May 22 - 28, 2015
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Getting Closer : ‘T ec hnical Pr ocedur es’ ar e No w ‘Tec echnical Procedur ocedures’ are Now All tha een Geor gian thatt Stands Betw Between Georgian
and Visa Liber alisa tion Liberalisa alisation
IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE
Making Sense of the Census Results
In a new bi-monthly feature, experts at Galt & Taggart provide analysis of the latest macroeconomic developments in Georgia. P.6 BUSINESS HEADLINES
Young Pr of essionals and Prof ofessionals Students Discuss Futur e Future of Caucasus a att EBRD Closing Cer emon y Ceremon emony P.11 FLIGHT SCHEDULE
"A political decision has been made on the visa free regime between Georgia and the European Union and only technical procedures have yet to be finalised," says Georgia's PM Irakli Garibashvili. P.2
Finance Minister Khaduri Optimistic After EBRD Business F or um For orum In an exclusive interview with Georgia Today, Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finance, reviews the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Tbilisi. P.14
With the Suppor Supportt of “Siemens” Geor gian Georgian Electrical Engineering Company “Insta” Expands its P.10 Pr oduction Production
MAY 22 - 28
Getting Closer ec hnical Closer:: ‘T ‘Tec echnical Pr ocedur es’ ar e No w All tha are Now thatt Procedur ocedures’ Stands Betw een Geor gian Between Georgian alisa tion and Visa Liber alisation Liberalisa
A political decision has been made on the visa free regime between Georgia and the European Union (EU), and only technical procedures have yet to be finalised, Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit in Riga today. Highlighting Georgia’s achievements, especially in the direction of visa liberalization, PM Garibashvili spoke at the Party of European Socialists (PES) forum attended by European Union high officials, including EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the Prime Ministers of Denmark and Sweden. “Everyone agrees that in the past two years Georgia has made significant progress, including in the direction of visa liberalisation. We have made a very important leap in just six months. Unfortunately, the process should have
started in 2010, at the same time Moldova started.” he said. “It is interesting, why our previous government did not start this process. Our Government started this process. Everyone agrees that the political decision has already been made and only technical procedures need to be finished. We hope that we will finalise these procedures by the end of this year and that our citizens will be able to travel visa free to Europe,” Georgian PM said. PES President Sergei Stanishev also has high expectations of a positive outcome for Georgia at the EaP Summit: “I think there will be good news from the Summit for Georgia, because there is a strong political will to recommit Europeans engagement towards Georgia and the other countries which signed Association Agreement (AA). I also think that there is strong political understanding that the visa issue is very important for Georgia,” he said.
Ber uc hashvili Pushes ffor or EU Beruc uchashvili Suppor a EAP Summit Riga Supportt ahead of Rig But Will it Come to An ything? Anything? By Zviad Adzinbaia Tamar Beruchashvili, Georgia’s Foreign Minister, has called on European Union leaders to express their support for Georgia’s European future at the forthcoming Riga summit. The Foreign Ministry says that over 14 media sources in the EU countries printed Beruchashvili’s article prior to the summit. In the article published in NewEasternEurope (NEE), entitled a Critical Summit, Beruchashvili notes that Georgia has taken big steps toward European and international standards in general, as well as in terms of visa liberalisation. “When the leaders of 34 countries meet on May 21-22 for the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit, we will be confronting geopolitical realities which are dramatically different from those which framed our last gathering. Already in Vilnius in November 2013, the Russian Federation posed a serious challenge to the basic principles of international law and praxis, including the sovereign right of nations to decide their own future. However, since then, Moscow has gone much further in its aggressive attempts to tear down the very fundamentals of the European security architecture,” the Minister writes. The Georgian politician views the general picture of Georgia’s achievements and its current international and democratic standing: “Over the last two and a half years alone, we have - with the support of our EU partners - made great strides in bringing Georgia into line with the highest European and international standards. Today, we are proud to be recognized as a regional leader in terms of democracy and human rights, a stable and secure investment destination in a key strategic location and a pro-active contributor to Eu-
ropean and international security.” Beruchashvili explains that removing visa requirements for Georgian citizens to travel within the EU will mean more tourism, cultural, student exchanges, and civil society partnerships. This will help Georgia to develop and anchor the next generation firmly within the European family of nations. Most importantly, it will provide a clear demonstration to the people of Georgia, including in the occupied territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (formerly South Ossetia), and to those of the other Eastern Partnership countries, that the EU upholds a merit-based approach and delivers on its promises. Unexpectedly, Georgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani stated that Georgia has never had expectations about receiving visa liberalization at the Riga summit, and the government has never been given that impression. “After signing the Association Agreement, we made it clear, not to expect visa-free travel with the EU immediately after the Riga summit,” she claimed. Meanwhile, Georgian President
Giorgi Margvelashvili at a joint press conference after meeting with his Austrian counterpart on May 18 expressed his hope that Georgia will see very principled steps at the Riga summit, which will be taken for strengthening peace and stability in Europe. Author’s Analysis Some confusion among government leaders and dis-coordination are plain to see, as the members of the same cabinet have varying approaches to Georgia’s foreign affairs. At the same time, Georgia has been facing problems in the regions of the Caucasus and Black Sea, as its Northern neighbor Russia does its best to obstruct the country from the progressive path chosen. Former Georgian senior diplomats and experts have accused the government of being inactive in the process, which needs proactivity and rational policymaking, instead of ‘flirting with Russia’. What should Georgia expect from the Riga Summit? Informally, it is already widely known that there will be no tangible progress to report.
