Issue no: 796/3
• NOVEMBER NOV OVEM EMBER 24 - 26, 2015
• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY
Georgia Healthcare Group Joins Premium Listing of London Stock Exchange
PRICE: GEL 2.50
In this week’s issue... IFC Funds ‘m² Residential’ with USD 23 Million PAGE 2
Georgia’s Ravaging Nepotism ISET PAGE 4
Geocell: “We Dare You to Innovate!”
First Regional Tier-1 PoP to Be Launched in Tbilisi
Nikoloz Gamkrelidze, General Director of Georgia Healthcare Group discusses how they made it to the list PAGE 3
Business Ratings Award Ceremony to be Held in Tbilisi BY ANA AKHALAIA
he 16th edition of the Business Ratings Award Ceremony for winning companies and business persons will take place at the Funicular Complex Ballroom on November 26th. The Ceremony is being held by media holding Georgian Times and public opinion and marketing research company GORBI (Georgian Opinion Research Business International). The project aims to define the most successful business sectors, to establish a new image for Georgian businesses, to promote new promising companies, to bring Georgian businessmen together and to attract the attention of the international business community to
Georgian business. The contribution of Business Ratings in promoting Georgian business is recognized not only by the business sector but also in the political world. The first Business Ratings was held in 1995 and since then it has named many of Georgia’s leading businesses as winners. The Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance provided Georgian Times and GORBI with a list of companies which bring more than 1 million GEL into the Georgian budget. Experts, economic journalists, non-governmental organizations, foundations, representatives of industrialist and taxpayer unions, and pollsters then chose the top 60 of the best and most successful companies which was then narrowed down again to just 30 best companies. These 30 companies will choose the leader and the winner company amongst themselves.
Sharing Experience of Visegrad Countries PAGE 8
The winner will be awarded a Grand Prix- the national business award, a handmade and exclusive composition Bolnian Cross. The remaining companies will be awarded in different categories and certifying diplomas of the top best 30 will be given. A professional jury has already evaluated the companies on the following criteria: protecting the interests of entrepreneurs; public image; effective management; charity / philanthropy; the effectiveness of advertising campaigns; new technologies; new jobs; stability of activities; company growth and success; recognition abroad; public relations (PR); effective marketing; financial transparency; level of professionalism; and potential investment attractiveness. The sponsors of the event are: Black Sea Group, Socar Energy Georgia, Wissol Petroleum Georgia and supermarket chain Smart.
Bernard Kouchner: Communication with Society Key to Reforms PAGE 10
Enterprise Georgia Striving for Excellence SUPPLEMENT TO GT
NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
IFC Funds ‘m² Residential’ with USD 23 Million E
Euro Climate to Represent Wolf Technologies in Georgia BY ANA AKHALAIA
uro Climate has been named the officially representative of German company Wolf in Georgia and aims to sell modern solar panels approved in the world’s leading countries, high production heat pumps, central-heating condensing boilers, fan coil units, ventilation installations and various types and models of devices. Euro Climate Ltd. was founded in July, 2015 by Vladimer Nartkoshvili, Giorgi Tsagareli and Giorgi Chargeishvili. The company provides retail sales and wholesale, and installation services on heating, cooling, ventilation, heat pumps and solar panel devices. Wolf GmbH is a leading supplier of air-conditioning and heating technology. The company’s rapid progress to the forefront of Europe’s building services
BY ANA AKHALAIA
nternational Finance Corporation (IFC) has funded m² subsidiary m² Residential with USD 23 million. The goal of the loan is to increase access of people with average incomes to energy efficient, ‘green’ constructions. According to the company, the growing demand on high-quality, affordable housing is still not fully satisfied. With IFC’s financing, m² Residential will build 1800 energy efficient apartments, saving energy, water and construction materials in the process, thus decreasing harmful effects on health and environment. IFC’s funding includes USD 11.5 million from the European Green for Growth Fund (GGF). “Partnership with IFC helped us to carry out the first stage of our strategy, to build high quality residential projects in Tbilisi. We, as one of the leading development companies in Georgia, continue to improve living conditions
for the families in Georgia. The goal of m² Real Estate is to build 2000 new apartments by the end of 2018,” said Irakli Burdiladze, m² Real Estate Director. IFC’s Regional Manager in the South Caucasus, Jan Van Bilsen, stated that IFC promotes competition in the construction sector and this project will not only improve people’s living standards, but also create jobs in the process of the construction and beyond, thus contributing to economic development. According to Green for Growth Fund Board Chairman Christopher Knowles, the goal of the Fund is to support energy saving and CO2 reduction in Georgia. “Compared to similar sized new buildings in Georgia, the residential projects of m² Residential will be 40% more energy efficient and the demand on such high quality buildings is high,” Knowles stated. Georgia became an IFC member is 1995. Since then IFC’s long term investments in Georgia amounted to more than USD 1 billion in 52 projects of different sectors. IFC also conducts consulting projects in Georgia which are aimed at developing the private sector.
industry started in the air-conditioning and air-handling sectors. Wolf products are installed in opera houses, airports and office complexes. Environmentally friendly and efficient heating units from Wolf quickly established themselves as quality brand products. As a systems supplier Wolf combines the five sectors of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, solar and combined heat and power plants, establishing itself firmly as the competence brand for energy saving systems. Entry into the heating-technology sector in the early 1980s was a milestone in the company’s success story. Wolf was also the leader in the introduction of boiler guarantees extended to six years. Wolf products have thus also been awarded design prizes. Wolf concentrates all its capabilities at its single production facility, which is sited in Mainburg, Bavaria. “We believe that the combination of all these is a new step for the Georgian
market. It can be said that Wolf is a flagship company in this sector worldwide,” the company stated.
President of Mongolia and Director General of the OIE Join Forces to Protect Pastoralism
BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
ast week, the Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat, welcomed His Excellency Mr Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of the Republic of Mongolia,
during his official visit to France. The meeting tackled various issues relating to pastoralism and animal health in Mongolia, a country that is actively working to improve its animal health situation, with the aim of developing its rural economy and foreign trade. The OIE reiterated its commitment towards supporting sustainable improvement of the
activities of the Mongolian Veterinary Services. Protecting pastoralism in Mongolia and the world was a particular focus of discussion, leading to an agreement to organise a high-level Conference on this subject by the end of 2016, under the patronage of Mongolia and of the OIE, with the scientific support of the OIE.
