable with its unique climate and amazing forest-park. The name Mukhrani valley comes from the Georgian word for oak, and the whole territory is as strong as the roots of an oak. The historical glory and gravity have clearly remained. Right after entering
Ivane Mukhranbatoni and a spread of natural products in the grounds of Chateau Mukhrani. Photo: chateaumukhrani.com.
the fenced area, you feel the power of the Mukhranbatoni magnet and pass into a different time zone. Chateau Mukhrani, implemented in 1876, is the first Georgian chateau, preserving a unique concept that was acquired during the visit to France of Ivane Mukhranbatoni, representative of the Bagrationi dynasty. The Ivane Mukhranbatoni Castle has been returned
to its renowned beauty and former appearance in recent years. Also, gradually the Mukhrani products have been reintroduced and now represent a blend of traditional and modern technologies. Those who have at least once visited this land will agree that the wine here is truly more than just wine, with its glorious and harmonious aroma and exquisiteness. The legend says that all important issues of the country’s fate were discussed here, that each feast was a celebration of arts. The photo archives show that the society that gathered here had distinguished intellect and education.. There was a time when big Ilia and Akaki, Platon Ioseliani and many renowned public figures visited the place. Historical sources suggest that the
Mukhranian wine, meals and hospitality proved the rich taste and generosity of Mukhranbatoni. Look how “tastefully” the 133-years-old feast is described: ‘Silk baghdads, clay jugs, horns, jars, Kakhetian bread and lavash (Georgian bread)... abundant and various pilaf, different types of mushroom with eggs, pears... roast asparagus, fish of several species and cooked varyingly. Food made of Matsoni, whipped sour milk and so on and so on.” The wine cellar is one of the most prominent places of the four main wealths of Chateau Mukhrani. Receiving guests according to the old Georgian traditions is a real honor indeed. This is a restored Georgian historical monument, a resurrected epoch; it is caring for the names
of our ancestors. What a responsibility to keep everything that is real and royal at the same time. The name too has been chosen elegantly: Royal Marani, the walls of which have witnessed numerous interesting stories since 1878.Not to talk too long, and as they say it is better to taste once than read a hundred times, so head out of Tbilisi towards Mtskheta and in as little as 25 minutes enter 19th century Mukhrani. Feel the harmonious blend of historic roots with the contemporary in the cozy interior of the restaurant. The royal wine and the service of international standards creates a remarkable blend, which makes Chateau Mukhrani a place that will excite and equally fascinate both Georgian and foreign guests alike.
AUGUST 21 - 27
TBC Bank-Financed Film Wins a no Film F esti val att Locar Locarno Festi estiv The short movie ‘Father,’ by Georgian director Data Pirtskhalava and cofinanced by TBC Bank, was named the Best Short Movie at the 2015 Locarno Film Festival. The work, the winning project of the 2014 Georgian National Cinema Center competition, participated in the Pardi di Domani section of the international film festival program which is devoted to future talent. TBC Bank financially participated in the production of the movie as well
as financing the competition announced by the Georgian National Cinema Center with an additional 100 000 Lari. This contribution increased the fund of film production and made it possible to finance more films than planned. This was the first precedent of a private business getting involved in film production together with a state subsidy with the goal of supporting the development of cinematography in the country.
In addition to the Locarno Film Festival’s winning movie, Father, TBC
Bank co-financed production of the following movies: ‘Ogasavara’ by Tato
Kotetishvili, ‘First Day’ by Tamar Shavgulidze, ‘Funeral Man’ by Tornike Bziava, ‘Exit’ by Vakho Jajanidze, and ‘Preparation’ by Giorgi Tsilosani. The premieres of the movies were held in Amirani movie theatre on July 1st. Locarno Film Festival has been held in Locarno, Switzerland since 1964 and is known as the festival of discoveries, with the successful careers of many film directors or actors starting there.
