October 23 - 29, 2015
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Georgia Today 24 p., Enterprise Georgia 4 p.
God’ s Gift R evealed: God’s Re BUSINESS HEADLINES Ministr y of Finance Summariz es Ministry Summarizes Past Thr ee Y ear s hree ears P.12
Geor gia Could Become a K ey Georgia Ke
Eur opean Ener gy Supplier European Energ
IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE
Tbilisi: the New Regional Shopping Bonanza or Wha t? hat? P.4
Niels Scott: UN’ s UN’s 70 Year s Wor king ears orking to Mak e the Wor ld Make orld a Better Place 70 years of UN empowerment: not taking people to heaven but delivering them from hell. P.17 Ongoing exploration studies open a historic new chapter in Georgia’s move towards energy independence and gas provision to markets beyond its borders. P.2
South Ossetian Ref er endum - Who car es? efer erendum cares? As the 'South Ossetians' prepare to decide on their status, and the Hague investigate alleged 2008 war crimes, Georgian experts ask: who is paying attention? P.6
Meet L yn Cof Lyn Cofffin Enr aptur ed in Enra ptured Transla tion anslation Georgia Today interviews the latest translator of Shota Rustaveli’s The Knight in the P.23 Panther's Skin.
OCTOBER 23 - 29
Pr esident: Sta tement b y PM on President: Statement by sens Ci vic Unr est Rusta vi 2 Wor ustavi orsens Civic Unrest
Today, the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, made a special statement concerning the developing situation of TV company Rustavi 2 “The recent developments have escalated the political climate in the country, which created a precondition for civic unrest and a breach of its constitutional order.” The President declared that it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the Constitution, in particular the Georgian government. “Unfortunately, the statement made by the head of the government did not endeavor to deescalate the situation, in-
stead it further contributed to worsening the tough situation,” Margvelashvili declared. “I call on every party to refrain from radical steps and to calm down. Take care of the civic peace,” Margvelashvili said. The President called on the Judge to prevent a rapid and obstinate decision, “which will further worsen the situation.” Following the above-said, the President announced that he is initiating consultations with political parties, the diplomatic corps, and the non-governmental sector to protect civic peace.
UN R ewar ds Ministr y of Ag ricultur e Re ards Ministry Agricultur riculture of Geor gia with 8mln Eur o Georgia Euro
Otar Danelia, Minister of Agriculture, and Janos Herman, UN ambassador, at the joint press briefing regarding the new financial aid.
By Meri Talishvili With the help of the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia has been able to take important steps forward by forming an 888 farmer cooperative and creating 54 regional information-consultation centers throughout the country. Compared to previous years, the number of agricultural products has increased by 10%. In recognition of this achievement, the UN has allocated ˆ8 million from the European Union funded ENPARD program to the Government of Georgia. “The ENPARD program in Georgia aims at agricultural sector revitalization. We set clear objectives which should be achieved in the following years. There was a lot of doubt as to whether they were achievable but I am glad to note that the accomplishments exceed what was planned. The new tranche is further evidence of the fact that Georgia is capable of getting closer to the EU and the EU is ready to support this process. Agriculture will remain among our priorities,” said EU Ambassador to Georgia, Janos Herman. The Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Danelia, thanked the Ambassador of the European Union for the support and noted that this will further boost agricultural development in Georgia. “Today, it was officially announced that the EU Commission has issued a new tranche worth 8 million Euros to Georgia. This includes the part of 52
million euros allocated under the program- ENPARD 1. We have also agreed to launch the ENPARD II program which is awaiting official approval. The total amount of the second program is 60 million euros. ENPARD was launched in 2013 with a total budget of 52 million euros. The Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia had to fulfill certain obligations under the program. Macroeconomic stability, public financial management system (PFM), transparency and a unified government policy for the development of agriculture in Georgia were the initial goals of the program covering the part of the ENPARD budget support; so far the assessment team has identified top results in all three areas. The Ministry of Agriculture, along with the ENPARD, also attained the set goals in other components. 888 rural-agricultural cooperatives were registered by 19 May, 2015, which differs much from the planned number of 50. Four of them are considered “second-level” cooperatives, which provide an effective high value chain system, and the number of cooperatives is constantly growing in Georgia. Another requirement of the European Union has been over-met: more than 30 regional information and consultation centers had to be established under the program, however, the Ministry of Agriculture has set up 54 regional information and consultation service centers throughout Georgia since 2013, all of which meet international standards.
God’ s Gift R evealed: Geor gia Could God’s Re Georgia Become a K ey Eur opean Ener gy Supplier Ke European Energ
By Zviad Adzinbaia A US independent oil and gas exploration and production company early this month revealed that extensive geologic and geophysical studies within and between the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex and the Taribani Field Complex areas could be part of a common geologic complex. As a result, ongoing exploration studies have confirmed an extensive integrated gas resource potential that is much larger than previously identified. On October 8, Frontera Resources Corporation, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, released the groundbreaking announcement of a significant upgrade to gas resources associated with its ongoing exploration and production efforts in Georgia. The Company says that it had continued to advance its natural gas focus within its eastern Georgia holdings by combining the technical focus of its Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex and Taribani Field Complex into one integrated 2,000 square kilometer geologic unit named the South Kakheti Gas Complex. It is surprising that, in addition to gas resources previously identified for subsets of this combined area, Frontera’s ongoing work recently concluded a new estimation of as much as 135 trillion cubic feet (3.8 trillion cubic meters) of gas in place of reservoir targets found between 300 metres and 5,000 metres in depth. The official information disclosed by Frontera early this month on its website says that extensive geologic and geophysical studies continued within and between the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex and the Taribani Field Complex areas as the Company has believed that these areas are part of a common geologic complex. “As a result, ongoing exploration studies have confirmed an extensive integrated gas resource potential that is much larger than previously identified.” Frontera claims that continuous gas sales from the area have represented firsttime domestically produced non-associated gas being continuously marketed to Georgia’s national consumption market. “Together with extensive technical analysis associated with the greater South Kakheti Gas Complex, this work has opened an historic new chapter in Georgia’s move towards energy independence as well as providing gas to markets beyond its borders,” Frontera declares. On 13 July 2015, the Frontera Resources Corporation signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ukraine’s national energy company, National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine, whereby an engineering FEED study is underway related to the possibility of bringing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Ukraine from Frontera’s ongoing upstream gas works in Georgia. Frontera says similar studies are in progress related to other trans-Black Sea markets as well as contemplated regional pipeline routes. Several months prior to this recent revolutionary finding, Frontera disclosed information, saying: “The MOU serves
to establish a focused joint effort to work together in upstream exploration and production projects in Ukraine, as well as to study the possibility to bring liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Ukraine from Frontera’s ongoing work in Georgia.” As Steve C. Nicandros, Frontera’s Chairman and CEO says, [their] ongoing investments in Georgia have continued to reveal the emergence of what [they] believe to be a world class gas play with the identification of the South Kakheti Gas Complex. Much like the recent evolution of similarly prolific gas plays in the United States that have transformed the country’s energy independence trajectory, Frontera’s results continue to indicate that Georgia has the natural gas resources to follow a similar path. “We believe that our ongoing work will further serve to establish Georgia’s domestic energy independence in the years to come and also make it a strategic supplier of gas to Turkish and European consumption markets,” the company’s CEO concludes. For the Frontera Press Release, see page 13. ANALYSIS BY GEORGIA TODAY’S ZVIAD ADZINBAIA The recent nontrivial discovery by Frontera will almost certainly confirm that this field is in the top 10 largest gas fields on the planet. Some American experts say that it is likely to be confirmed at around 100 trillion cubic feet recoverable and will therefore rank as the 6th largest, just behind Russia’s giant Shtokman field, while Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is currently ranked 18th largest at 42 tcf (Trillion Cubic Feet). The Shah Deniz field is currently the key reserve for the Southern Gas Corridor project, an initiative of the European Commission for gas supply from Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. Conveniently, the designated pipeline route of the Southern Gas Corridor travels across this new field in Georgia using existing infrastructure; relatively, the status of Georgia as a transit country will quickly be redefined as ‘key supplier.’ Energy experts believe that even though the South Kakheti Gas Complex is still in relatively early stages of development, possible high-caliber global interest is likely to guarantee that this strategic asset will be very quickly developed. The occasion may literally change the entire geostrategic picture not only in the region of the Caucasus, but also the Black Sea and Europe. More lucidly, Europe, which currently suffers from an over-de-
pendence on Russian energy resources, will be able to diversify its energy sector through Georgia, previously considered no more than a transit corridor for various projects including Trans Anatolia Pipeline (TANAP – that will open in 2018). At the same time, it is critically questionable that neither the Georgian political establishment nor other system properties, such as the official US or the European side, has commented on a matter which can drastically transform the existing Russian energy domination on wider Europe. Instead, Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze has been negotiating with Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, which is believed to be widely utilized for fulfilling Putin’s government’s political and Geopolitical interests. The Minister declares that Gazprom could fill a “gap caused by the energy shortage of Azerbaijan”, Georgia’s main gas and oil supplier since 2006, when Russia endeavored Georgia to pay its political price for Euro-Atlantic aspiration and, as a result, cut gas supply in the cold winter. There is a reasonable notion that the case could be politically ‘muted’. One could recall an example of a miserable person winning a billion on the lottery and eventually finds herself in such agony that neither believes in the authenticity of the fact nor is fully aware of what this could mean for his future. Moreover, at this stage, disclosing this world-shattering information could be exceedingly risky for both the Georgian government and the country’s national security. Likewise, this possible “god’s gift” for economically vulnerable Georgians will most likely make Russia less than pleased. In fact, as the business looks quite multifaceted, it could be no mere coincidence that Georgia’s occupied region of Tskhinvali has announced a possible referendum to join the Russian Federation and Georgian Energy Minister has announced the Gazprom deal. Notably, within two days of Frontera’s announcement, Georgian Prime Minister visited Baku in an urgent manner to meet his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev. The President of Azerbaijan is set to visit Georgia in the beginning of November. Georgia Today will keep you updated. Zviad Adzinbaia is an Analyst at newspaper Georgia Today (covering regional politics, security, Russia-Georgia affairs and issues of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration). He is also a fellow of a number of high-caliber programs at Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS).
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OCTOBER 23 - 29
www .iset-pi.g e/b lo g www.iset-pi.g .iset-pi.ge/b e/blo log 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.