Order Natural NFA-Certified Georgian Agro-Products Online BY TAMAR SVANIDZE
new entrepreneurship which aims to promote natural products from villages of Georgia has been launched on the Internet. The online portal, named “Soplidan. ge” (“from the village”), was established by two friends Natia Ninikelashvili and Nino Mgebrishvili and intends to offer natural products from villages to city residents. Anyone wishing to purchase healthy food for their family can order through the website and have natural products delivered to their homes. Ltd “Soplidan” is registered in the databases of the National Food Agency (NFA) as a business operator, which makes it obliged to follow the rules of product inspection, transportation and storage. Currently, through this website, consumers have the chance to buy around 40 varieties of natural products from Georgian regions,includingvegetables,dairyproduce, dried fruit, Churchkhela, and honey.
Consumers seeking natural certified products can now order from Georgian villages online
In an interview with Georgian online media outlet, founders of the website emphasized that the idea in creating the online service came from their own experience. “Both of us have children and buying natural products at the markets was a challenge. We were always questioning: were they natural, where did they come from and so on. We are from Kakheti, Georgia’s eastern region, and we can go and buy natural products there, but most of our neighboring city dwellers do not have this opportunity. So we decided to offer them an online
service. They will order whichever products they want and we will deliver them fresh from the villages,” Natia Ninikelashvili said. She added that Georgian consumers have already welcomed the initiative. The delivery of the products takes place three times a week: on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At this stage online purchase of natural products from the villages are available only to customers of the capital Tbilisi but the founders plan to broaden their geographic scope in the near future.
GEORGIA TODAY NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
GEORGIA HEALTHCARE GROUP JOINS PREMIUM LISTING OF LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE
The shares of Georgia Healthcare Group have been admitted to the premium listing of the London Stock Exchange and the first trade of the Georgia Healthcare Group shares have taken place. Georgia Healthcare Group manages medical corporation Evex and insurance company Imedi L, the largest provider of medical insurance and healthcare services in the country. By placing its shares on the London Stock Exchange, the Georgia Healthcare Group has attracted new capital of USD 100 million. This investment will be used for the further development of the clinic network Medical Corporation Evex, creating a modern medical infrastructure, implementing innovational medical technologies and improving healthcare services. Georgia Healthcare Group is the first healthcare company in the region to be listed on the London Stock Exchange and its shares can be seen alongside world famous hospital brands: NMC Health, Al Noor Hospitals, and Spire Healthcare. This is another Georgian example of a successful, stable and future-oriented business, which creates a trust-worthy environment for the foreign investors and is a prerequisite for the long-term development of the Georgian economy. We spoke to the General Director of Georgia Healthcare Group â€“ Nikoloz Gamkrelidze. Mr. Gamkrelidze, Georgia Healthcare Group is the second company after the Bank of Georgia to be admitted to the premium listing of the London Stock Exchange. Will foreign investors now be more interested in investing in Georgian healthcare? Nikoloz Gamkrelidze: After making the first public offer we attracted USD 100 million and numerous big investors got interested in purchasing the shares of our group. We sell purely healthcare business, which around the globe is characterized with rather high levels of income and rarely reacts to macroeconomic fluctuations. According to recent studies, throughout the world, including in Georgia, life expectancy has increased, thus increasing the demand for healthcare services. New and innovational medical technologies are also being developed quickly, and, despite the overall living conditions, people still spend a lot of money on medical services. Investors know this and are therefore very interested in healthcare. As yet the healthcare expenses are quite low in our country, which, in absolute numbers, amounts to USD 200 per person. Although not much at the moment, analysis of life expectancy suggests that in 10 years our country can reach the level of Turkey, where the medical expenses per person amount to an average of USD 500-600. 10 years ago Turkey was where we are today. What will the attracted investment be spent on? Georgia Healthcare Group, which manages Medical Corporation Evex and insurance company Imedi L is one of the most dynamically growing businesses in Georgia. We are now entering the phase of an even bigger growth. New capital will be completely spent on developing the business. We will create an even more modern infrastructure, establish innovational medical technologies, strengthen the primary healthcare and increase the ambulatory network, which is a big challenge for the country. Additional capital will support the development of healthcare in Georgia, and access to medical services for the population will increase significantly. We expect to soon be able to strengthen the oncological, laboratory and pediatric services, thus considerably increasing customer satisfaction. By implementing new and innovational technologies, the population of our country will have the chance to undergo treatment in Georgia and this will result in there no longer being a necessity to leave the country for the treatment of specific illnesses. What did you have to do to get admitted to the London Stock Exchange? Our group has been admitted directly onto the premium listing, where the requirements and regulations are even stricter. In the first place, you need to show the strategy that you are working towards and what type of growth you plan. Your financial results must be public and transparent and the company audit carried out by the Big Four. Apart from financial results, the company is obliged to correctly evaluate those risks that can affect the development of the business. There is an organization named UK Listing Authority which grants permission to be admitted to the London Stock Exchange, and it was one of the regulators which examined the Georgia Healthcare Group practically from top to bottom. The conclusion of the UK Listing Authority signals to investors that it is worth putting their money into your company, that you are distinguished by a high level of transparency, a high quality of corporate management, and that you satisfy the demands of the international stock markets. Being an affiliated company of the public Bank of Georgia Group facilitated our admission to the London Stock Exchange because its shares have been listed on the same since 2006. Our Group satisfies all those standards that the UK Corporate Governance Code requires from companies. How will being admitted to the London Stock Exchange listing reflect on the employees of the company? Every employee will be proud to work in such an organization which is strong, transparent and, most importantly, stable. This will also reflect on the financial welfare of the employees. Apart from this, the attracted investments will enable us to implement large projects which will support the creation of new working places in the country. All of this together will result in the improvement of the macro-economic parameters of Georgia, thus developing the healthcare system of the country.
www.ghg.com.ge | www.evex.ge | www.imediL.ge
NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
THE ISET ECONOMIST A BLOG ABOUT ECONOMICS AND THE SOUTH CAUCAUS
The ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI, www.iset-pi.ge) is an independent think-tank associated with the International School of Economics at TSU (ISET). Our blog carries economic analysis of current events and policies in Georgia and the South Caucasus region ranging from agriculture, to economic growth, energy, labor markets and the nexus of economics, culture and religion. Thought-provoking and fun to read, our blog posts are written by international faculty teaching at ISET and recent graduates representing the new generation of Georgian, Azerbaijani and Armenian economists.