Italian Missionar y’ s C17th P en-and-Ink Sk etc hes No w in Tbilisi Missionary’ y’s Pen-and-Ink Sketc etches Now By Tamar Svanidze Pen-and-ink narrates the history of the world. No less so in Georgia. And now twenty-two years of 17th century Georgia, as viewed by an Italian Missionary, are now available for the public to enjoy in Tbilisi. Georgian Art Palace (Museum of Theatre, Music, Cinema and Choreography), Director, George Kalandia, this week announced that the National Library of Ireland has given the Palace copies of the pen-and-ink sketches painted by Italian missionary Teramo Christopher de Castelli in the 17th century, during his travels around Georgia. “This unique collection of Castelli’s work encompasses paintings that have not yet been published. My aunt Medea Kalandia funded the creation of copies of the album,” Kalandia said. Teramo Cristoforo de Castelli was an Italian missionary from Genoa’s noble family. He arrived in the Caucasus in 1632
Pen-and-ink sketches painted by Italian missionary Teramo Christopher de Castelli in the 17th century, during his travels around Georgia.
with a group of missionaries and spent twenty-two years in Georgia. During his journey he kept a detailed sketchbook of his travel experiences in Catholic missions in Georgia’s western region of Samegrelo, then an independent kingdom. He left seven volumes of travel notes and pen-and-ink sketches and other illustrations, mainly of the people and landscapes of Georgia. The seven albums, which include thousands of illuminated papers and handwritten reports, had been forgotten until the priest Gioacchino di Marzo found them in 1878 in the Libreria Comunale of Palermo, referred to formerly as the House of Theatins, and saved them. The Georgian public learnt about the albums only at the beginning of the 20th century when Georgian catholic Mikhail Tamarati found the albums in Palermo, photographed half of them and sent them to Georgia in 1910, where they were placed in keeping at the National Center of Manuscripts.
The albums revealed not only the faces of Georgian kings which were previously unknown, but also the costumes of the time as well as much information in various fields like art, history, geography, ethnography and local life. When Georgia became part of the Soviet Union, the authorities prevented scientists of the time from going to Western Europe to study the albums. Consequently, they based their research on the photos but not the original albums and the studies at the time did not hold accurate information about the albums. Several Georgian and Italian scholars studied the albums from 1970 to 1990 and published a section of the albums, however, the studies were not without inaccuracies. These precious art works of the Italian missionary Teramo Cristoforo de Castelli are currently on display in Tbilisi at the Georgian State Museum of Theatre, Cinema, Music and Choreography. Don’t miss your chance to see them!
June 27 – October 31 “GEORGIANS IN WORLD WAR II” IS AN EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORY OVER FASCISM.
THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WWI. Nino Jorjadze is the first Georgian woman photographer to create a variety of photo series about WWI that reflects the diverse and thematically rich history.
IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM - KARVASLA Address: 8 Sioni St. Telephone: 2 98 22 81
For the first time at the exposition will be presented Nino Jorjadze’s photos, letters, diaries, documents and personal items from the Caucasus Front in 1914-1918. Additionally, photos from the family archives will be shown which have been restored by the Georgian National Museum’s photo-paper conservation laboratory.
WHAT'S ON IN TBILISI CINEMA AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 299 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge August 14-21 THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Directed by Guy Ritchie Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy Language: English Start time: 19:50 Language: Russian Start time: 12:25, 15:00, 17:35, 20:10, 22:40 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari IRRATIONAL MAN Directed by Woody Allen Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey Genre: Drama, Mystery Language: Russian Start time: 17:45, 20:00, 22:20 Ticket price: 9.50 – 12.50 Lari MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION Directed by Christopher McQuarrie Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 12:00, 14:55 Ticket price: 7.50 – 9.50 Lari SOUTHPAW Directed by Antoine Fuqua Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence Genre: Action, Drama, Sport Language: Russian Start time: 22:30 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 255 50 00 www.kinoafisha.ge
August 14-21 THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 12:25, 15:00, 17:35, 20:10, 22:40 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari THE VATICAN TAPES Directed by Mark Neveldine Cast: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Peña, Dougray Scott Genre: Horror, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 12:00, 20:10, 22:20 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari PIXELS 3 D Directed by Chris Columbus Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi Language: Russian Start time: 14:05 Ticket price: 8.50 – 9.50 Lari ANT-MAN Directed by Peyton Reed Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Language: Russian Start time: 17:20 Ticket price: 9.50 – 10.50 Lari PAPER TOWNS Directed by Jake Schreier Cast: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance Language: Russian Start time: 14:50 Ticket price: 8.50 – 9.50 Lari MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 16:30, 19:50, 22:40 Ticket price: 8.50 – 12.50 Lari
MUSEUM MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 1 Rustaveli ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22 THE EXHIBITION IS DEDICATED TO THE HISTORY OF THE ANTIOCCUPATIONAL, NATIONAL-LIBERATION MOVEMENT OF GEORGIA AND TO THE VICTIMS OF THE SOVIET POLITICAL REPRESSION THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD. Here, visitors can encounter the state’s personal files of “subversive” Georgian public figures, orders to shoot or exile, and other artifacts representing Soviet-era cultural and political repression in Georgia. The exhibition hall is equipped with monitors, where visitors can watch documentaries of various historical events. The exhibition also includes one of the train carriages in which the participants of the national uprising of 1924 were executed. It is also dedicated to the history of the antioccupational, national-liberation movement of Georgia and to the victims of the Soviet political repression throughout this period. SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM OF GEORGIA Address: 3 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22 ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURE Examples of work by early Georgian goldsmiths were discovered during archeological excavations, and are currently reserved in the archeological treasury. The exhibition presents three periods development in the history of Georgian goldwork, from the 3rd century BCE to the 4th century CE: KURGAN CULTURE (3-2 BCE), “GOLDEN FLEECE COLKHETI” (8- 3 BCE), KINGDOM OF KARTLI-IBERIA (3RD CENTURY BCE-4TH CENTURY CE).