Tbilisi: the Ne wR egional Shopping Bonanza or Wha t? New Re hat? By Irakli Shalikashvili
Table 1: 2015 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI)
As suggested by ISET’s most recent Consumer Confidence report, Georgian consumers are in no mood for shopping. And, yet, Tbilisi is abuzz with excitement about the recent lavish opening of East Point - a giant new shopping and entertainment center, the largest of its kind in the country. Thus, while consumer confidence is hitting new lows, supply of retail space and world class shopping malls continues to hit its highs. A natural question arises: is Georgia’s retail market able to accommodate this surge in the supply of retail space? SUPPLY OF MODERN RETAIL SPACE RUNNING AHEAD OF THE GEORGIAN ECONOMY The Georgian retail sector currently stands at approximately 11% of total turnover, representing the largest share in the economy. Moreover, growth in retail spending and retail space supply has been steadily exceeding Georgia’s economic growth performance in recent years. Yet, there is still a long way to go. According to the Retail Market Report by Colliers International, the total amount of retail space in three main Georgian cities, Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi, reached around 1.1 million square meters in 2014, but only slightly more than a quarter of it is occupied by “shopping centers”. Moreover, about 80% of total retail space is concentrated in the capital. The opening of Tbilisi Mall in 2012 by Rakeen Development (a real-estate development company based in the United Arab Emirates) was a major breakthrough. Located on the northern end of Tbilisi, this shopping center was the first one to provide substantial space fully complying with the quality standard set by international retailers. Supply of modern shopping center space grew by around 28% in each of the following years, reaching 292,000 square meters by the end of 2014. Sounds like a lot? Well, not quite. With only 79 sqm per 1000 inhabitants, Georgia still lags far behind the Western European average of 200 sqm per 1,000 inhabitants. The opening of East Point (an investment project by Quadrum, a global private equity investment and advisory group) and a few smaller developments will increase Georgia’s stock of
10 Galaktion Street
Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit, Euromoney, International Monetary Fund, Planet retail, Population Reference Bureau, World Bank, World Economic Forum; A.T. Kearney analysis
modern shopping center space by 42% till the end of 2015, and by another 10% in 2016. Shopping Center Space Supply in Tbilisi and Georgia’s Total Retail Turnover, 2010-2016 Source: Colliers International; National Statistics Office of Georgia(2015 and 2016 figures of shopping center space are forecasted by Collier International)
ion brands, supermarkets, fast food chains and consumer electronics. A big share of international retail is operated by franchisers managed by a handful of local and international companies. Georgia’s up-and-coming retail clothing sector is now populated by more than 40 international brands. One of the major players on Georgia’s fashion market is Retail Group Georgia, owned by Saudi Arabian Alhokair Fashion Retail. This AND HOW ABOUT DEMAND? group manages a variety of brands, inThis week, I went to see the movie cluding Zara, Marks & Spencer, Gap, Ba“The Walk” with friends at East Point. nana Republic, etc. Another big player We were the only ones in the theater and on the Georgian fashion market is Interthey wouldn’t have played the movie if national Cooperation ICR representing we didn’t get tickets. Thus, we had a primajor European brands, such as Ecco, vate screening for just 10 GEL. Geox, Bata, Okaidi & Obaibi, etc. ADress Indeed, the Georgian public is yet to LTD – representatives of Celio, Etam, discover the concept of modern shopping Promod, and other international brands centers. This, as well as the fast increase – also occupies a significant share of the in the supply of new space, may explain fashion retail market. Finally, due to geowhy the average vacancy graphic proximity and the Franchising or creating your rates at Georgia’s shopfree trade agreement with own brand? Franchising is the ping centers have been practice of the right to use a firm’s Georgia, many Turkish decreasing gradually for business model and brand for a retailers (both local and the last couple of years. prescribed period of time as an al- international, such the However, East Point, the ternative to building own brand Turkish franchiser of most recent addition to and marketing strategy. In ex- Burger King) are also the retail real estate mar- change, the company granting present in the Georgian ket, was around 70% pre- franchises can avoid the invest- market. ment and liability associated with leased even before its Food retail has also opening a chain. Many successful opening in September. companies, including McDonalds, experienced an influx of Thus, retailers clearly be- Subway, Coca-Cola, have chosen international players inlieve in its potential. to operate and enter international cluding: Majid al Futtaim The bulk of demand or local markets through franchis- Retail, a Dubai-based for shopping center ing rather than through direct in- partner of Carrefour, space comes from fash- vestments. SPAR Georgia, as well as
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local food retailers such as Smart and Fresco. Thanks to strong growth in tourism as well as healthy local demand for fast food, Georgia has seen the arrival of all the usual suspects: McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King and others. And, of course, there are still plenty of open air markets and bazaars that cater to Georgia’s traditional consumers. GEORGIA: AN ECONOMIC OASIS! This (at least potential) boom in consumerism is reflected in Georgia’s ranking in the 2015 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) by A.T. Kearney’s. GRDI ranks Georgia at number six among the top 30 developing countries for retail investment based on more than 20 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables. The higher the ranking, the more attractive is a country’s retail sector from the entry point of view. Georgia is an Economic Oasis, according to GRDI, not so much on the current strength of its economy, but on the promise of its unsaturated and rapidly growing retail sector, as well as its achievements in creating a businessfriendly environment. Despite the recent influx of international retailers, the share of modern retail (hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores, etc.) in Georgia’s total remains quite low, well behind other Central and Eastern European countries. While Georgia does not score very highly on market attractiveness and country risk, it stands out on market saturation and time pressure. According to Nino Kipiani, Country Director for Cushman & Wakefield (the biggest real estate consulting company in charge of Tbilisi Mall management), the ease of doing business in Georgia along with its robust macroeconomic performance were among the key factors in attracting prominent international retailers, such as the Alhokair Fashion Re-
tail group. Other factors were Georgia’s strategic location, the presence of major international investors, and, of course, the well-educated but (still) cheap labor force. LOOKING AHEAD A few international brands left the Georgian retail market in spring 2015, with some shopping centers seeing an increase in vacancy rates. This was reason enough for some media outlets and political opposition to start blaming the government for mismanaging the economy. While there is no arguing that this is not the best of times for the Georgian consumers, at least some of the exodus is due to healthy competition created by the entry of new high quality shopping centers and better managed new brands. According to sources in the industry, stronger competition is a sign of growing maturity in Georgia’s retail sector, ultimately benefiting Georgian customers. Though local consumer demand is currently at its lowest point, Georgia has the strategic location to serve the retail hub role for the broader region, provided its transparent and hassle-free business environment remains untainted. In particular, the steady surge in tourism is a major source growth for Georgia’s retail market. According to Colliers International, the number of non-resident visitors that arrived for shopping in Georgia increased about 5(!) times after 2010, reaching almost half a million persons in 2014 (about 9% of total visitors). Georgian consumers may have all the reasons in the world to be worried today. Yet, the outlook for the Georgian economy and its retail sector remains quite encouraging. To make good on its promise as a regional shopping bonanza, Georgia needs to sustain and further advance its reputation as a corruption-free, business-friendly and hospitable environment. We hope this is not too much to be asked for in an election year.
OCTOBER 23 - 29
South Ossetian Referendum - Who cares? By Zaza Jgharkava The de-facto government of occupied Tskhinvali has started preparing for the next referendum. The question that the 25 thousand people who still remain in the region must decided whether or not they want the South Ossetian state to join the Russian Federation with the status of Subject of the Federation. As the de-facto ruler of the occupied region, Leonid Tibilov, explains: “It is necessary to hold a referendum as the results of the previous two referendums were the same.” A referendum on South Ossetia joining the Russian Federation was held by the de-facto rulers of the separatist region as early as 1992, several weeks after the first and last president of the Soviet Union Mikheil Gorbachov declared the dissolution of the Soviet state. On January 19, 1992, a number of the South Ossetian population, mostly ethnic Ossetians (approximately 28 thousand people) supported the withdrawal of the region from Georgia and ethnic Georgians ousted from Tskhinvali. Eighteen thousand Georgians compactly residing in the region boycotted the referendum. Four months after that referendum, a new flag appeared over Tskhinvali, which informed the world about the birth of the so-called South Ossetian state. Soon, the Russian so-called peacekeepers entered the area and the conflict remained frozen until the August 2008 war. However, in December 2006, the de-facto governors of Tskhinvali reminded the remaining 35 thousand ethnic Ossetian population through a referendum that they live in an independent state. The question now was whether they wanted the independent development of independent South Ossetia. Two years after this referendum, on August 26 2008, the Kremlin recognized independence of the so-called South Ossetia and today Tibilov claims that there is a need to hold a new refer-
endum requesting integration with Russia. The news of preparation of a new referendum was spread in occupied Tskhinvali after the visit of President Putin’s Assistant, Vladimer Surkov. Surkov is coordinating affairs of the socalled independent South Ossetia and the so-called independent Abkhazia in the Kremlin and was in Tskhinvali on an official visit. However, after the Russian media announced Tibilov’s news, the Kremlin voiced the real reasons for Surkov’s visit. President Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that Surkov was in Tskhinvali to study the financial situation of the friend state, with who they “have close integrated relations in many directions.” They spoke only about this issue of “integration” in Tskhinvali since in “South Ossetia” many people support such integration with Russia and it has been known for a while. “As I learned, this is what Mr. Tibilov spoke about with Mr. Surkov,” Peskov said. Official Tbilisi has yet to respond to the new initiative of the occupied region’s head with an official statement. It seems the Georgian Dream government is too busy and does not have time for the occupied territories at present. If we put it in ex-Prime Minister Ivanishvili’s words, the Garibashvili government is busy with [mijirkvn-ing] Rustavi 2. Only Georgian media, political opposition and analysts shared their opinion about Tibilov’s initiative. Comments from Tbilisi can, as a rule, be divided into several areas. However, everyone agrees that in a similar situation the government should act more radically. Expert in economic issues, Demur Giorkhelidze, calls for the public and government representatives to perceive the reality adequately and have respective reactions. “Is the prison case enough, a pointless fuss? Have you heard anything from Official Tbilisi about this? I haven’t. What does it mean? What will our ‘fathers of the na-
De-facto ruler of occupied South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year. Source: EPA/ www.rferl.org
tion’ say about it?” Giorkhelidze asks. Expert in Caucasus issues, Mamuka Areshidze, connects the active discussion of the topic on the Russian side with the visit of the Hague prosecutor to Tbilisi and the investigation of the August 2008 war. Areshidze thinks that it all coincided; thus, it is not excluded that the Kremlin is trying to sabotage the Georgian government in exchange for the Hague court investigation with the issue of integrating the so-called South Ossetia. My version is that the decision of Tibilov to hold a referendum on South Ossetia joining Russia is dictated from Moscow. Active discussion of this topic on the Kremlin’s side is determined by the appearance of the Hague prosecutor in Georgia and re-emergence of the August 2008 war investigation issue. Rebel ex-speaker, Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Democratic Georgia Party, did not
miss her chance to comment about the referendum in Tskhinvali. She is known in Georgian politics as a person whom President Putin knows well and if we put it in Georgian slang “she has her ways to the man.” The head of the Democratic Georgia Party outlined this in her statement and recalled her last meeting with Putin. “Following my visits it did not surprise me when the Russian side made careful statements favoring Georgia, but the Georgian government failed to notice it and it seems the government wants to speak to Russia only on issues of its commercial interest. As for the country’s interests, the government is not taking any steps towards it. I am obliged to warn our people once again and tell them that we are losing precious time. I am certain that if the government had started direct dialogue with the Abkhazian and Ossetian
sides, we would have a different reality now and such statements would not have been made,” Burjanadze said. Whether the referendum is held on the occupied territory does not have such importance. Financially, the remaining 25 thousand ethnic Ossetians are fully dependent on Russia and there is a 10 thousand-man Russian military base located there. This is why any serious talk about a referendum asking about integration with the Russian Federation is redundant. This question was answered when, after the ethnic cleansing in the region in 2008, the last ethnic Georgians left the territory. Russia has occupied the territory. Now the main question is whether it is favorable for the Kremlin to unite North Ossetia and South Ossetia and this question has remained unanswered for amost 90 years.