Georgia’s Ravaging Nepotism BY FLORIAN BIERMANN AND CHARLES JOHNSON
eorgian media is full of stories about nepotism and the funny justifications of those involved: When Irakli Garibashvili was still Minister of the Interior, he was confronted with nepotism allegations, and replied: “Don’t you know that a relative of your wife is not your relative?” (http://ick.ge/rubrics/politics/13851-i. html) When the 23-year-old brother of Vice Prime Minister Kakhi Kaladze’s wife was appointed head of the City Hall’s department for education, sports, and youth affairs, Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania stated that he had “known him for a long time and did not consider any other alternative” as he knew “his active drive and attitudes towards youth politics and sports.” (http://www.tabula.ge/ge/ verbatim/95545-narmania-natesavebitsinasaarchevno-kampaniashi-damsaxurebistvis-dainishnen) In the Khulo municipality in Samegrelo, an official who had provided her daughter with a job clarified: “Yes, she is my daughter but not a member of my family, because she is married […] and she is now a member of another family.” (http:// newposts.ge/?l=G&id=67443) To counter the suspicion that nepotism might be going on, recently Georgian Dream Member of Parliament (MP) Gogi Topadze set the record straight: “Georgia is a small country, and making a big
fuss that somebody appointed a cousin or relative does not mean that it is nepotism. […] Georgia is a small country, there is always a relative, a neighbor, or somebody, and this topic does not need to be sensationalized.” (http://www. tabula.ge/ge/verbatim/95350-tofadzekvelas-hkavs-vighac-nacnobi-da-arnishnavs-rom-es-nepotizmia) Gogi Topadze certainly has a point. Georgia is a small country and seemingly nepotistic appointments may be the result of a rigorous and meritocratic selection process. Yet, this is not reason enough to completely dismiss nepotism in the public sector as “help among friends”, since it is extremely detrimental to a country’s development: Firstly, if hiring decisions are nepotistic, people who lack competence will be assigned offices, reducing the government’s efficiency and effectiveness. In Georgia, there is evidence of unqualified government employees at all hierarchy levels, and a good deal of this may be explained by nepotism. Secondly, and related to the first point, young Georgians will get the impression that qualification and hard work do not really matter in their careers. If success is primarily determined through networking, incentives to invest in human capital are diminished. All the efforts to improve the educational sector will be futile if, in the end, the most qualified people do not get the jobs. Thirdly, nepotism leads to dependencies and power structures within organizations that should not be there. The willingness to report misconduct by a colleague is reduced if one is personally
indebted to that colleague. Even worse, if a citizen has a dispute with a government official, such dependencies may make a fair and impartial review by other officials impossible. It is also difficult to reject questionable wishes from colleagues with whom one has personal alliances, e.g. reject requests to make exceptions of rules.
FIGHTING CORRUPTION WITH NEPOTISM As the above examples show, there is a lack of awareness for the problem of nepotism in Georgia. This is in stark contrast to “standard” corruption, which, in our experience, most Georgians strongly despise. Interestingly, this peculiar combination of aversion against standard corruption and tolerance for nepotism may be embedded in Georgia’s recent reform history. In 2003, Georgia ranked 124th in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) whereas in 2014 it ranked 50th. Most observers attribute this improvement in the CPI exclusively to an eradication of so-called “petty corruption”, i.e. nuisances like bribing policemen and minor government officials, while political or “grand” corruption was not eliminated. In the wake of the Rose Revolution, a large portion of state officials were fired, thereby destroying their patrimonial structures of bribe collection and influence buying. However, this transition could not have been done without its own corrupt practices: new high-ranking officials were selected based on personal loyalty considerations so as to ensure United National Movement’s (UNM) political survival and achievement of its goals. And since personal friends and relatives were considered loyal, what followed was a wave of nepotistic appointments.
10 Galaktion Street
Putting it simple, UNM fought corruption with nepotism, but was it such a smart strategy in the long run? It seems that the decision to rely on nepotistic networks contained the seeds of UNM’s fall from grace and political defeat. By 2007, those people affiliated with the ruling party formed closed power circles, in which they distributed a considerable share of Georgia’s economic resources (a form of “grand corruption”). Largely out of touch with people who were not part of their networks, the ruling group became more and more encapsulated, not recognizing that public support for their government was crumbling, and finally they were replaced by the Georgian Dream. For the progress of Georgia, it is crucial that the plight of nepotism will be addressed. But how?
SYSTEMIC INTEGRITY Nepotism in hiring, like other forms of corruption, is a systemic problem and does not result from a deficit in individual moral standards. It is not the case that in countries which are heavily infected by corruption, like Greece, people have “fraudulent” or “rotten” attitudes. Once corruptive practices have become the norm, no individual can retain their integrity without incurring excessive cost. To move out of such an unfavorable equilibrium, the government has to set incentives which override the natural selfish behavior. With regard to ordinary corruption, this was done by UNM very effectively through various measures that made it risky and dangerous to accept or pay bribes. Similar measures are available in the fight against nepotism. First of all, the Georgian government and public companies should take greater steps to formalize their hiring process and make use of “blind” technological
procedures. The United States’ government maintains a large jobs website USAjobs.gov where any citizen can make a profile and enter their skills in a database. Candidates that meet the technical requirements have their CVs automatically forwarded to hiring managers. This website was how our American author, Charles, was hired as an analyst at the Department of Defense without knowing anyone in the Pentagon beforehand. Such a system could even be designed in a way such that the name of the applicant is not revealed to the reviewer. Secondly, it should be impossible for anyone to get a job by simple appointment of a politician or senior official. Thirdly, as part of the application process candidates should be required to disclose information about relatives and personal acquaintances who are already working for the government. With some international employers, such as the International Monetary Fund, the existence of such connections would be an obstacle for employment, but this might an excessive requirement for Georgia. As Gogi Topadze said, Georgia is a small country, and the government may be too important an employer to apply such strict rules. Still, Georgia could at least set up an independent committee to review these connections once somebody is selected for hiring. Based on objective (meritocratic) criteria, such a committee could decide whether there is reason to believe that personal acquaintances played a role in the hiring decision. The US government, the UN, and the World Bank all have laudable hiring models to be consulted in the process of redesigning Georgia’s hiring processes. Finally, to avoid other forms of nepotism which are not related to hiring, the Georgia’s civil society and general public should play a larger role in the fight against nepotism, organizing transparency campaigns, properly reporting information on nepotistic practices, and making sure that the individuals responsible are voted out of office. Widespread nepotism is arguably one of the major obstacles for Georgia’s economic progress and its continued EuroAtlantic integration. Indeed, for Georgia to unlock the potential embedded in the recently signed Association Agreement with the EU, the problem of nepotism has to be addressed at all levels of the Georgian society. A good first step might be to recognize the nepotism is, indeed, a problem.