SERGO PARAJANOVI – “21ST CENTURY DREAM” SHALVAAMIRANASHVILI MUSEUM OF ART Address: 1 Lado Gudiashvili St. Telephone: 2 99 99 09 www.museum.ge THE EXHIBITION “MADE IN KALLININGRAD” Artists participating in the project: Oleg Bliablias, Yury Vassilev, Aleksej Èhebikin, Alexandr Podoprigov, Elena Tsvetaeva, Evgeni Umansk, “San Donato” Group, “Gentle Woman” Group, “Common Wince” Group, Danil Akimov, Dmitry Selin, Evgeny Palamarchuk, Topp & Dubio (Nederlands) GALLERY THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. www.museum.ge PIROSMANI’S 150TH The National Gallery is hosting pictures of David Kakabadze (18891952) and Lado Gudiashvili (18961980) together with sculptures of Iakob Nikoladze (1876-1951) and photographs from the National Archives of Georgia and Iakob Nikoladze House-Museum depicting the sculptor’s life and creative work. June 17 – August 23 THE EXHIBITION “THE CAUCASUS FRONT THROUGH NINO JORJADZE’S CAMERA LENS” THAT IS DEDICATED TO
GALLERY NECTAR Address: 16 Agmashenebeli Ave. Telephone: 295 00 21 July 21 - August 22 CATRIN BOLT GIORGI OKROPIRIDZE PRINZGAU/PODGORSCHEK The four artists who are all living in Vienna are working completely different, both formally and conceptually. They never exhibited in this combination, the exhibition and art-works are both experimental. BAIA GALLERY Address: 10 Chardin Str Telephone: 2 75 45 10 GEORGIAN ART XX-XXI CENTURY MUSIC LISI WAREHOUSE Address: Lisi lake August 28 MINIBUS AND SHOWPRO PRESENTS MINUS SHOWCASE: RICHIE HAWTIN MATADOR Live WHYT NOYZ Support by GREENBEAM & LEON Start time: 00:00 Ticket price: 50 Lari
CULTURE By Tony Hanmer This trip to Canada, nearly over, marks the first such trip here, or anywhere outside my Svaneti mountains, during which I won’t have visited the largest bookshop I could find and spent some hours there just... browsing. In Canada, it’s usually a Chapters branch in Edmonton, supermarket-sized and with its own Starbucks built in. A bibliophile’s paradise, where no one tells you you’ve been there too long, and you can wander from section to section, checking out what’s new since you were last in. Take a book, or a stack of them, find a sofa, and absorb for a while. Read in the coffee shop, drink among the bookshelves. Once, short of time and ideas for Christmas, I gave everyone on my family list the same thing: a $10 gift certificate to Chapters. (We have price limits on Christmas presents in my family, to help us focus on the meaning of this holiday). Only one family member couldn’t imagine finding anything useful among the tens of thousands of books on offer, and so gave their card to another. This made me angry, but it’s a free world. Everyone else found something just right for themselves. When I lived in south-west England from 1990 through mid-1991, I had library cards to my village branch, as well as that of the town three miles away and the bigger town about twelve miles further. For me, one of the things which has defined “a place I can live in” has been to have either a library or a
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My traveling companions of old...
bookshop, preferably both, the latter ideally offering old as well as new works. The last thing I do before turning out my night light is... read a few pages. True story, ask my wife. So what’s changed on this trip? Have I stopped reading?