Georgians Still Undecided about Their Political Preferences By Eka Karsaulidze The National Democratic Institute (NDI), in partnership with CRRC Georgia and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), has conducted a study regarding political issues according to which most Georgians continue to support EU membership (61%), and the majority of citizens remain undecided and ill-prepared for parliamentary elections 2016. NDI’s representatives say that they survey public opinion in order to help Georgian stakeholders diagnose and address issues of public concern by providing accurate, unbiased and statistically-sound data. All their polls were developed in consultation with party, government and civil society leaders, and aim to capture the most relevant information to foster the development of responsive policies and governance. The latest such poll was conducted from August 8 to September 10 and included 4,448 completed interviews. Beside the fact that the majority of
respondents claimed they would like to be a part of the European Union, some citizens are considering alternatives such as the Eurasian Union, which earned 31% support. Those Georgians approving of Eurasian Union membership primarily cite perceived economic benefits (71%), not political or governance improvements, while 68% of European Union supporters say the same about joining the EU. In comparison, only 7% of Eurasian Union supporters think that Eurasian Union membership would strengthen democratic development. Moreover, 21% of EU supporters believe that we can reach this demarcating development with EU membership. “When you probe more deeply into the reasons for Georgian opinion visà-vis the EU and Eurasian Union, you can see that the drivers are largely the same – Georgians are motivated by economic, not political, considerations and express increased willingness to explore any possibilities for improving economic development,” said Laura Thornton, NDI’s senior coun-
try director in Georgia. Another part of the poll focused on the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2016. The study found that 14% of all citizens identified Georgian Dream as the party they were most supportive of, while 13% identified the United National Movement (UNM). Irakli Alasania-Free Democrats and the Alliance of Patriots both have 4% support, although Irakli Alasania-Free Democrats is the most popular second choice at 6 percent. Responding to the question “If parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, would you say you are decided or undecided?” 59% of citizens said they are undecided, including 41% of likely voters. Of likely voters, 15% would vote for the United National Movement (UNM) and 14% would vote for the Georgian Dream Coalition. The poll also revealed that most Georgians still do not have a preferred political party. Responding to the question “If parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, who would you vote
for?” 35% said ‘don’t know,’ 14% said ‘no party’ and 13% refused to answer. “As shown in our last poll, the electoral playing field is still wide open and no party is ahead in Georgia. Georgians are completely undecided about their political preferences, presenting an opportunity for all parties to spend the next year leading up to the parliamentary elections earning citizens’ backing through responsive platforms and policies,” added Thornton.
Thornton also stated that NDI would continue polling, the next study being scheduled for this November.
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The Galt & Taggart Research team comprises Georgian and Azerbaijani finance and economic experts who have broad experience of covering the macro and corporate sectors of the two countries. Our current product offering includes Georgian and Azerbaijan macroeconomic research, Georgian sector research, and fixed income corporate research. For free access to Galt & Taggart Research, please visit gtresearch.ge or contact us at email@example.com.
Sweet Business – Growth Prospects for Georgian Honey By Tamara Kurdadze Georgian honey could soon appear on the shelves of European supermarkets. Honey is one of the few Georgian animal products, along with sea fish, that could meet EU phytosanitary requirements with relative ease, unlike meat and dairy products. The main concerns are antibiotics and traces of pesticides in honey, which are relatively easy for producers to eradicate. In 2014, Georgia produced 4,100 metric tons of honey, but only exported 5, generating export revenue of US$ 54,000, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 87% of total exports, followed by China (10%), and the Republic of Korea (1%). While currently negligible, honey exports have the potential to expand in coming years, granted the local beekeepers scale up, increase efficiency, and comply with international certification standards. According to the Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture, up to 1,500 metric tons of honey can be exported to the EU under the DCFTA, which implies a potential $10mn in annual export revenue. Georgian honey will face tough price competition on foreign markets. International players such as China, Argentina, Vietnam, Mexico, and Ukraine dominate the global honey trade. Average price of Chinese honey on the European market is EUR 2/kg, while honey from Argentina and Mexico is sold for EUR 3/kg on average. Local retail price of Georgian honey is significant-
ly higher (~EUR 6.5/kg), while exported Georgian honey commanded an average price of EUR 8.1/kg in 2014. According to Juan Echanove, EU attaché for agriculture, food safety, and rural development, Georgian honey could still find its place on the European market despite the higher price tag. To that end, the country’s long history of beekeeping and unique characteristics of the Georgian product must be leveraged in the eyes of the European consumer. Renowned as the cradle of wine, Georgia is also the birthplace of honey. After a recent discovery in Sakire, Southern Georgia, archaeologists declared that the 5,500year-old honey samples are, in fact, the world’s oldest. The Georgian honeybee is known for its long proboscis (tongue), allowing it to retrieve flower nectar from a depth that other honeybee breeds are unable to reach. Furthermore, Georgian flora is of rare diversity and the honey is packed with vitamins. Slovenia recently started commercializing beekeeping, has protected and trademarked its native bee, and is now marketing its trademarked product to visitors from around the world. Notably, the average price of Slovenian honey, directed mostly to the EU, was EUR 6.4/kg in 2014. Proper marketing of the Georgian honeybee and traditional beekeeping would go a long way toward justifying the price premium. With that said, Georgian beekeepers cannot count on the high price that their product commands
in Saudi Arabia (~EUR 8/kg in 2014) to persist once they enter the European market. Efficiency gains will be necessary to bring down costs and increase competitiveness. Almost 100% of the honey produced in Georgia is produced by amateur beekeepers, who own less than 300 beehives (professional beekeeping minimum), and have no scale or financial capacity to implement best practices and increase efficiency, i.e yield per beehive. The Ministry of Agriculture has estimated the initial investment for a 300 colony beekeeping business to be GEL 120,000, with a 4 year payback period. Commercial beekeeping provides higher yields and allows for a broader choice of bee products that beekeepers can offer the consumer. There is a demand on the market for pollen, royal jelly (bee milk), propolis, beeswax, and bee venom. These products are used for various medicinal purposes and are widely marketed for their health benefits. Individual local beekeepers in Geor-
gia are unable to provide honey in amounts that would interest international buyers. Furthermore, in some cases, importers require honey to be monofloral, meaning the honey should be predominantly from the nectar of one plant species, which is typically not the case with Georgian honey. Donor assistance is provided to local beekeepers to advance their skills and gain awareness of international markets and modern technologies in beekeeping. The Ministry of Agriculture is currently cofinancing a beehive census for better tracking of Georgian honey and its point of origin. The ministry is also fully subsidizing the costs of honey sample analysis at the local state-sponsored laboratory through the end of December 2015. Importantly, the laboratory is currently not equipped to test for antibiotic and pesticide residues – a requirement under EU regulations (EC 37/ 2010); samples have to be sent abroad for such testing. It is expected that the laboratory will have such capability by the end of 2015.
Bees also play an important role in ensuring the survival of humanity. About one third of the human diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants, with honeybees responsible for 80% of this pollination. Pollination services provided by the beekeepers are extremely important for the production of certain crops. According to estimates by the US Department of Agriculture, average pollination fee in 2006 in the US was US$136/colony. In countries where there are not enough insects or colonies keep dying, e.g. China, pollination services are performed by humans and are naturally associated with sizable costs and human resources. This opens up a window of opportunity for beekeepers and farmers to cooperate. Blueberries, for example, benefit a great deal from the pollination services provided by bees. Current conditions in the beekeeping industry are far from perfect, but the potential is there to be explored. If the points of weakness are addressed, Georgian honey could become a niche product and penetrate new markets. Georgia needs a well-equipped, accredited laboratory capable of conducting the tests necessary for product certification in compliance with EU standards; scaling the production will support growth in yields, which are currently significantly below industry standards; and implementation of new technologies and improvement of beekeepers’ skills will further strengthen the sector’s competitiveness.
George Japaridze for Georgia Today Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown on the Silk Road Cross Road On October 15-16th Tbilisi proved itself as the place where east meets west and it is noteworthy that more than 800 high ranking officials attended the “Tbilisi Silk Road Forum” to discuss the prospects of the new Silk Road and how to best use Georgia’s transit potential. Important prospects were set in such areas as trade, energy, transport, tourism, infrastructure and real estate. Georgia Today had the privilege of meeting George Japaridze, the Director of the International Desk, Caucasus, at Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown (CW|VB). He shared with us information and his opinion regarding the “Tbilisi Silk Road Forum”. CW|VB gave a comprehensive presentation on the real estate market in Georgia, and informed the forum delegates about the existing climate. Q: Did the forum meet your expectations? A: Actually, it served as an excellent opportunity to establish a platform for annual high level meetings for all interested states and international organizations with the view of future mutually beneficial cooperation. The forum was attended by delegates from 31 countries. The high rate of attendance shows the
George Japaridze, Director of the International Desk, Caucasus, at Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown (CW|VB).