Tel: (995 32) 2 45 08 08 E-mail: email@example.com
GEORGIA TODAY NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
Geocell: “We Dare You to Innovate!” BY EKA KIPIANI
lmost all future trends of consumerism, predicted by numerous institutions, come from innovative thinking. Advanced products, services, and platforms are more and more in
demand. Innovation seamlessly covers all areas of human activity, but technology innovation comes first to our minds as a definition. Today, customers, as the end users, are more involved in developing new solutions. They bring new ideas and contribute to future technology progress, and so, correspondingly, user experience (UX) has been given priority by many leading companies worldwide. Geocell, as a leader of technological innovations on the Georgian market, has its alternative solutions to supporting innovative thinking. Geo LAB and Geocell HUB are already well placed among young smart minds. According to the 2014 Brand Tracker results con-
ducted by International research Agencies, Geocell has an established image as the most innovative brand among Georgian customers. The same trends are seen in the results of Net Promoter Score (NPS) Tracker for 2014-2015. Customer perception has a solid background, starting from 2012 when Geocell chose a clear role as Technology and Innovation Educator in various directions.
INNOVATION LABORATORY GEO LAB One slow rainy morning, while brewing your coffee and surfing the Net to check the latest FB or LinkedIn posts, a big idea zaps your brain! You could create a new mobile application. “Oh come on, get real, Steve Jobs!” – says your inner you, chuckling with its usual irony. Do not give up! Your idea is too cool! Head along to Geo LAB and make your idea a reality. We dare you to innovate! Geo LAB is an innovation Laboratory for smart minds. It is open 24/7 to the development of different, interesting, useful and at the same time innovative ideas. Geo LAB is equipped with the latest technology and boasts the qualified help of Geo LAB team.
Geocell’s Geo LAB is an innovation Laboratory for smart minds. It is open 24/7 to the development of different, interesting, useful and at the same time innovative ideas
Information Technology Institute (an educational center) is a part of Geo LAB. Anyone who is interested to get knowledge in programing a new product, creating a web or mobile application design can apply for three-month program at ITI. Geo LAB has been functioning since May 6, 2015. The Laboratory has already hosted 23 events and presentations. Geo Lab recently hosted Devfest Tbilisi 2015, sponsored by Geocell. Devfest is one of the biggest events of Google, supporting the development of new Technologies and Innovative Solutions in Georgia. For more inspiration, here is a short list of the projects developed by students: • Tbilisi Street Art map • Mobile App Auto stop • Virtual Classroom • Education portal for Programing • Mobile game SpaceX • Shopping list application; and many more Follow this link http://geolab.edu.ge to register.
GEOCELL HUB Another smart project that actively supports audi-
ence engagement in Technology Advanced Innovations is a Geocell HUB. Geocell HUB is a dedicated multi-purpose space in Geocell flagships. The idea of Geocell HUB originates from the Geocell Retail Concept, where the BOX is a part of the retail space in our larger shops. Geocell HUB is always busy; it already hosted numerous guest speakers and innovative product presentations and masterclasses like Google Glass presentation, Oculus Rift presentation, 3D mapping, internet safety, Digital Marketing, and more. There is a lot of participant feedback that stimulates HUB managers to take initiative in HUB talks in future. Geocell HUB activities do not limit participants according to age or professional groups or operator subscription. All upcoming HUB events are preliminary announced on Facebook, where the interested audience can easily register and get a ticket. There are events especially organized for schoolchildren, university students and other specific groups. The future for Geocell HUB is promising; it may just take advanced responsibilities to establishing Digital Discipline and other modern global trends coming soon!
Rumor Has It New Flagships Are Coming BY BEQA KIRTAVA
hile the 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC) (where companies often debut new high-end gadgets) is still quite far away, rumors have already started circulating about the upcoming releases of nearly all the major companies. We decided to take a peek at what’s to come. Why don’t we start with Samsung? There seems to be plenty of (not quite reliable) information about the Galaxy S7. According to reports, the phone will be powered by the new Exynos 8890, a brand new 64-bit, octa-core chipset, however, an alternative model of the smartphone could have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Moreover, some sources on Weibo claim that the Galaxy S7 will have a premium version, bragging a 14-core GPU and 4K screen. Let’s continue with Apple, the CEO of which recently blasted Microsoft, calling its Surface Book ‘deluded’. There is not much known about the iPhone 7 yet, as it is expected to be released in the third quarter of next year. However, rumor has it that Apple’s upcoming release will have a mini
HTC’s current flagship, the One M9
version which will go on sale sometime in the first six months of 2016. Despite reporting a net loss of USD139 million and stating it will no longer provide earnings guidance from Q4, HTC is expected to debut the One M10 at MWC 2016. Reports say that the company’s upcoming high-end smartphone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, have 4GB RAM, a staggering 27 MP camera and a QHD display. However, the reliability of all these reports are highly questionable. Moving on to LG, if rumors are to be believed, the company is planning quite a release. The LG G5 is expected to have a 4K screen, run Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and have a high-tech iris scanner, which is said to be able to identify a user’s eyes up to a distance of 50 centimeters. So, which high-end smartphone are you planning to buy? Or do you prefer not to spend money on super-expensive gadgets? Don’t forget to send us your comments, experiences and ideas on our Facebook page. www.fb.com/georgiatoday
Georgian Government to Launch Tea Plantation Rehabilitation Program BY ANA AKHALAIA
FOR RENT Apartment in Vake (behind the Vake Swimming Pool) in an ecologically clean environment with beautiful views. The 120 sq. m. duplex apartment on the 10th floor, newly renovated, with a new kitchen, fireplace, balconies.
Price: 900 USD
Tel: 577521020 Tekla (English); 597000109 Dato (Georgian)
ore than 7 thousand hectares of state-owned tea plantations are scheduled to be rehabilitated, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development has announced. The government will support small tea processing enterprises through donor organizations by setting up certification programs which are required to export goods to the EU. In addition, the government will work to promote storage facilities in order to prolong the production season. According to the Minister of Agriculture, 15-20% of the fruit and vegetable production is lost each year due to improper storage. The program will focus on the mountainous regions and 12 municipalities with the nationwide
lowest economic activity. The program is expected to start next year.