No, but I’m mostly reading screens now, instead of pages. Don’t get me wrong—I love the very smell, the feel and look of printed books. Always have, always will. But whenever I travelled, it used to be my habit to attempt to take a book
for every day of being away from home, lug them all with me somehow. Not because I expected to read a book a day, but simply to have a good subset of the choices my home library afforded me. A heavy habit at the best of times. For a few years now, I’ve switched to an e-book reader. I started out with the smallest one I could find, the cheapest and least feature-filled in order to have wasted the least money if I was wasting my time. So, black and white and grays only, no sound or video capabilities, not even needing to have wi-fi. Just a half-decent storage capability; say, minimum half a gigabyte, to give enough choice of material, and preferably sized to fit a big pocket while in its case. A Kobo Mini or a small Sony model, now discontinued, have been my choices so far, both serving well. They don’t flicker a whit, have long battery lives and are sharp and contrasty enough not to strain my eyes at all. Even a builtin light isn’t a necessity. Was it an easy switch? Much simpler than I thought it could be for a book fanatic like myself, who amassed 700 “real” books in St Petersburg, Russia, and then 800 in Tbilisi, Georgia. I’ve never looked back, really. The sheer
convenience of the thing has persuaded me. I’m still getting the reading experience, after all, which is really the point. Now, I’m selling most of my library to Prospero’s in Tbilisi. The ones I’ll likely never sell are the most expensive or irreplaceable ones, old volumes not yet digitized or those unlikely to be digitized soon, and a few first editions. Chiefly, these types belong to my library’s extensive Caucasus section, which I like to think might be one of the best personal collections on the subject in the country. These books were expensive or difficult to buy, and I hope that they can provide much useful information to other people as well. Plus, a good friend who is a local library’s boss recently provided me with something I haven’t owned for more than 25 years: a library card, valid for the next 20 years (by the end of which, likely, we will be in another state altogether, one in which these terms and ideas have changed beyond recognition). This card means so much more than it used to. With it, I can now access physical books across Canada. In addition, worldwide via the internet, I have a portal to the electronic side of the modern library: magazines, e-books, newspapers, multimedia, video, audio and training materials. Wow. I’m good to go. Like I said, the reading hasn’t stopped for me. Only its form has changed; the enjoyment and usefulness continue.
Tony Hanmer runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with over 1000 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ . He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti
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Georgian Captain Jaba Kankava’s New Chapter at Historic French Club Reims By Alastair Watt It was with a heavy heart that Jaba Kankava, captain of Georgia, left Ukrainian club Dnipro after eight years to join French Ligue 1 side Reims on a threeyear contract last week. Kankava had helped Dnipro to the final of last season’s UEFA Europa League, where they lost 3-2 in a thrilling Warsaw final to Sevilla, but despite on-field success the club face severe problems off it. Reports in Ukrainian media claimed that Dnipro’s players had not been paid for several months with some key players already leaving the side this summer for pastures new. Yevhen Konoplyanka moved to Sevilla for whom he scored on his competitive debut last week in Tbilisi in the incredible Super Cup loss to Barcelona, meanwhile Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic departed for Italian side Fiorentina last week as Dnipro’s storied Europa League final side began to dismantle. Kankava’s bullish and tenacious style made him popular with the Dnipro fans, particularly toward the end of his time in Ukraine. However, at 29 years of age and the aforementioned salary troubles at the Ukrainian side, the lure and security of a three-year contract in one of Europe’s strongest leagues was too attractive to resist. While Stade de Reims may not be a well-known name among younger fans in Europe today, the French club was once a European force. From 1948 to 1962, Reims won an impressive six French titles and two French Cups. During that golden age for the Champagne-Ardenne side, Reims competed twice in the European Cup final, one of those being the inaugural competition in 1956. In front of nearly 40,000 people at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Reims were