interest towards our country’s investment opportunities. There are many directions that will significantly benefit not only Georgia but also the region as a whole. The country has a good location which will help it to play an important role as a regional hub. Obviously, such events do lead to the country’s international recognition and serve as a platform to raising awareness of its investment opportunities – to drive foreign direct investment which will lead the country to economic growth. As I already mentioned, a lot of significant guests visited the country in the frames of the forum and therefore our
contacts at the international market were extended. I’m glad the forum will be organized annually. It is clear that such events should be extremely beneficial for all parties involved. Therefore, next year I hope to see a great number of participants from the business sector presenting their investment opportunities. This refers mainly to the local players. The forum needs to be practical and more flexible, focused on business deals. Q: We understand your company made a presentation on the real estate market in Georgia. Which topics were covered? A: On behalf of CW|VB I’m glad to say that we had the privilege of taking part in the forum based on the fact that it is a commercial real estate company. We gave a general overview of the real estate market in Georgia, particularly the retail market, office market, hospitality and residential markets. Moreover, we classified the factors that most effect the market and the tendencies of the resent period. We underlined advantages that foreign investors may receive whilst investing in Georgia. The Government of Georgia is offering a lot of incentives for newcomers: a flexible investment environment, tax and legislative benefits, simplified company registration procedures, liberalized man-
ufactured regulations and a positive approach to foreign investors- it’s a real step forward for the country. Q: The major participant company of the forum “Hualing Group” was one of your clients. What type of professional relationship did you have? A: Sure, we had an opportunity to work with the “Hualing Group”. We did the market study for the already existing shopping mall and provided recommendations regarding the zoning of the center, indicating a rational rearrangement of the blocks in the overall space. Moreover, we shared our international and professional experience with regards to the retail market. We wish them luck and will support them in further development. It is worth mentioning that since we are operating on the Georgian real estate market, we have been lucky to have largescale clients such as “TBC Bank”, “Hualing Group”, “Silk Road Group”, “Wissol Group” and “Bank of Georgia”. Moreover, after consultations with our
company, and with co-financing from “Axis Development” and the “Georgian Co-investment Fund,” the construction of Axis Towers on Chavchavadze Avenue was restarted and the presentation of the project was held on the 20th of October in Tbilisi. It can be identified as one of the success stories of our company. Q: What results do you expect from the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum? A: Delegate feedback was highly positive, though you cannot get the results immediately since it is long lasting process that will show results within some months. One thing that is clear is that Georgia has demonstrated repeated readiness to serve as a positive investment environment. Overall, the forum proved to be a great platform for our country’s international awareness. On behalf of CW|VB I can say that we are expecting positive results and the implementation of specific projects that are in the pipeline. http://veritasbrown.com
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Qatar Airways Reaffirms Its Commitment To Georgia Route Offical Airline Partner To Embassy Celebrations More than 100 attendees take part in celebrations at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha to mark this year’s Tbilisoba celebrations DOHA, Qatar - Qatar Airways was this week Official Airline Partner to an exciting day of celebrations at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha to mark the official weekend celebrations of Tbilisoba, hosted by the Georgian Embassy of Qatar. Tbilisoba is an annual festival held in Georgia in October every year to celebrate the diverse history of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. First celebrated in 1979, the event has become synonymous in Georgia with open air concerts and music from the country’s rich cultural history. To mark the event in Qatar, the Georgian Embassy hosted a day of celebrations which culminated in a special performance of traditional folk songs by the Georgian choir, Georgika, with guests enjoying a reception in the garden area of the newly refurbished Sheraton Hotel. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways’ services to Tbilisi continue to cater to a
growing demand of passengers attracted by the hospitality and quality of our on board product, as well as the seamless connectivity offered by Hamad International Airport, an airport designed by an airline with the passenger experience firmly in mind.” Speaking at the event, Her Excellency Ekaterine Meiering - Mikadze, Ambassador of Georgia to the State of Qatar, highlighted the importance of celebrating the history of Georgia, a country connected to Qatar Airways’ global network with daily scheduled flights. Her Excellency Ekaterine Meiering – Mikadze said “Since starting daily flights to Georgia in 2011, Qatar Airways has brought the two countries much closer to each other. As a result, contacts among people from all walks of life have multiplied, in business, diplomacy, and tourism. I am delighted to see Qataris and expatriates working in Doha flocking to Georgia in ever increas-
ing numbers and I am grateful to Qatar Airways for the pioneering role and ongoing support in helping others to discover Georgia.” Qatar Airways currently operates daily flights to Tbilisi from its home and hub, Hamad International Airport, connecting passengers onwards to more than 150 destinations around the world. At the annual Skytrax 2015 World Airline
Awards in June, Qatar Airways was awarded World’s Best Airline, Best Business Class Airline Seat, and Best Airline in the Middle East. Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 18 years of operation and today flies a modern fleet of 166 aircraft to 152 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
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Business Cafe – Joint Project of Insource and PASHA Bank On October 21st Insource and PASHA Bank launched their joint project “Business Cafe” and organized its first gathering. The project aims to organize meetings of middle and topmanagement representatives from different companies where they will be able to discuss specific work-related subjects and share experience with each other. The first meeting was held at Holiday Inn Tbilisi and the two companies are planning to organize another meeting by the end of the year. It is the first time for this kind of meeting to be held in Georgia and future such meetings will serve as a place for discussions regarding the current processes and news from different fields of business. The meetings will host up 20 participants and will be moderated by a special guest who will share their own experi-
Hotel Sympatia ence with others. The subject of the first meeting was management of human resources with David Gogichaishvili as moderator. “Insource as a business consulting company always tries to contribute to the development process of Georgian business. Business Cafe is a meeting place in which top and middle level
managers will be able to share their best practice, know-how and discuss the future changes and improvements in management and people management,” said founder of Insource, Medea Tabatadze. “Supporting this project is a part of the strategy that PASHA Bank has been realizing since its foundation in Georgia: we al-
ways try to contribute to such projects and events that assist professional growth and business development in Georgia. We are more than happy to have had the opportunity to join Insource in initiating such an interesting and useful project,” said Anano Korkia, Head of the PR and Marketing Department at PASHA Bank.
Ministry of Finance Summarizes Past Three Years By Ana Akhalaia The Minister of Finance, Nodar Khaduri, presented the results of three years of work on October 19 at the hotel Tbilisi Marriott, in the framework of the Georgian Government for Open Governance project. According to the report presented by the Ministry, in 20132015 the correct distribution of the state budget changed the structure of the state budget and the country’s main financial document. It was planned to increase social programs and finance projects that would ensure the economic development and stability of the country in the medium and the long term periods. For three years, the Ministry of Finance has taken important steps towards social support. “I believe that despite the difficulties, the past three years were successful for the Ministry of Finance. Significant reforms in public finance management were implemented in terms of transparency. Serious efforts have been made in terms of legislative liberalization. Most importantly, the
Ministry of Finance protects the right of property and we don’t enforce measures until the end of a tax dispute,” stated Minister Khaduri. He believes that increased financing of the ministries of Education, Health and Agriculture is an achievement. Funding of ministries has increased most rapidly since the Georgian Dream came to power. Compared to 2012, financing healthcare increased by 55%, education by 35% and agriculture by 81%. Minister Khaduri spoke about international studies on budget transparency. According to the results of the ‘Budget Transparency 2015’ published by International Budget Partnership, Georgia has 66 points and is in 16th place among the world’s 102
countries, thus greatly improving its position compared to a similar poll conducted in 2012 (according to the 2012 Index, 33th place). According to the report, the Ministry of Finance has taken significant steps in the direction of tax liberalization. The tax exemption of the construction sector, accumulated until 2008, is one of the factors for the high economic growth in this sector. The Ministry, together with old tax exemption, plans to reform profit taxation. However, according to the draft budget for next year, cancellation of profit taxes is not planned. According to the Minister, the Ministry is working on profit tax projects. The Minister further stated that they don’t want to talk about the
matter in advance, “but everyone knows that we are working on profit tax to improve investment.” He also talked about the nontaxable minimum program. In 2014-2015, issued non-taxable minimum amounted to 254 million GEL. However, the government plans to cancel this project in 2016. Minister Khaduri also spoke about the Budget and Treasury reform, through which state agencies have been united in the unified treasury account. As a result, the annual turnover of public finances, more than 3 billion GEL, came under budget treasury regulations. The Minister considers the events of the international financial institutions as a special achievement in Georgia, including the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); annual meeting of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB); hosting of the Silk Road Forum; becoming a member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and opening the Georgian representation of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Galt & Taggar vestment Bank in Geor gia artt Named Best In Inv Georgia Galt & Taggart was recently named the Best Investment Bank in Georgia 2015 by the International Finance Magazine. This is the latest in a series of recent awards recognizing G&T and its achievements in the Georgian investment banking sphere. G&T is the investment banking subsidiary of Bank of Georgia Holdings PLC, the only entity from Georgia listed on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange. G&T has established itself as the leading investment bank in Georgia, offering a full range of investment banking services, including Corporate Advisory, Capital Markets, Asset and Wealth Management, Brokerage, and Research. Over the past year, G&T acted as the sole placement agent for the EBRD and IFC local bond issuances and successfully placed corporate bonds for m2 Real Estate, Evex, and Georgian Water and Power (GWP), all listed on the Georgian Stock Exchange. The US$ 20 million m2 Real Estate bond issuance in March 2015 was the largest public fixed income placement in Georgia to
date. The development of Georgian capital markets is crucial as it will enable better risk sharing and more efficient allocation of capital, while attracting foreign capital, which can lower the cost of funding for local companies. Around 50% of total funds raised through bond issuances placed by G&T in 2015 were financed by non-resident investors. G&T’s Corporate Advisory department provides M&A, valuation, strategic advisory, debt structuring, and rating advisory services in both domestic and cross-border transactions. G&T assists companies in obtaining financing from local and international banks and other financial institutions. It has a significant track record in this field with more than 15 transactions. The latest major transaction was the acquisition of 25% shareholding in Georgian Global Utilities, the mother company of GWP, by Bank of Georgia Holdings in December 2014. Galt & Taggart Research is a pioneer of investment research in Georgia, providing timely analysis and insights for its clients. The
research team provides coverage of Georgian and Azerbaijani economies, Georgian business sectors, and Georgian Eurobond issuers – Georgian Railway and GOGC. The business sectors currently covered are energy, tourism, agriculture, wine, and retail and office real estate, with new major sectors in the pipeline. G&T Research is the trusted source of information on the Georgian market for not only Georgian companies and investors, but also foreign investors interested in the region, international organizations, foreign government representatives in the country, and Georgian missions abroad. G&T’s brokerage division provides unparalleled regional expertise and trading capabilities in frontier markets. The company recently announced a landmark deal with Saxo Bank A/S. The agreement will allow G&T
clients to access global capital markets and invest on a multi asset basis, providing a highly adaptive trading experience with professional tools, insights, and world-class execution to its users. The partnership with Saxo Bank will allow the company to bring the latest technology to the market and extend its track record of offering the best trading capabilities in the country. “The awards that we have received over the past year serve as recognition of Galt & Taggart’s leadership role in the development of capital markets and investment banking in Georgia, as well as our commitment to innovative and professional service. We see significant potential in this sector and will continue to play a leading role as the major intermediary on the market,” said Archil Gachechiladze, Chairman of Galt & Taggart and Deputy CEO of Bank of Georgia.