GEORGIA TODAY NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
The signing ceremony of the memorandum of cooperation between TI Sparkle, ISP Silknet and Turkcell Superonline
First Regional Tier-1 PoP to Be Launched in Tbilisi BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
I Sparkle, the International Services arm of Telecom Italia Group, announced the expansion of its Global IP Backbone with a new IP Point of Presence (PoP) in Tbilisi, Georgia. This strategic development is also in accordance with Georgia’s main ISP Silknet’s vision of improving broadband internet access in the region. The memorandum of cooperation between TI Sparkle, ISP Silknet and Turkcell Superonline was signed on November 17. Located in a carrier neutral Data Center, this new point of presence will
represent the first Tier-1 PoP in the Caucasus Region and will address the increasing demand for a Tier-1 IP Transit service not only from under-served Caucasus and Caspian Regions but also from Middle East and Central Asia through Silknet’s and Turkcell Superonline’s fiber networks connecting the Tbilisi PoP to TI Sparkle’s IP Global backbone ‘Seabone.’ “I would like to note that this project is important not only for Tbilisi but also the regions as it means the provision of high quality services from TI Sparkle and parterres,” said Paolo Ficini, representative of Telecom IT Sparkle. “Our company is focused on the East. We already have a large and reliable partner in Turkey and we are pleased that on the other side of the border we
Silknet is one of the leaders on the Georgian market, and we believe that it has all the potential to give the project a regional scale
have met another reliable partner. Silknet is one of the leaders on the Georgian market, and we believe that it has all the potential to give the project a regional scale,” he added. The Tbilisi PoP is the result of a trilateral partnership between Global Service Provider TI Sparkle, Georgia’s main ISP Silknet and Turkey’s leading Network Provider Turkcell Superonline. Once launched, the new PoP will be interconnected to TI Sparkle’s Seabone Global IP backbone through Istanbul and Frankfurt via diversified terrestrial routes and will transform Tbilisi into a regional telecommunications hub by ensuring full redundancy. “It is important to choose the right partners in our project. The status and
power of our partners gives us the confidence to talk about its success. We chose Silknet because it has a very open policy. In this case, our project has a regional character, which indicates the openness to other countries as well,” said Emre Erdern, representative of Turkcell Superonline. The new Tbilisi PoP will meet the demand of major ISPs, fixed and mobile operators, content and CDN players, increasing TI Sparkle’s Global IP Backbone capillarity in Eastern Europe. The Tbilisi PoP will further improve the performance of TI Sparkle’s Global IP Transit Service Seabone offered to ISPs, OTTs, Content and Service providers in the region, and at the same time will offer an overall better Internet experience.
NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
Anti-Dumping Policy Abbasov: Azerbaijan to be Adopted Fully Meets Gas Commitments to Turkey BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
zeri Deputy Energy Minister Natig Abbasov has announced that Azerbaijan fully meets its commitments on gas supply to Turkey. He released a statement hitting out at recent rumors spread by Russian media sources that Azerbaijan allegedly supplies less gas to Turkey. “We have no disagreement with the importers. No-one has appealed regarding the changes in the supply conditions. Moreover, Azerbaijan signed contracts
Temur Maisuradze, Deputy Chairman of the Economy and Economic Policy Committee discussed the Anti-Dumping Bill
BY ANA AKHALAIA
he work on an Anti-Dumping Policy Bill is now complete. The Bill has been agreed on with the government as well as in Parliament. At this stage the Ministry of Economy is calculating the risks of the new law. The Bill is expected to be adopted fully by Parliament by the end of 2015. Anti-dumping laws prohibit importers from imposing sharply lower prices on products compared to the domestic market prices, since the purpose of such action is often to sink local companies. The purpose of the law is to protect the local industry from unfair competition. Temur Maisuradze, Deputy Chairman of the Economy and Economic Policy Committee, stated that some businessmen are against the anti-dumping policy. And while a number of small and medium businesses accept the adoption of the law quickly, the same cannot be said of large businesses, many of whom claim that adopting the law this year will hurt their businesses. Importing company GD Holding board
member Uta Maziashvili told business publication Commersant that if the Government adopts the anti-dumping law it will be a very bad precedent for the free market and will result in an increase of prices on imported as well as local products, leaving the country ‘doomed to have a permanent place on the list of poor countries.’ “This will have negative effects in every respect,” said Maziashvili. “Prices on imported products which are of good quality and are available for consumers, will rise. Respectively, if there is a local product, it will also become more expensive. When competition is limited, it always leads to a price increase.” Temur Maisuradze stated that it is possible that importers are against the antidumping law, however, exporting Georgian businesses can’t be against it because the law protects them. “If foreigners come with dumping prices, it doesn’t mean they always work with dumping prices. They just enter with lowered prices, destroy competitors and then they sell their products at higher prices again. Therefore, we shouldn’t give them the opportunity to sink our companies with artificial prices. In this regard, there should be a regulatory law in our country,” Maisuradze stated.
for 25 years with nine firms from eight countries to supply natural gas from the Shah Deniz-2 field. But this does not mean that the country does not have enough resources to fulfill its obligations under other contracts,” he told Trend. Azerbaijan supplies gas to Turkey via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) pipeline. From Baku to the Georgian border with Turkey the BTE’s technical operator is BP, while Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is its commercial operator. The BTE gas pipeline, also known as the South Caucasus Pipeline, exports Azerbaijan’s gas from the Shah Deniz field. The pipeline starts at a terminal
near Baku and runs through Georgia, ending at a gas distribution hub in the Turkish city of Erzurum. From June 2018, Turkey will also receive Azerbaijani gas via the giant Southern Gas Corridor. The Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP), which is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, envisages the transportation of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field gas from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. TANAP’s initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Around six billion cubic meters of this gas will be delivered to Turkey while the remainder will be sent to Europe.
Ten Million USD to be Invested in Western Georgia Power Plant BY ANA AKHALAIA
he Khani Hydropower Plant 7 will be built in Imereti, a western region of Georgia, funded by a $10.56 million investment. The hydropower plant will be built by SanaLia Ltd., which gained the rights following a study of the technical and economic sides of construction. Based on the application issued by SVS-Georgia Ltd., the Ministry of Energy declared their interest regarding the research, construction, and ownership of the hydropower plant, which will be built on the Khanistskali River in Imereti. Khani HPP 7 will be capable of producing 6.4 MW and the annual output is expected to be 48.1 mln KWh meters.
Qedeli Handmade Cup Accessories Help Launch McDonald’s Social Fundraiser BY ANA AKHALAIA
place, McDonald’s customers will be met by managers who underwent training in sign language. There will be an adapted environment, ramps and a menu in Braille. I hope our loyal customers will be actively involved in this initiative and contribute to the charity,” Tengiz Kapanadze, General Director of McDonald’s, stated.