2-0 up within ten minutes against Real Madrid only for the Spaniards, spearheaded by Argentinian legend Alfredo di Stefano, to emerge as 4-3 victors. A re-match followed in 1959 with Real winning 2-0 in Stuttgart, and di Stefano again the tormentor. Reims were also home to World Cup phenomenon Just Fontaine, the French striker whose haul of 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden remains a record to this day. Decades of dwindling unimpressively between French football’s first and second tiers followed, with Reims eventually encountering financial difficulties in the early 1990s that would force its reformation, starting from the amateur leagues. Years of struggle finally concluded in 2012 when Reims gained promotion back to France’s top league, Ligue 1, after a 33-year exile. Returning the club to its glory days would be nothing short of a miracle in the current football climate where Paris Saint-Germain and their Arab backers can lure the like of Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani and Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the French capital. Marseille, Lyon and Lille are also equipped with expensive players as Reims’ modest aim is to survive in the division, something they managed last season relatively comfortably, finishing 15th in a 20-team league where the bottom three sides are relegated. Nevertheless, Kankava arrives with his new club excelling in the new season, having won both of their opening fixtures against relative glamor sides Bordeaux and Marseille. This begs the question, will Kankava find a place in the starting eleven? The grand welcome he was given during last weekend’s victory over Marseille and the fact Reims parted 1.5 million eu-
ros for his services, combined with being given the number 4 shirt, all suggest that Kankava will be a mainstay in the Reims side but he may need to be patient before making the initial breakthrough. He certainly won’t be short of Georgian sporting colleagues in France with a vast number of Georgia’s national rugby team based there, while national teammate Tornike Okriashvili is just a short trip over the border in Belgium at Racing Genk. As the French newspaper articles confirm, Kankava is best known in Europe not for his admired footballing talents, but rather an incident where he saved the life of an opponent.
In 2014, Dynamo Kyiv’s Oleh Husyev collided with a player, swallowing his tongue in the process. Airways blocked, the Kyiv man’s life was in danger but Kankava reacted bravely to administer the necessary help. His actions earned him plaudits across the continent and was even awarded the Ukrainian order of merit. Kankava will hope to make his Reims debut this weekend at Nantes, but soon his attentions will switch to international football as he returns to the Georgian squad following the suspension that never was. In June, Georgia played Poland in Warsaw in a Euro 2016 qualifier for
which head coach Kakha Tskhadadze was wrongly informed that Kankava was suspended for the match. The Georgian administrators had been undone by a change in UEFA’s rules whereby a player was to be banned after collecting three yellow cards, not two. Georgia face Scotland on September 4 in Tbilisi before travelling to Dublin to face Ireland three days later. Though Georgia’s hopes of reaching Euro 2016 have long vanished, the Scots and Irish will have to carefully navigate their way past a Georgian side with nothing to lose, and a captain relishing a new life at one of Europe’s forgotten historic clubs.
Red Bull BC One Easter n Eur ope Final in Tbilisi Eastern Europe By Nina Ioseliani On September 5, Tbilisi will host the Red Bull BC One Eastern Europe Final 2015. Red Bull BC One is a global celebration of Hip Hop, combining dance, music, style and art. The event, which is being held in Tbilisi circus, has been held in the city since 2011. This year will see Top 16 B-Boys and B-Girls of the region participating- with twelve different countries represented during the Final, including breakers
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. See answers in the next issue
Answers to previous puzzles
from Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. Each participant will have to show her or his best moves and rhythm of dance. The winner will take part in Red Bull BC One World Finals in Rome on November 14. This competition will be led by Red Bull BC One’s all-stars such as Lilou, Pelezinho and Mounir. Tickets will be available in Tbilisi circus ticket offices and at biletebi.ge. The fun and games kick off on September 5 at 9pm.
GENERAL MANAGER - George Sharashidze BUSINESS MANAGER - Iva Merabishvili
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - Katie Ruth Davies COPY EDITOR - Alastair Watt JOURNALISTS: Alastair Watt, Tony Hanmer, Tamar Svanidze, Joseph Alexander Smith, Zviad Adzinbaia, Joseph Larsen, Beqa Kirtava, Meri Taliashvili, Eka Karsaulidze, Baia Dzagnidze, Zaza Jgharkava, Teona Surmava, Ana Lomtadze, Maka Bibilashvili, Nino Melikishvili, Nina Ioseliani, Tatia Megeneishvili, Karen Tovmasyan, Nino Gegidze, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Nino Japarashvili, Maka Lomadze, George Abashvili PHOTOGRAPHER: Zviad Nikolaishvili TECHNICAL SUPPORT: Misha Mchedlishvili CIRCULATION MANAGERS: David Kerdikashvili, David Djandjgava
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Aug. 21-27, 2015