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FRONTERA RESOURCES CORPORATION
Houston, Texas, U.S.A. – 8 October 2015 FRONTERA RESOURCES UPGRADES GAS POTENTIAL IN GEORGIA OPERATIONS Frontera Resources Corporation (London Stock Exchange, AIM Market – Symbol: FRR), an independent oil and gas exploration and production company (“Frontera” or the “Company”), today provided an announcement of a significant upgrade to gas resources associated with its ongoing exploration and production efforts in the country of Georgia. The Company recently announced that it had continued to advance its natural gas focus within its eastern Georgia holdings by combining the technical focus of its Mtsare Kheve Gas Complex and Taribani Field Complex into one integrated 2,000 square kilometer geologic unit called the South Kakheti Gas Complex. In addition to gas resources previously identified for subsets of this combined area, Frontera’s ongoing work recently concluded new estimation of as much as 135 trillion cubic feet (3.8 trillion cubic meters) of gas in place from reservoir targets found between 300 metres and 5,000 metres in depth. An independent assessment of Frontera’s new internal estimates is now underway. Earlier this year, during the month of April, Frontera announced results of a report it commissioned by the U.S.based independent consulting firm of Netherland, Sewell & Associates that confirmed combined prospective natural gas resources of as much as 12.9 trillion cubic feet (365 billion cubic meters) of gas-in-place, with as much as 9.4 tril-
lion cubic feet (266 billion cubic meters) of recoverable prospective natural gas resources at the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex and Taribani Field Complex. Following on from this assessment, extensive geologic and geophysical studies continued within and between the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex and the Taribani Field Complex areas as the Company has believed that these areas are part of a common geologic complex. As a result, ongoing exploration studies have confirmed an extensive integrated gas resource potential that is much larger than previously identified. In 2014, Frontera’s installation of a 14-kilometer network of gathering, processing and pipeline transportation facilities culminated in the initiation of gas production operations from the Company’s ongoing drilling operations. Since commencing gas production operations in April of last year from its operations in eastern Georgia, Frontera has successfully marked eighteen months of gas production operations. Continuous gas sales from the area have represented the first time domestically produced nonassociated gas has been continuously marketed to Georgia’s national consumption market. Together with extensive technical analysis associated with the greater South Kakheti Gas Complex, this work has opened a historic new chapter in Georgia’s move towards energy independence as well as providing gas to markets beyond its borders. Frontera is advancing evaluation of commercialization options to expand and accelerate efforts to bring this resource to not only Georgia’s domestic market, but also to nearby regional markets in Turkey and Europe. In this context, during the month of July, Frontera entered into to a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine’s national energy company, National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine whereby an engineering FEED study is underway related to the possibility of bringing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Ukraine from Frontera’s ongoing upstream gas work in Georgia. Similar
studies are in progress related to other trans-Black Sea markets as well as contemplated regional pipeline routes. Steve C. Nicandros, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented: “Our ongoing investments in Georgia have continued to reveal the emergence of what we believe to be a world class gas play with the identification of the South Kakheti Gas Complex. Much like the recent evolution of similarly prolific gas plays in the United States that have transformed the U.S.A.’s energy independence trajectory, our results continue to indicate that Georgia has the natural gas resources to follow a similar path. We believe that our ongoing work will further serve to establish Georgia’s domestic energy independence in the years to come and also make it a strategic supplier of gas to Turkish and European consumption markets.” Enquiries: Frontera Resources Corporation: Liz Williamson Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications +1 713 585 3216 email@example.com Financial PR: Buchanan Helen Chan +44 (0) 20 7466 5000 firstname.lastname@example.org Notes to Editors: About Frontera Resources Corporation Frontera Resources Corporation is an independent Houston, Texas, U.S.A.based international oil and gas exploration and production company whose strategy is to identify opportunities and operate in emerging markets in Eastern Europe around the Black Sea. Frontera Resources Corporation shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange, AIM Market – Symbol: FRR. For more information, please visit www.fronteraresources.com.
2. The Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex is an area of approximately 140 square kilometers and encompasses gas reservoir targets found between 300 meters and 5,000 meters in depth. Based on Frontera’s internal estimates, analysis has revealed significant gas potential throughout this area of up to approximately 11 TCF of gas-in-place and up to approximately 9 TCF of recoverable gas resources. An April 2015 report by the independent consulting firm of Netherland, Sewell & Associates confirms prospective resources of as much as 8.29 TCF of gas-in-place for the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex, with as much as 6.15 TCF of recoverable prospective resources. 3. The Taribani Field Complex is an area that encompasses approximately 1,400 square kilometers and includes the discovered yet undeveloped Taribani, Kila Kupra, Bayda and Iori fields within Block 12. Internal preliminary analysis suggests that there could be as much as 18 billion barrels of oil in place throughout this complex. Ongoing work continues to study and assess the viability of this analysis and larger scale development potential. Situated within the Taribani Field Complex, the Taribani Field’s oil potential consists of 788 million barrels of original oil in place (“OOIP”) at depths between 2,000 meters and 3,300 meters, independently assessed by Netherland, Sewell & Associates (“NSA”) in 2005. In addition, Frontera estimates gas-in-place resources associated with deeper horizons at the Taribani Field to be as much as approximately 9 tcf from reservoir targets found between 3,400 meters and 5,000 meters in depth. An April 2015 report by NSA confirms prospective resources of as much as 4.62 TCF of gasin-place associated with deeper gas bearing sands at the Taribani Field, with as much as 3.23 TCF of recoverable prospective resources from horizons situated between 3,400 meters and 5,400 meters in depth. 4. Information on Resource Estimates: The contingent and prospective
resources estimates contained in this announcement were determined by the independent consulting firm of Netherland, Sewell & Associates (NSA) in accordance with the definitions and guidelines set forth in the 2007 Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) adopted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Gerard Bono, Frontera’s Vice President and Chief Reservoir Engineer, who is a member of the SPE, is the qualified person who reviewed and approved the statements in this announcement. 5. This release may contain certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, expectations, beliefs, plans and objectives regarding the transactions, work programs and other matters discussed in this release. Exploration for oil is a speculative business that involves a high degree of risk. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forwardlooking statements are: risks inherent in oil and gas production operations; availability and performance of needed equipment and personnel; the Company’s ability to raise capital to fund its exploration and development programs; seismic data; evaluation of logs, cores and other data from wells drilled; inherent uncertainty in estimation of oil and gas resources; fluctuations in oil and gas prices; weather conditions; general economic conditions; the political situation in Georgia and relations with neighboring countries; and other factors listed in Frontera’s financial reports, which are available at www.fronteraresources.com. There is no assurance that Frontera’s expectations will be realized, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. 6. Glossary of Terms: BCF – means Billion Cubic Feet of gas. TCF – means Trillion Cubic Feet of gas. Mcf – means Thousand Cubic Feet of gas. OOIP – means Original Oil in Place. Bopd – means Barrels of Oil Per Day.
Georgia Did it – Sergeenko Presents Three Years of Healthcare Reforms The Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia has presented three years of reforms in health care to the public. Minister Sergeenko accentuated the Hepatitis C elimination program as the main achievement of the country’s healthcare sector. “It is important that in the frames of this program 3100 patients are undergoing treatment,” the Minister noted. He also presented the results of the Healthcare Universal program. Other future prospects such as Primary healthcare, implementation of a Universal Healthcare cost sustainable system, quality control and electronic prescription systems were discussed and presented during the event. “A high proportion of drugs in the overall healthcare system reveals the main problem and we have to decrease it with transparent ways not with mechanic restrictions,” said Minister Sergeenko. According to the Minister, one of the main priorities of the Ministry is reinforcement of drug quality control. The Ministry of Health is planning to establish new standards in terms of quality control of drugs. How quality control and new regulations will affect increased price, Minister Sergeenko explains: The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most strictly regulated spheres in the world. Unfortunately, here this sec-
The Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
tor is deregulated. A lack of quality control creates a problem as we do not know what quality of drugs people use. Absence of quality of control systems prevent us from purchasing the Generics because we do not have objective evidence of quality.” The Minister notes that the introduction of Generics will considerably decrease the prices of drug. “Society is sensitive to increasing prices of products, including drugs, the prices of which are a burden to a society unable to con-
tinue their treatments. That’s why we need to decrease pharmacy expenditures, and in this case Generic drugs are the most optimal way out.” Minister Sergeenko considers that expanding the Generic segment is inevitable in order to increase drug availability and to encourage local production. “However, for implementation, we need to execute a system of quality control of drugs. The Ministry has started working intensively on such reforms and the results will be known soon.”
Take a Breath with Hope – Georgia Marks Week of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis IPF is a very rare and irreversible disease that has a higher mortality rate than other malignant cancers. Georgia, together with the whole world marking a week of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), held a special press conference organized by the IPF Patient Union and Georgia’s Respiratory Association and Foundation of Genetic and Rare Diseases at Radisson Blue Iveria Hotel. The main purpose of the press conference was to inform the public about the rare IPF, in order to timely diagnose and correctly treat and control the disease. Participants of the press conference discussed and highlighted the severity of the disease and the importance of receiving the right treatment. The slogan of this campaign is “Take a Breath with Hope” with soap bubbles used to symbolize the program. “Our aim today is to inform society about one of the rarest respiratory diseases, an irreversible progressive disease,” Dr. Elene Sherozia said during the conference. “More than 5 million peo-
ple around the world have been diagnosed with IPF, with approximately 110,000 people battling it in Europe as we speak.” Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis was marked as a world day in 2012. Georgia actively joined them this year in what it considers a very important event through which the public will receive much needed disease awareness- it is estimated that 60% of patients have not yet been accounted for and are not in contact with a doctor. “The disease is quite severe and if not treated it has fatal results,” Kakha Kvachadze, representative of the Georgian Respiratory Association, said. “The Fund of Genetic and Rare Diseases offers its support to those patient organizations that have formed recently. We hope that this decision will result in the desired result being achieved with the collaboration of healthcare structures,” Anna Bokolishvili, President of the Georgian Foundation for Genetic and Rare Diseases noted.
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Niels Scott: UN’ s 70 Year s Wor king to Mak e the Wor ld a Better Place UN’s ears orking Make orld By Meri Taliashvili “The Former Secretary-General of UN, Dag Hammarskjold, said that the UN was not designed to take people to heaven but to prevent them from going to hell and I think he was very right to say this. We make sure that people are empowered to improve their lives.”- Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia. In 1945, representatives from 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. It was signed by those countries on June 26th 1945, but the Organization officially came into existence on 24 October 1945 when the Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. The UN was created to prevent such devastating conflicts as World War II. Its aims are maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict. United Nations Day has been celebrated on 24th October each year. Georgia Today met Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia, to speak about the achievements of the UN in Georgia and globally and the challenges it faces. Q: Mr. Scott, exactly 70 years ago the United Nations was established in order to make the world a better place to live in. What has changed since its establishment? A: Hopefully, it is actually a better place! The United Nations was set up to do three main things: one is ensure human rights, then peace and security and the third is development. Let’s take it one by one. We’ve recently seen unfortunate controversies over basic human rights in the Middle East. These shouldn’t become an exception to the rights in the world. I think people nowa-
Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia.