abor-theraputic studio Qedeli is making handmade cup accessories for McDonalds’ social campaign ‘Closer, Easier’ which aims to raise money for disabled orphans. The campaign, which began on November 23rd, sees a special menu being launched- and if you buy from this menu, you will receive a special gift of a handmade cup holder. Traditionally, McDonald’s has had a lot of involvement with charity. All donations will be given to the orphanage for children with disabilities in Kojori, a small town near the capital of Georgia, and will be used to improve living conditions and allow more social integration for the beneficiaries. “We are pleased that McDonald’s has launched such a large scale cooperation with the social enterprise. We have a new campaign slogan ‘Closer, Easier’ which is particularly applicable to this partnership. In the restaurant, Labor-theraputic studio Qedeli is making handmade cup where the cam- accessories for McDonalds’ social campaign ‘Closer, Easier.’ paign is taking Source: bpi.ge
There will be an adapted environment, ramps and a menu in Braille
GEORGIA TODAY NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
Sharing Experience of Visegrad Countries at the Forefront of EU Georgia Association Agreement
ince January 2015, the Association of Young Economists of Georgia has been running the project ‘V4 Countries Reforming Experience for Georgia and Ukraine.’ Georgia and Ukraine, as countries aspiring to membership of the European Union (EU), have a lot to learn from the Visegrad (V4) experience. By experience we mean those reforms in social and economic affairs that have been undertaken in the group of four countries: Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. Trade Remedies, Public Procurement, Competition and Transparency are just the first on the list of policy issues that the experts from V4 will share their insights on with their Georgian colleagues. This experience-sharing will be documented through the publishing of a collection of analytical articles involving international and national experts. Publication in Georgian and English languages will make it usable in Georgia as well as abroad, with special value in particular to Ukraine and other EaP countries. The Visegrad Group - A Central European Constellation is a vivid example of regional cooperation for the rest of the world. In the words of Czech writer and politician, Havel, Václav, former President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and the first President of the Czech Repub-
lic (1993-2003) addressing the Polish Parliament in Warsaw on 25 January 1990: “The years of similar destinies and struggles for similar ideals ought therefore to be assessed in the light of genuine friendship and mutual respect; … This authentic friendship - based on a proper understanding of the destiny imposed…, on the common lessons it taught us, and above all on the common ideals that now unite us - should ultimately inform a proper coordination of our policies in a process we both refer to as “the return to Europe.” These words
were not just part of an emotional speech but a strong policy direction that worked in practice. Return to Europe has become a real possibility. Now it’s time for other countries aspiring to membership of the EU to take action and return to Europe. The latter is genuinely true for both Ukraine and Georgia. Thanks to the International Visegrad Fund V4, experience is available for Georgia and for Ukraine via the project: Sharing Experience of Visegrad Countries at the Forefront of the EU Georgia Association Agreement.
Offering V4 experience for ongoing matters and for future reformers is what determined the holding of several public lectures at higher educational and civil society organizations in Georgia and Ukraine. The activity covers the following organizations: • Grigol Robakidze University • Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University • Conference office of the Association of Small Towns of Ukraine • Office of Association of Young Economists of Georgia Discussion of the Visegrad phenomenon and the way cooperation promoted the processes of EU integration of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland was of special interest for young students and civil society representatives. On 11th December, 2015, a united conference gathering all project experts will be held in Georgia, Tbilisi, where international and national experts will have the opportunity to sum up their recommendations for better policy directions for Ukraine and Georgia with one goal – to speed up the reformation process leading to membership of the European Union. The project is funded by the Visegrad Fund (http://visegradfund.org/), Project # 21470096).
Website: http://www.v4eap.ge/ https://www.facebook.com/ V4eapge-790425804339223/ Project implemented by: Association of Young Economists of Georgia, http://www.economists.ge/ Article prepared by Project Expert: Giorgi Kuparadze (CIESR), giorgi.kuparadze@tsuge and Ana Chikovani, Regional Development Institute of Georgia (RDIG).
NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
Bernard Kouchner: Communication with Society Key to Reforms BY ZVIAD ADZINBAIA
ast week, former Foreign Minister of France, Bernard Kouchner, came to Georgia for two days to discuss the development of the healthcare system. Georgia’s Minister of Health, Labor and Social Affairs, Davit Sergeenko, announced that Kouchner, currently the Head of the Global Alliance Board, has become the Head of Georgia’s Consulta-
tion Board, as he is a doctor by background. Kouchner, while attending a global conference at Tbilisi’s exhibition center Expo Georgia, cited that reforms need to be planned and carried out meticulously. “I would like to assure you that reforms will be catastrophic if they are conducted with only the support of experts.” “I was the Health Minister of France for seven years and there were many challenges in my country. Reforms were also conducted there. We tried this and
Daniela Todorova is a Bulgarian artist who has been working primarily with paper since 2006
BY ROBERT ISAF
APERINNOVATION,apaperbased art exhibition featuring the works of artists from around the world, opened last Friday night at the Ioseb Grishasvhili Tbilisi History Museum. The exhibition, co-presented by the Bulgarian and Japanese embassies, is based around the collection of the AMATERAS foundation, a seven year-old Bulgarian project devoted to paper art centered around the husband-wife team of Todor and Daniela Todorova. The work of the two as a couple poses a striking contrast, since Mr. Todorov is in fact a sculptor who by his own admission feels much
more at home with more solid materials. Panels against the back wall, displaying images of and information about his insitu work, ground the exhibition as a whole, imbuing a sense of balance between the fragile, airy, placeless and timeless work so characteristic of the paper medium and the heavy, grounded world of Mr. Todorov’s sculpture. Of course, paper art is also inherently sculptural, and the exhibition makes playful, productive use of its space to showcase this. Forests of long, painted and carefully cut-apart scrolls descend from one end of the ceiling while thickly painted strips of paper, hardly recognizable as paper, imitate waterfalls at the other. A large circular “garden” serves as the centerpiece. What’s more, visitors enjoying the Bul-
did not receive good results. I would say that we are at the first stage of a very significant political reform [in Georgia]. This is not only a medical reform. We refer to the political decisions that will enable the Georgian population to have access to medical services. Of course, such availability was not ensured in our country and Georgia has not allegedly achieved it,” the French expert underlined. He emphasized that political decisions are necessary that will provide all civilians with access to medical service.
“You cooperate with international organizations and experts but only to a certain level and that’s why I mention politics” Kouchner said. He went on to say that only expert experience is not enough. “It is also important to explain what happens and what is expected. Sharing the goals with society is very significant. When you conduct such reforms, such a communication should exist,” Kouchner said, adding that carrying out lucrative reforms in the healthcare system requires certain expenses. As Davit Sergeenko announced, within
the framework of his visit, Kouchner had the possibility to discuss the basic strategy of development of the healthcare system. The French guest also held a meeting with medical society and students.