days better understand what their rights are - right to education, right to free expression. All of these we enjoy here in Georgia. A number of countries where human rights were challenged before now see people demanding that they have freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of speech. It’s come a long, long way and, like everything that the UN supports, it has to come a long way before it reaches a point of perfection. Conflicts are taking place as we speak: every day we read the stories in the news and are sad to hear about such events as those in the Middle East, Afghanistan, where conflict still continues. The ability to mediate, to discuss, to try to limit the impact of these events is vital. Sometimes we (at the UN) feel powerless to prevent the conflict but we have never left the table- aiming at minimum to reduce the number of conflicts by encouraging the increase of time
people take to discuss a solution. When we think of Georgia, we immediately think of the Abkhazia and Ossetia situation, which is very unfortunate, though we are working to find a solution. In terms of development in Georgia, we set ambitious goals to halve poverty, eradicate some of the key diseases and to make sure that illiteracy becomes a thing of a past. Recently, at the New York General Assembly, the sustainable development goals showed us ways to make sure that such development is seen right across the globe with no-one left behind- and this includes Georgia, which has enjoyed good solid economic growth. The United Nations is here to make sure that everybody benefits from these opportunities. Q: How is it possible for everybody to enjoy the opportunities the UN offers? A: The most important thing is to
have peace, security and stability, on the basis of which you establish human rights. Next comes development. In Georgia the challenge is to first ensure security, by which I mean regional stability above all. Once we’ve done that then we can set to ensuring human rights. Another basic human right is women’s rights, including having equal opportunity in the political arena, in business and in society. Unfortunately, there is a certain stigma [in Georgia] that prevents women from enjoying such opportunities. We are working on it and will persevere. We see development around us yet we can still do more to make sure that everyone benefits from such things as a good education- education that gets jobs - and healthcare that maintains a good lifestyle. Q: What about women living in the rural areas whose conditions are more exacerbated? A: A child who lives outside of Tbilisi has four times the chance of dying within its first four months of life than a child in Tbilisi; double the probability of death within the next four months. This is huge barrier to development. The reason we’ve been supported the local government alongside the central government is because people need to have a voice. We want those in the high mountains to have the same life opportunity as somebody has in central Tbilisi and we can achieve that through people actually taking more responsibility for it. It requires the reallocation of resources and the UN in Tbilisi should be more careful in this as it is easy to advise somebody to reallocate resources but not necessarily so easy to do so- having resources is a challenge in itself and this should be recognized! But what’s more important is that people are actually given the opportunity in the rural areas and mountains and generally in Georgia to be able to say: “This is one of our priorities!” A little change, true, but still a change. Q: The United Nations is celebrating its 70th anniversary and 20th in Georgia. What are its plans?
A: You are right to point this out. The fact that the UN has been in Georgia for twenty years is more important than the fact that Georgia’s been in the UN for twenty years. We’d like to get a good discussion of what it means for Georgia to get through its first twenty years and its second round of independence. How it relates to what happened in the world during the last 70 years and what Georgia has achieved is quite substantial. If we go back to the early 1990s we can be proud of what has been accomplished since. Georgia’s European approach is another aspect. I don’t mean aiming for tanks and guns, I mean what Europe can do in terms advocating for security and peace. By maintaining its close developing phase with Europe, Georgia increases security. Also notable is the very responsible approach which Georgia has taken to the discussion around Abkhazia and Ossetia. The Government of Georgia played an essential role in trying to encourage some kind of dialogue to reach a solution without provoking. Such actions have served to increase the security of the average Georgian. Yet it is natural to think of the great challenges that remain. Human rights have progressed but there sadly remain challenges in terms of peace and security. We would love to have a debate on what Georgia wants to achieve in the next five years, with all generations present- people of twenty and seventy years gathering together and asking each other: how do you see Georgia? What do you want? As for the UN, seventy- the age when a person would normally retire- is our time to consider what we have learnt during our time and to analyze how we’ve progressed. But one of the things we’ve learnt in our seventy years is that the United Nations is necessary, increasingly necessary. The Former Secretary-General of UN, Dag Hammarskjold, said that the UN was not designed to take people to heaven but to prevent them from going to hell and I think he was very right to say this. We make sure that people are empowered to improve their lives.
5th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan Dialogue of Religious Leaders and Politicians for Peace and Development at the 5th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan. Today Astana is not merely a representation of exquisite architecture, but a cultural and intellectual center of Eurasia, as Kazakhstan has become a symbol of independence and a global success of a young republic in a very short period of time. Over the last couple of years the international community has been largely focused on Kazakhstan, since various forums, congresses and events of international importance like OSCE, SCO and OIC summits are held in the country. The capital has friendly ties with more than twenty cities in the world and was awarded the UNESCO “City of Peace” prize in 1999. In 2011, it hosted participants and guests of the 7th Asian Winter Games and currently is among the favorites in the competition for hosting the International EXPO-2017 exhibition. Among others, at the initiative of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Astana hosts an important event: the Congress of Leaders of the World and Traditional Religions, the participants of which demonstrate that dialogue, mutual understanding and respect are a powerful creative force capable of ensuring the wellbeing and peaceful coexistence of people of different cultures and religions. Dialogue of Religious Leaders and Politicians for Peace and Development was the theme of the fifth congress held on 1011th June, 2015. The growing importance of the forum has been proven by the confirmed participation of 80 delegations from 42 countries. There were two ple-
nary and four breakout sessions held with the participation of leaders. Throughout the framework, the President of Kazakhstan had an official meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The session was accompanied by speeches delivered by H.E. Mr. N. AlNasser, the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavsky, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Paul, OSCE Secretary General L. Zannier, the Bishop of Bedford, representative of the Anglican Church R. Atkinson, Managing Director of the Association of Shinto Shrines “Jinja Honcho” T. Terai, the ISESCO Director General A. O. Altwaijri, the President Bishop of World Lutheran Federation Dr. M. Younan and many others. “Another step has been taken towards each other, towards mutual understanding of the crucial importance that peace and harmony among religions, nations and countries carries,” said President Nazarbayev. “Honest dialogue on the interaction of religions and their role in global development has been continued. A deep, shared interest in cooperation for the stability and security in the world community has been demonstrated. The Declaration of the Congress, reflecting common or similar approaches of all the participants toward the issues regarding our existence on earth, has been agreed and adopted. Although said in different languages and deriving from different traditions, substantially, a common prayer could be heard for two days from the capital of Kazakhstan: for peace, harmony, justice, forgiveness and love towards our neighbors.” In his speech, the President paid at-
tention to the participation of Jordan’s King Abdullah II in the meeting, and the consonance of the “Amman Message” initiated by him, as well as the importance of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions serving as platforms for the development of a constructive dialogue between civilizations and religions. The President of Kazakhstan thanked all the participants for the fruitful work of the Congress. “I express my gratitude to all the ministers of different religions, because in your appeals to God, you asked about the prosperity and happiness of our Kazakhstan. I sincerely appreciate all the secular guests of the Congress - politicians, public figures, experts and journalists - for their invaluable contribution to its success and the promotion of our ideas,” President Nazarbayev told the Congress. “There is nothing stronger than the truth, which unites faith and reason. Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions are held in the format of a dialogue between religious leaders and politicians. Hence, we strive to ensure that the force of morality and spirituality strengthens righteousness of ac-
tions in matters of peace and harmony between people. I urge all members of the Congress to bring this good and peaceful atmosphere to your followers and adherents.” The Head of State stressed that the 5th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions once again clearly demonstrated the relevance and increased demand for a global dialogue. “The word and speech, communication and dialogue is a divine gift to humankind. And it is our duty to make full use of its power in peacekeeping and resolution. Today, at the fifth Congress we took another step towards an era of universal peace and consideration, justice and spiritual harmony. We have proved that in the period of global distrust, only through talking to each other, can we find hope and confidence in the future,” said the President of Kazakhstan. He also noted the importance of encouraging people to promote dialogue among religions and cultures. In this regard, the Head of State proposed to establish a prize “For contribution to the development and strengthening of spiritual peace and harmony” and that it could be
awarded at the decision of the Board of religious leaders and presented at the plenary sessions of the Congress. Furthermore, the President stressed that the work of this two-day Congress has enriched the world with the hope to avoid the development of worse scenarios, with faith in the wisdom and responsibility of Mankind. “Our Congress has a rich history. We have accumulated solid experience in direct dialogue. We have established a tradition of dialogue and mutual understanding. Other sites of interaction of religions and civilizations are being formed. Therefore, I propose the creation of a Museum of Peace and Accord in Astana. Such a good attitude to the history of our congresses, generalizing the experience of consolidated decisions on issues of human development, will be important for the strengthening of peace and mutual understanding among religions and peoples. The Museum of Peace and Accord will be, at the same time, a scientific institution under the Congress, studying the history of dialogue between religions and cultures,” – said President Nazabayev. In his concluding speech, the Chairman of the Senate Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev cited the statement of the President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev: “‘The Congresses have contributed a lot to the fact that the world did not fall into an abyss of “clash of civilizations”’. The balance in the world largely depends on dialogue and harmony between people. Therefore, we pose a dialogue of religions, culture of spiritual unity and the accord of the Mankind against hostility and hatred on religious grounds. And let good luck be with us in this noble cause,” said the Chairman.
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“Eye of Istanbul” at National Galler y One of the Se ven Best Wor ld-R eno wned Photo grapher sF ea tur es Tur kish Lif estyle and Mor e Sev orld-R ld-Reno enowned Photog phers Fea eatur tures urkish Lifestyle More By Maka Lomadze with the contribution of Eka Karsaulidze The Georgian National Museum and the Embassy of Turkey in Georgia opened the personal exhibition of Ara Guler at the National Gallery on October 16. Widely recognized as the “Eye of Istanbul,” he is an Armenian-Turkish photographer. Ara Guler was involved in drama circles. However, his thirst for journalism urged him to abandon cinema and theatre. Soon, he met Master HenriCartier-Bresson who later invited him to join Magnum Photos. In his opening speech, the Turkish Ambassador in Georgia, H.E. Mr. Zeki Levent Gumrukcu pointed out that when Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize laureate and best-selling Turkish writer, was working on his book “Istanbul: Memories and the City’” he did it in the archives of Ara Guler. Pamuk himself confessed that he always perceived the Istanbul of his childhood as a black-and-white photograph. “In Ara Guler’s photographs Istanbul appears like a melancholic city, reflected also on its dwellers’ faces, in an environment where poverty and modesty merge, under the aging sounds of the old and new,” said Pamuk in one of his interviews. “Not only Istanbul, but also some of the most important landmarks of Turkey have been brought to the world’s attention through Ara Guler’s photographs, including the ancient city of Aphrodisias,
legend of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat and others,” said Ambassador Gumrukcu. “Until 1962, nobody knew that the city of Aphrodisias existed until Ara Guler discovered it.” Reportedly, when Guler accidentally found himself there, villagers were sitting not on normal chairs but some ancient columns turned upside down. When the photographer asked them where they had taken them from, they took him to the place – an ancient city beneath the ground, which soon, through his photos, became an attractive destination for archeologists. The exposition also features breathtaking pictures of Istanbul as well as the portraits of very famous personalities of the 20th century, including Maria Kalas, Pablo Picasso and William Saroyan. Ambassador Gumrukcu said that Ara Guler always remembers his roots and wanted to attend the opening of the exhibition in Tbilisi, but was unable to come due to his poor health. “He was so sorry not to be here this day, but to mark his presence, he personally signed each photo that we brought to this exhibition,” said the Turkish Ambassador. Mikheil Tsereteli, Deputy Director General of the Georgian National Museum said: “This is of the utmost importance for us as he is a great photographer. For Georgia, as for all countries, it is an honor to host such a photographer, who at the same time comes from our neighbor country and represents its population and its cultural heritage.”
Levan Kharatishvili, Deputy Minister of Culture, told Georgia Today: “We are always happy to promote cultural exchange between sister countries. This tightens our bilateral relations. Correspondingly, we do not miss the opportunity to give them room. We express condolences to those who suffered from the October 10 tragedy in Ankara. By looking at these photos, I am once again reminded how important the life of any human is, as there is hardly any photo here without a human on it.“ Ara Guler, the most important living representative of creative photography in Turkey today, has a well-established international reputation. He became a photo-journalist for Paris Match and Stern in 1958. In the British Journal of Photography Year Book published in the
UK in 1961, Guler was named one of the seven best photographers of the world. In the same year, he was accepted as a member of ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) and was its only Turkish member. In 1962, he received the Master of Leica award in Germany. In 1974, he was invited to the US where he photographed a number of famous Americans, photos that were later exhibited under the title “Creative Americans” in many cities around the world. Ara Guler, an Armenian-Turkish photo journalist from Istanbul, was born in August 16, 1928. He started his career as a photo journalist and worked in several leading newspapers in Turkey. Although he always presented himself as a photo journalist or even a “visual histo-
rian”, capturing historical events with his camera, his photographs are among the best artistic images of Istanbul and Turkey. What’s more, his portrait photographs of some of the most famous personalities of the 20th century with whom he made interviews are also among the best examples of the combination of photography and journalism. He was awarded by various countries for his lifetime achievements and outstanding services in the field of photography including Legion d’Honneur Officier des Arts et des Lettres. The exhibition in Tbilisi is Ara Guler’s first in Georgia, and the selection of more than 100 black and white photographs provides a unique reflection of his work on Istanbul, Turkey and his portraits. Do not miss the large and imposing exhibition, open until October 31.
THE WALK 3D (Info Above) Start time: 11:45, 14:25 Ticket price: 7.50 – 8.50 Lari
Only VIP Tickets Venue: Event Hall
WHAT'S ON IN TBILISI THEATRE GEORGIAN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS ‘GIFT’ IN TBILISI Address: 164 Agmashenebeli Ave. Telephone: 235 0203, 551 17 68 18 www.giftfestival.ge October 27 TRAVELOGUE I – TWENTY TO EIGHT Direction/concept: Sasha Waltz Stage design: Barbara Steppe Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: From 10 Lari Venue: Rustaveli State Academic Theatre, 17 Rustaveli Ave. GABRIADZE THEATRE Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 298 65 93 October 23 AUTUMN OF MY SPRING Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari October 24 MARSHAL DE FANTIE’S DIAMOND Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari October 25 RAMONA Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari
STATE SHADOW THEATRE “BUDRUGANA-GAGRA” ABKHAZIA Address: 17 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 72 68 68 www.rustavelitheatre.ge October 25 BEAR CUB’S ADVENTURES FROM SPRING TO WINTER Performances of the Budrugana-Gagra Theatre are based on music and handshadow movements, no translation required. Directed by Gela Kandelaki Composer: Teimuraz Bakuradze Start time: 19:00 Ticket price: From 7 Lari TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATRE Address: 25 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 299 04 56 October 24 SEASON OPENING GALA CONCERT Participants: Salome Jikia, Irina Taboridze, Marika Machitidze, Ira Iosebidze-Mamaladze, Irina Aleksidze, Nana Dzidziguri, Otar Jorjikia, Irakli Murjikneli, Nikoloz Lagvilava, Lasha Sesitashvili, Gocha Datusani-Jigauri, Kakhaber Tetvadze, Mariam Turashvili, Mariam Nachkebia. Gala concert will be accompanied by Tbilisi Z.Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre orchestra Start time: 19:00 Ticket price: From 15 Lari Venue: Conservatoire Grand Hall
MOVEMENT THEATRE Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260
CIRCUS Address: 1 The Heroes Sq. Telephone: 2 98 58 61 www.krakatuk.eu
October 23, 24, 25 INTRO Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: From 10 Lari
October 24, 25 CLOWNS ASSEMBLY Start time: October 24 – 17:00 October 25 – 13:00 Ticket price: From 10 Lari
CINEMA AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 299 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge October 23-29 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION 3D Directed by Gregory Plotkin Cast: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George Genre: Horror Language: English Start time: 20:30 Language: Russian Start time: 20:00, 22:20 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari CRIMSON PEAK Directed by Guillermo del Toro Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror Language: Russian Start time: 20:00, 22:30 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari THE MARTIAN 3D Directed by Ridley Scott Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi Language: Russian Start time: 11:45, 22:45 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari THE WALK Directed by Robert Zemeckis Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama Language: Russian Start time: 14:45 Ticket price: 8.50 – 9.50 Lari RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 255 50 00 www.kinoafisha.ge PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION 3D (Info Above) Start time: 19:20, 22:30 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari
CRIMSON PEAK (Info Above) Start time:19:45, 22:20 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari THE MARTIAN 3D (Info Above) Start time: 12:30, 16:00, 19:40, 22:30 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari EVEREST 3D Directed by Baltasar Kormakur Cast: Jason Clarke, Ang Phula Sherpa, Thomas M. Wright Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 17:05 Ticket price: 9.50 – 10.50 Lari MUSEUM MOMA TBILISI ZURAB TSERETELI Address: 27 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 298 60 30 October 9 – November 15 OLEG TIMCHENKO’S EXHIBITION MUSIC TBILISI JAZZ FESTIVAL Address: 1 Melikishvili Str. Telephone: 299 00 99 October 23 DIANA KRALL Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 60, 100, 150 Lari October 25 ESPERANZA SPALDING Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 50, 70, 100 Lari October 26 JEFF BALLARD TRIO Start time: 20:00
October 27 AVISHAI COHEN Triveni Start time: 20:00 Only VIP Tickets Venue: Event Hall October 28 EDMAR CASTANEDA TRIO Start time: 20:00 Only VIP Tickets Venue: Event Hall October 29 FOURPLAY - Celebrating 25 Years on Stage Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 50, 70, 100 Lari INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL “AUTUMN TBILSI” – 2015 Address: Dj. Kakhidze Tbilisi Center for Music and Culture, 125 Agmashenebeli Ave. Telephone: 296 12 43 October 24 Concert dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Sulkhan Tsinitsadze TBILISI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Soloists – NEKA SEBISKVERADZE MAKA ZAMBAKHIDZE GEORGE SUKHIRASHVILI Conductor –VAKHTANG KAKHIDZE SOUNDTRACKS OF SULKHAN TSINTSADZE Start time: 19:30 Ticket price: 4-20 Lari YARD OF FORMER FILMSTUDIA Address: 164 D. Agmashenebeli Ave. October 23 LEONID WEIDEMANN Start time: 22:00 Ticket price: 30-40 Lari
SOCIETY By Tony Hanmer For all I know, the names of the year’s seasons may have entirely different meanings in Svan than even in Georgian; there don’t have to be four of them, even. After all, different languages even have different amounts of colors, but it doesn’t mean that their speakers are blind to the unnamed colors! For me, one of the meanings of “autumn” or “fall” in Svaneti must be “(season of) Lost Cows”. Alongside the glories of leaves changing color and mountain tops getting their first dusting of snow, cows go walkabout. I’m told that this is because the local autumn fruits, pears, apples and plums, are ripening now and beginning to fall, both in people’s fenced off orchards and in the open fields and forests. Coupled with a lack of really good grass or hay to eat, this leads the cows to all sorts of different places to forage, and even to wait for the blessed fruit to drop for them. They might stay out all night waiting. We try and encourage our bovines home with an evening meal of warm salted grain mash and whatever we’ve put into the kitchen scraps container for them—fruit and vegetable cores, ends or skins, but nothing from the onion, garlic or hot pepper families. Do they remember that this is waiting for them? I hope so. In any case, where the mother cow goes, her daughter—now pregnant with her first calf, we think—follows. Not so the bullock, though; he, though younger at a year and a half, is definitely a boy,
OCTOBER 23 - 29
Lost Co w Season: Sv aneti Cow Svaneti
with a mind and manners all his own. I send the three of them out from the barn every morning, accompanying them to whatever forage starting point is necessary, but he may end up far from the ladies by evening. And is much less likely to return at all, that twilight meal notwithstanding. The bell on the mother cow definitely helps most of the time. We found it on our honeymoon in Racha, and it’s been on her since summer this year, with its distinctive sweet musical tinkle alerting me if she’s anywhere within quite a large radius. As she, unfailingly so her daughter, so that’s two down for the price of one. If my eyes deceive me about who is who from a distance, my ears never do. Other bells may clank, ring lower; one even sounds a bit like a church bell to me. But each to its owner is unmistakable. Last night, though, not one of the three returned. I gave up at about 10 pm, well
past dark. It was a bit stressful, because mother should be milked twice a day. Nothing this morning, either; just rumors of sightings by neighbors. Off to school, and now I’m faced with another search starting earlier, mid-afternoon. Thinking all the while: why do we all allow this, do this to ourselves? Is it just a tradition which we could do better to change or improve, but cling to because it is “the way it’s done”, and evermore shall be so? What would I change for my own little herd of three? For autumn, I’d take either a low-tech or a high-tech approach. Either buy a field just for their exclusive use for this season, or... “chip” each of them with a tiny, non-removable (by them) GPS device which would let me track them anywhere. Either is possible, and I’m not sure which I prefer. Both require money, and I’m not sure that the GPS one would work well enough up here in a range of weathers. In any case, it’s just necessary from late
summer until the snow hits the ground and stays, between the seasons of “good foraging” and “hay-in-the-barn”. GPS, assuming it remained consistent, would be a one-time for always fix. The field would also be a one-time purchase, though. I could scythe its hay once and then let the cows have it after that. Its fence would need replacing only once a decade or less, so, perhaps it would be a longerterm solution than the GPS one. These are the thoughts running through my mind as the bovines put me
through my paces of an evening or afternoon. I may not be able to change anyone else’s tradition, but if it doesn’t work for me and there are obvious better ways available to me, why not? I may even persuade someone else progressive to follow suit. All I know is, if she goes long enough without a milking, she’ll dry up. And the longer I don’t see them, the greater the risk that someone near or far will rustle them from me, unbranded (though recognizably unique) as all cows here are, and eat them quickly to hide the evidence. So, while we don’t wish the long snowy season to descend upon us any earlier than necessary, something must be done!
Tony Hanmer runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with over 1250 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
UNDP Cele br ates Inter na tional Da y of R ur al Women Celebr bra Interna national Day Rur ural
Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of the UNDP in Georgia visiting Kachreti on the International Day of Rural Women.