Bulgarian and Japanese Embassies Sponsor Exhibition of International Paper Art at National Museum garian wine and Japanese sake on offer Friday evening were able to watch calligraphic artist Kihachiro Nishiura create works in real time before them, dressed in a kimono and working with thick black strokes to write “Gamarjoba to the Moon” on a huge white sheet in the middle of the floor. Daniela Todorova, the driving force behind the exhibition, is a Bulgarian artist who has been working primarily with paper since 2006. She and her husband have used the AMATERAS umbrella to create a host of international projects and exhibitions, including what has become the Sofia Paper Art Fest. This current exhibition, she explained, stemmed mainly from the relationships that those years of collaboration have cultivated – specifically with Plamen Bonchev, the current Bulgarian Ambassador to Georgia. “The idea of this project is to be mainly international, and to show that nowadays people are more connected than in the
past,” Ms. Todorova explained. But this is far from the end of AMATERAS’ ambitions in Georgia. Having conducted successful two-country art collaborations in the past, the Todorovs are now looking to return, even as early as June, to create a collaboration specifically between Bulgaria and Georgia. To hear her discuss it, such a project is so natural a fit that it’s almost surprising it hasn’t happened before. “The Georgians are very sensitive,” she says. “They are very sensitive about their culture, about their identity, about their past, and this is usual for all countries which have at one time or another been under some other that tried to change history, tried to change how they identified themselves. We are also from a postcommunist country. We have this syndrome… countries with ancient land, with ancient civilizations. We have a lot of connections.” And what about the medium? The
Language: English Start time: 12:00 Ticket price: 6-7 Lari
RODOLFO VILLAPLANA In 1961 Man Ray wrote in the preface to a text for his great friend Marcel Duchamp: “We deal with the present, which is a form of eternity.” This is exactly what Rodolfo Villaplana means in the title of his exhibition, DUCHAMP IS DEAD. From the 20 paintings exhibited on the occasion of this retrospective, some were realized at Villaplana’s studio in Tbilisi.
practice of paper art, after all, isn’t a remotely Bulgarian tradition, but is borrowed explicitly from the Far East. Even the name AMATERAS, as the Japanese Ambassador informed us, is from Japanese, meaning “the Sun Shines in the Sky.” So what attracts Ms. Todorova, and the cadre of artists from around the world, everywhere from the United States to Finland and full circle back to modern Japan, to this kind of work? “Design, and a pure line,” Ms. Todorova says, “and the silence in the art. Silence, especially in contemporary art, has to exist. Because we are too busy in our minds, with too many things. Therefore when we look at art we have to fill a free space, and then our imagination will be developed, and we will be able to see something that is shared with ourselves, which can be absolutely personal.” The exhibition will be shown at the Ioseb Grishasvhili Tbilisi History Museum until December 4th.
WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATRE
TBILISI NODAR DUMBADZE STATE CENTRAL CHILDREN’S THEATRE Address: 99/1 Agmashenebeli Ave. Telephone: 295 39 27 November 24 THE PRINCESS, FROG, HANSEL AND GRETEL Directed by Dimitri Khvtisiashvili Language: Russian Small Hall Start time: 12:00 Ticket price: From 6 Lari CINEMA
AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 299 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge November 24-26 THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 Directed by Francis Lawrence Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi Language: English Start time: 19:45 Language: Russian Start time: 12:15, 16:45, 19:45, 22:45 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari SPECTRE Directed by Sam Mendes Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 16:30, 22:30 Ticket price: 9.50 – 12.50 Lari BURNT Directed by John Wells Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl Genre: Comedy, Drama Language: Russian Start time: 15:15, 17:30 Ticket price: 8.50 – 10.50 Lari
SECRET IN THEIR EYES Directed by Billy Ray Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts Genre: Mystery, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 22:35 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 255 50 00 www.kinoafisha.ge November 24-26 SECRET IN THEIR EYES (Info Above) Start time: 19:30, 22:20 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 (Info Above) Start time: 12:00 Ticket price: 7.50 – 8.50 Lari BURNT (Info Above) Start time: 14:30, 17:15, 19:45, 22:15 Ticket price: 8.50 – 12.50 Lari SPECTRE (Info Above) Start time: 13:00, 16:00, 19:30, 22:30 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari CAVEA IMAX Address: East Point, 2 Tvalchrelidze Str. November 24-26 SECRET IN THEIR EYES (Info Above) Language: English Start time: 20:20 Ticket price: 10 – 11 Lari
GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURE PERMANENT EXHIBITION November 17 - May 1 GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM AND ALEXANDER KARTVELI ASSOCIATION PRESENT AN EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THE GREATEST MILITARY AIRCRAFT DESIGNER IN HISTORY.
RED SQUARE Address: 88 Paliashvili Str. Telephone: 577 74 77 45 November 25 – December 6 RED SQUARE gallery presents ELENE AKHVLEDIANI personal exhibition Opening: 19:00
November 20 – December 4 GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM Paper Innovation The works are presented from different countries of Europe, Asia, Latin and North America. Exhibition organized by the Amateras Foundation and Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia.
BAIA GALLERY Address: 10 Chardin Str Telephone: 2 75 45 10
SHALVA AMIRANASHVILI GEORGIAN PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY Address: 7 Gudiashvili Str. Telephone: 2 97 16 61
THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. www.museum.ge
November 19-24 MIKHEIL KHORAVA’S PERSONAL EXHIBITION PAINTING, CERAMICS
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 (Info Above) Language: English Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 11 – 12 Lari
ZURAB TSERETELI MUSEUM OF MODERN ART Address: 27 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 14 84 11, 2 98 60 04 www.momatbilisi.ge
SPECTRE (Info Above)
November 26 DUCHAMP IS DEAD
November 21 – 30 DATO ARCHIL SULAKAURI’S EXHIBITION “SPACE. ENCAUSTIC”
November 7 – December 6 AN EXHIBITION OF SCENOGRAPHY BY THREE GEORGIAN ARTISTS – OLEG KOCHAKIDZE, ALEXANDER SLOVINSKY, YURI CHIKVAIDZE. TIFLIS BRANCH Address: 4 K. Abkhazi Str. Telephone: 299 65 66 November 13-22 IRAKLI AVALISHVILI AND NUGZAR NATENADZE EXHIBITION
RUSTAVELI THEATRE Address: 17 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 72 68 68 www.rustavelitheatre.ge November 26 NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND KETEVAN KEMOKLIDZE Conductor: Simon Jangulashvili Program: Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10 Lari MOVEMENT THEATRE Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 November 24 THURSDAY JAZZ Leaders: Reso Kiknadze (sax) Nika Gabadze (guitar) Misha Japaridze (bass) Gio Kapanadze (drums) Start time: 21:00 TBILISI BAROQUE FESTIVAL 2015 www.tbf.ge POLISH BAROQUE MUSIC Pawel Kotla, Alina Ratkowska, Anna Tsartsidze, Tinatin Mamulashvili. Program: Johann Jeremias du Grain “Herr nun laesest” Johann Daniel Pucklitz “Freue dich Dantzig” George Frideric Handel Concerto grosso op. 6 nr 12 Gloria HWV (deest) Georg Philipp Telemann Polish Concerto in G Major TWV 43:G7 Quartet (Concerto Polonaise) in B-flat Major, TWV 43:B3 Start time: 19:30 Venue: Rustaveli Theatre
GEORGIA TODAY NOVEMBER 24 - 26, 2015
Dr. Brivati on Human Rights in Georgia: “Master the Process or it Will Master You” BY PENELOPE CUMLER
ddressing a full room, Dr. Brian Brivati advised his audience to “Master the process or it will master you” as he presented research into public policy responses in other countries towards past human rights violations. Based on “Facing the Past: Learning from Shared Experiences,” written by Jenny Munro, the report explored five country contexts and how countries have transitioned from periods of injustice to strengthen democratic processes and how this may apply to the situation in Georgia. Dr. Brivati was part of a team of UK experts, hosted by the Business and Economic Center, that visited Tbilisi last week to discuss Georgia’s state policy towards past injustices. Drawing heavily on his experience in Iraq, Dr. Brivati explained processes used there to respond to massive abuses of human rights. “Is anything in their process of national reconciliation, in this truth seeking, useful to Georgia?” he asked.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE Dr. Brivati returned to the mastering of the past by first considering what is to be achieved. “Decide from the beginning what success should look like.” Lustration, the process of cleansing or purifying something, Dr. Brivati suggests, could be used to explore of the past of the judiciary system to determine if its actions were motivated by ideology or law. Citing Karl Jaspers, Dr. Brivati outlined the various categories of guilt, some of which could be considered “collective guilt.” In the case of post-war Germany, Jaspers believed that Germany would be renewed by Germans coming to terms with their guilt by talking about it. Seizing on Jasper’s ideas of collective guilt, the Allies had allowed the process of de-nazification in West Germany to end quickly, allowing them to rehire former bureaucrats who had been Nazis to occupy positions in the post-war government.
OUR EVOLVING UNDERSTANDING OF GUILT According to Dr. Brivati, the “drivers” behind our evolving understanding of guilt began with the rise of victims in changing the terms of the debate. After Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem” appeared as a critique of Jasper’s position, intense interest in the experience of the victims was generated, eventually leading to greater understanding, following regime change, of the need to assess political guilt and the actions of public servants against the good they do in the world. Heavily influenced by truth and reconciliation commissions and the politics of apologies for previous crimes, wellintentioned notions that public discussions between victims and perpetrators could somehow transcend crimes and people could move forward came together in the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism (WCAR). According to Dr. Brivati, this led to the Transitional Justice Movement, based
“THE WEST MUST GIVE UP ITS LOVE AFFAIR WITH SAAKASHVILI”
WHERE ARE WE IN GEORGIA? THE CASE FOR DOING NOTHING Dr Brivati suggests that there is a very strong political argument for doing nothing in Georgia. This, in his view, is a denial of collective trauma, the rights of victims and the fact that some institutions in Georgia failed. In successful democratic processes, consolidation occurs when groups opt in to participate over the long term, believing that their rights are better protected if they are a part of the system. With government changes, the challenge is then to get groups to stay in the system, rather than opting out. This is done by building trust in institutions and separating those who have committed crimes from those who are not a part of the same movement or government. It is also important, he added, that people are always invited into the process and never to exclude any part of the political group. To get groups to opt in to the political process, he explained, we must not deny failures but by looking straight at them and by doing so the suggestion of impunity, that is, the idea that anybody can commit a crime without having to face up to it, is removed. So if there appear to be cases of institutional failures in the Georgian system over the last two decades, he suggested, then there are strong arguments for examining them. To do this, he explained, four things must first be in place. First, he emphasized repeatedly, the examination must be taken out of present politics. If this is done successfully faith in the judiciary and in the political process and institutions can be restored, thereby also strengthening the likelihood of foreign investments and economic improvements. Second, an “elite bargain” must be made; those who have abused the system must be isolated. Third, there must be openness in the system and an institutional openness to change. Fourth, there must be an acknowledgment of guilt to transcend institutional failure and implement transitional justice. From those who have abused the system, there must be an acknowledgement that the system was broken and things went too far and there was abuse. This may be symbolic, suggests Dr. Brivati, but it is necessary. Ms. Munro explained the comparative research that informed their examination while emphasizing that the cases
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to politicians.” Responding to a comment about excessive costs, he noted that the costs did not have to be so prohibitive if the victims were offered, for example, acknowledgement of the wrongs done to them without financial compensation. Even if it is done with economic incentives, the costs may well outweigh the positive outcomes in terms of building confidence in property ownership and investment in Georgia which would attract further investment.
on six elements: discover the truth about a period of collective violence or systemic injustice, recognize and validate victims’ suffering, provide compensation for those affected both materially and symbolically, contribute to an inclusive and future-oriented collective memory, prevent new acts of violence, and seek justice in judgment or punishment or both. These elements promote reconciliation and an increase in the values of tolerance and justice. Here, Dr. Brivati emphasizes, we must return to the question of what we want and what success looks like. He suggests that the first challenge would be to define a common narrative as an agreement by everyone of what has gone wrong. The second challenge is to overcome ideas of revenge and negative emotions of anger and fear and build trust and forgiveness, thereby fostering tolerance and universal justice.
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Dr. Brian Brivati, part of a team of UK experts, hosted by the Business and Economic Center, that visited Tbilisi to discuss Georgia’s state policy towards past injustices
they studied are not like Georgia, but are only to be used as examples to hopefully move forward. In her comments Ms. Munro emphasized there is only the Georgian way and that the participation of the public and politicians is necessary; judgement is not derived from punishment and justice may be outside of the courts.
“THIS IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BE LEFT TO POLITICIANS.” Clarifying his understanding of institutional failures in the judiciary in Georgia in the past twenty years that needed to be addressed, Dr. Brivati cited opinion
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polls indicating that the majority of people would not vote for any of the political parties. Additionally, he noted, the figures for people in prison and alleged excessive use of force by law enforcement officers, among other incidents, indicated to him that there had been significant institutional failures in the judiciary and that cynicism and lack of belief by the electorate in the independence of the judiciary justified a more systemic examination and reformation of the judiciary. The challenge here, he reiterated, is to take this inquiry out of the hands of present politics and politicians. “This is too important to be left
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To a question regarding the role of international communities in the democratic process, Dr. Brivati suggested that the West first needed to get over its love affair with Saakashvili and become genuinely neutral, and that Russia’s role in Georgian politics has been, “unhelpful”, a term which brought laughter from the audience. Emphasizing Georgia as a unique case, Dr. Brivati and Ms. Munro reiterated the need for public participation and noted the passion of the electorate as positive assets in moving forward. Dr. Brian Brivati is a British professor of Human Rights and Life Writing at Kingston University and has worked with the John Smith Trust since 2008. He is an Academic Director of Beyond Borders Scotland and Academic Director of PGI Cyber Academy and has been a frequent contributor to print and broadcast media in the UK and internationally for the past twenty five years. The Business and Economic Centre (BEC) is an educational resource for members of parliament and non-state stakeholders. Through its regular programs and research services BEC provides resources to the Georgian parliament for strengthening legislative institutions.
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