By Meri Taliashvili The United Nations Development Program in Georgia celebrated the International Day of Rural Women in Kachreti on October 15th. The event was carried out within the framework of a joint program of the United Nations and Swedish Government “Gender Equality in Georgia”. The aim is to promote women farmers, and to increase their knowledge and education, self-reliance and self-awareness. More than 100 women from different parts of Georgia took part in the event. Additionally, the UNDP presented its new ambitious strategy and said it would go beyond the borders of the region and will continue to work as the Georgian Association of Women Farmers. Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia: “Women in Georgian villages often carry the greatest share of responsibility for the well-being of their
families, while at the same time playing a key role in agricultural production. Yet women still face unnecessary barriers to taking equal part in economic and political decision-making, depriving communities and the country as a whole of an enormous amount of human potential, skill and knowledge to develop. Our partner, the Association of Women Farmers, is busy showing how these barriers can be broken down to the benefit of all, women and men alike.” The Association was established by the Swedish Government and UNDP and has supported its development for two years. Women farmers are convinced that a strong agriculture will contribute to the advancement of Georgia. They also believe that the country will not be successful without the equal participation of women. And of course, here, the UNDP stand for them.
TSU Students Demand R esigna tion of R ector Resigna esignation Rector Students of the Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University (TSU) are demanding the resignation of Rector Vladimer Papava and have given him until 10pm tonight before they launch a hunger strike. The students claim that there are many problems, including infrastructure disorders, which the Rector is failing to resolve. They allege there is a bureaucratic machine that hampers the rapid development of the university. Georgia Today spoke to Nikoloz Metreveli, the Head of the Free Students Union, about the situation. Q: Do the students in the group demanding the resignation of Rector Academician Lado Papava, represent the majority of TSU students? A: I can say that the group protesting the rector does not represent the interests of all TSU students. Otherwise, why would they need to invite supporters from Ilia University’s self-governing department? As the Head of the Free Students Union, it is one of my main responsibilities to establish systematic relations with different faculty students within our university. It is unacceptable to most students the form and motivation of the current protest being driven by the present self-governing group. However, there are many problems inside the university which we continue to observe. Also, I would like to mention that in this regard the rector of the University has never had any communication problems with his students.
Vladimer Papava, Rector of the Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University (TSU).
Q: The rector states that he to some extent shares the students’ demands. A: Naturally, part of the request is legitimate, and finding a solution to these problems is the primary goal of the rector from the first day of his work as rector. Yet the allegations of a deliberate action to prevent progress are either absurd or serve the personal interests of the students in the protest group. Q: It was suggested that the protest could be supported by other parties and some politicians. A: This group of students under the previous government represented the “United National Movement” stronghold. Other youth organizations, together with the “Union of Free Students” systematically protested their demands. One thing I can say clearly, the politicization of the university must not be allowed. Our country has firmly taken a path towards the European Union, from which a large contribution comes to the Tbilisi State University.
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CSR: Grant Thor nton Helps Tbilisi Zoo Grant Thornton helped Tbilisi Zoo on Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Day, 17 September, as part of a global Grant Thornton initiative to unlock potential for growth in local communities. Grant Thornton spent the day helping the Tbilisi Zoo on 17 Septembermarked as Global CSR Day which Grant Thornton recognizes as a chance to help local communities unlock their potential for growth. “Growing together in the community,” is part of a global initiative to help communities unlock their potential for growth in the 130 countries in which Grant Thornton operates.
Members of the Grant Thornton team helping to clean up Tbilisi Zoo on CSR Day, September 17th.
“On 17 September our people helped our community by supporting Tbilisi Zoo,” said Nelson Petrosyan, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton. “We helped it to recover from damage caused by the heavy flooding.” Founded in 1927, Tbilisi Zoo is the oldest and largest in Georgia, located along the Vere River valley in the center of Tbilisi with area of 120 ha. The Zoo is home to around 300 species native to Caucasus and other regions of the world. Tbilisi Zoo was heavily affected by flood on 13 June, killing or letting loose many of its inhabitants, and damaging the park’s infrastructure and eco system.
Meet L yn Cof aptur ed in Transla tion Lyn Cofffin - Enr Enra ptured anslation By Meri Taliashvili Georgia Today interviews Lyn Coffin, the latest translator of Shota Rustaveli’s The Knight in the Panther’s Skin. Shota Rustaveli’s immortal poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin has recently been republished in English by famous American poet Lyn Coffin. The new translation is distinguished from the previous translations from its poetic form; Coffin used 16 syllable shires that added richness to the poem and it took almost three years for the translator to finish the work. As Coffin said in the following EXCLUSIVE interview with Georgia Today, while she expected the job to be tiresome, she soon became enraptured with the wisdom, music, characters and flow of the poem. Coffin spent time teaching at the Ilia University as an assistant professor and holds a BA, MA and MSW from the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards for both short and long fiction. She also holds an MA in teaching from Columbia University and has taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin. Coffin collaborated with Czes³aw Mi³osz, Milan Kundera and Joseph Brodsky. Georgia Today met Lyn Coffin to discuss her latest translation. Q: Ms Coffin, when did you get your first taste of Georgia? A: I came to Georgia at the invitation
of Gia Japaridze, a Brodsky scholar. He invited me to come and teach and to translate with him the anthology of Georgian poetry from Rustaveli to Galaktion. He told me we were to start with Rustaveli and I thought it would be very dull and boring. The twelfth century is not going to be interesting, I thought! Then he read it aloud to me and we began translating word by word. That was my first experience of Georgian poetry aside from the few small poems I’d previously translated by Ilia Chavchavazde that Gia sent me and I translated it through email. I’ve translated a lot of Georgian poets- Dato Barbakadze, wonderful, fabulous poems by Nato Alkhazishvili, also Zaza Abzianidze, and Giorgi Kekelidze for Siesta Publication. I‘ve translated all the poems in the Anthology: Galaktioni, Vazha-Pshavela, and Rustaveli. Rustaveli’s translation in shire is a 16 syllables rhythm line. It was difficult at first but I got used to it. Q: Which part did you like most? A: I think the only part that is a little bit less interesting for me is the prologue as it’s somewhat static and in general I don’t like much talk about what I’m going to do. But there are parts in the Rustaveli prologue that are quite fascinating- literary criticism regarding what makes a good poet and also discussing Rustaveli’s love of Queen (King) Tamar and how difficult the situation would have been. But in general I enjoyed it from
Lyn Coffin, the latest translator of Shota Rustaveli’s The Knight in the Panther’s Skin.
chapter one through to the end. I found the story of two strong women and two strong men extremely entertaining. Less interesting were the letters and testimonies of people like Avtandil and Nestan. Q: You compare Rustaveli to Shakespeare, why? A: Everything is in their writing! Whatever you want you can find: a good story, excellent metaphors, wisdoms expressed in proverbs, poetry, and the music itself expresses amazing psychological complexity. All this is in Shakespeare and Rustaveli both. The main thing was their ability to set the scene. Take the example of Macbeth. Shakespeare sets the scene, describes the castle, the flags flying, the wind, the birds in the sky, so you can see this castle; you feel you are there. In Rustaveli it’s the same thing when he describes King Rostevan’s
court and Tinatin comes in. He describes what you are seeing and then he dives into the story. Q: What are your plans regarding Georgia? A: I’d like to be an ambassador to Georgia. Georgians are the most generous people on the planet, most sensitive to poetry, music and the arts. They’re fabulous people to get to know. I’d also like to make a movie or may be do a stage play. Georgia has wonderful films. I just came from the London Georgian Film Festival and I was very impressed by the level of films here. I love Tangerines, and In Blooms and Invisible Spaces; I saw all of them films in London. Georgia Today asked famous Georgian writer Zurab Karumidze to comment on Lyn’s translation. “Lyn Coffin comes from the famous
Coffins of Nantucket (featured in Moby Dick), the famous whalers. Last year Lyn harpooned a poetic whale: translating Shota Rustaveli’s Knight in the Panther’s Skin, the Georgian national epic. Lyn Coffin is a very subtle person – she can receive an invitation from a butterfly landing on her palm, or transform an artichoke on her plate in a tiny restaurant in France into a flower and contemplate it. Like Yeats’s Crazy Jane she knows that Love is like the Lion’s tooth: ‘I dully thudded Out my life against your bones and body strand-was Cut, slit open by a most incisive blade.’ She can wear masks – Personae – and stay both blatant and frank at the same time. She’s good at keeping the balance between abstract and human. She’s a poet, and remains so in her prose: laconic, concise, impressionist.”
GIFT F esti val Pr esenting Pr emier es and Priz es Festi estiv Presenting Premier emieres Prizes By Eka Karsaulidze The 18th Georgian International Festival of Art (GIFT) in honor of Michail Tumanishvili opened with Natalia Kldiashvili’s exhibition and showed ‘Song of Songs’ by the Bolshoi Puppet Theatre of Saint Petersburg. In addition, this year the festival is going to present many premiers and conduct a
Opening of GIFT.
number of interesting events. Keti Dolidze, the festival founder and Artistic Director of the Mikhail Tumanishvili Film Actors’ Theatre, recalled that for the first time the GIFT was conceived as a part of Tbilisoba (Tbilisi City Day) and mentioned that she was happy to match the beginning of GIFT with Tbilisoba on October 17. It was a great honor for director
Ruslan Kudashov and the Bolshoi Puppet Theatre of Saint Petersburg to open GIFT Festival who said they faced many challenges in coming to Georgia. “We made ‘Song of Songs’ not as a typical puppet theatre, in fact we somehow created a whole new language, one which I thought would never be understandable outside Saint Petersburg. For that reason, it was very important for
me to present it to a completely new audience,” said the director. “Moreover, we wanted to present our performance in framework of GIFT festival, but we had some financial problems. Therefore, our team created video clip and asked people to donate money so we were able to attend the festival. It is a merit of all the people that today we are here,” Kudashov explained. GIFT has not just continued its tradition of brining new theaters from around the world, but for 18 years has acquired many loyal friends. Famous Russian director Dmitry Krimov is to return with another premiere performance- this time ‘Russian Blues. In Search of Mushrooms’ – a completely new type of theatre with modern technologies. Dolidze explained that for this performance they will provide 600 earphones for the audience. Lithuanian director Rimas Tuminas also returned to Georgia, this time with a performance of ‘Eugene Onegin’. In addition, representatives of the festival announced that the director wants to to conduct several meetings and workshops for Georgian people. This year the festival is going to be more interactive as, besides Tuminas’ workshop, German director Sasha Waltz with her company will also communicate with Georgian citizens. In
addition there will be several talks about modern Italian Theatre presented by the Embassy of Italy in Tbilisi. According to the festival affiche, throughout one month, theatres from Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and South Africa will be hosted at the Georgian International Festival of Art. Along with foreign guests, the Miñhail Tumanishvili Film Actors’ Theatre, in the framework of GIFT, will offer the premier of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams. Last year, GIFT established the Mikhail Tumanishvili prize ‘For Excellence in Arts’. All great artists who contribute to the development of the contemporary arts in Georgia and elsewhere were also awarded this year. Among the winners were famous Georgian theatric director Davit Doiashvili, Georgian composer Gia Kancheli, and German choreographer and dancer Sasha Waltz. The Georgian International Festival of Art will last from October 17 to November 17. The festival’s representatives claim that despite all economic problems, the ticket prices have not changed and remain affordable for everyone. More information about GIFT’s affiche, ticket prices and so on can be found on the festival’s new official website: giftfestival.ge
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