Tur key Bac ks N ATO urk Backs NA Expansion and Geor gia Georgia By Zviad Adzinbaia
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“We support NATO expansion,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuþoðlu in a statement on the future of the Alliance. “Currently, there are four candidate countries: Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Georgia. We want the 2016 NATO summit to offer the aim of expansion,” the Turkish diplomat said. “Yesterday I exchanged information with US State Secretary John Kerry about Russia and Afghanistan’s operations. We discussed plans too,” he continued. “The next NATO summit is more than a year away. Several days ago, the President of Georgia held a meeting with NATO’s Secretary General in Brussels. Naturally, we need to start thinking about the upcoming Warsaw summit in terms of what Georgia can do to receive international support there and how to consolidate this support,” added Tengiz Pkhaladze, Advisor to the Georgian President. “However, I would like to refrain from making predictions, since neither the summit agenda nor the topic of enlargement have been elaborated yet,” he added. European and American parties have put the issue of NATO enlargement on the agenda as Russia has been openly involved in war against Ukraine, forcedly annexing sovereign territories of a European country. There is some speculation in the region that this is the first
phase of a process of a new Cold War. As for raising the issue of Georgia on the international level, the process is highly reliant on the Georgian government’s willingness and pro-active politics, from which the Georgian Dream government has long refrained. Moreover, some high ranking Georgian diplomats have claimed that after the Georgian government was peacefully changed in 2012 it was conceivable for Georgia to receive a Membership Action Plan (MAP), if rational steps were made. At this very moment, Georgia, which has lifted itself from political marshland to a top reformer country in the region – has now weakened its international standing as the new governmental policy regarding Russia, appears to have brought confusion among its Western allies. At the same time, some NATO officials say there are political decisions to be made about granting Georgia a MAP
or membership, something which Russia has always strongly opposed. In this regard, major European players, such as France and Germany were reluctant to commit to Georgia’s membership. According to Defense and Security Committee Chairman Irakli Sesiashvili, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly has called on NATO member states’ governments and parliaments to grant Georgia a Membership Action Plan – the next step for NATO integration. The decision was made at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s 60th session, which was held in Budapest on May 15-18. “The NATO Parliamentary Assembly declaration includes an important point, in which the Parliamentary Assembly calls on NATO governments and parliaments to continue to support implementation of the NATO-Georgia’s substantial package and to grant Georgia the Membership Action Plan in accordance with the 2008 Bucharest summit decision,” Sesiashvili said.
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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.
Eur ope Wants Geor gia. But Not Geor gians Europe Georgia. Georgians By Nino Doghonadze and Eric Livny In March 2015, 31-year-old Tamar Trapaidze died of severe toxicity in Italy. Like many Georgian women of her generation, Tamar was an illegal immigrant employed as an in-home care worker by an Italian family. Being “illegal”, she must have feared deportation, which is probably why she was unable to receive adequate medical treatment. Despite all the risks it entails, illegal immigration is a key survival strategy for many Georgian families. Since 2002, presumably the best period in Georgia’s recent history, the country has lost 14.7% of its population, mostly due to emigration. Remittances by Georgians abroad currently constitute 9% of the country’s GDP (as compared with only 2% in 2002), with the share of EU countries constantly on the rise (30% in 2014, mostly from Greece and Italy). These facts are widely appreciated. What is less well understood, however, is that legal access to the European labor market represents the only channel for a tangible and immediate improvement in the lot of ordinary Georgian people (as opposed to those privileged few employed by Western-financed NGOs). …legal access to the European labor market represents the only channel for a tangible and immediate improvement in the lot of ordinary Georgian people. Just how crucial free labor mobility is for EU’s eastward expansion could be easily understood from the angry reactions by politicians in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary to the suggestion by David Cameron that the UK may take a tough stance on migration when renegotiating Britain’s EU membership terms. FT’s headline this week tells it all: “UK warned by east Europe not to meddle with migrant rights”. Access to the EU labor market is much more critical for countries in the less industrialized Black Sea region, such as Bulgaria and Romania. For example, according to one estimate, “3 million Bulgarians had left the country in the past 23 years and stayed away – a momentous demographic change for a country with a population now slightly above 7 million”.
bringing Georgia, Ukraine and, perhaps, other Eastern Neighborhood countries into the European family of nations, it should reconsider its stance on the question of visa liberalization. Yet, apparently this is not going to happen.
The promise of visa-free short-term travel to Europe (which implies improved access to lucrative EU jobs, legal or illegal) is even more of a temptation further to the east, in Georgia and other predominantly agrarian Eastern Partnership countries. Unable to deliver any visible economic improvement, Georgian politicians are not shy about the importance visa liberalization for the country’s future (and, by implication, their own political survival). In a rare moment of unity, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, PM Irakli Garibashvili and Parliament Chairman Davit Usupashvili have recently called on the EU to make an “unambiguous endorsement of visa-free regime” with Georgia at the Riga Summit. “For Georgians,” they write, “visa liberalisation will provide a long-awaited tangible reward and encourage renewed reform efforts.” To fully appreciate the importance of visa liberalization for Georgia one has to understand that any other benefits potentially associated with the EU – agricultural subsidies, infrastructure investment and access to the EU market – will not materialize any time soon, or not at all. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), which Georgia and the EU signed last June, is a good case in point. As argued by Joe Stiglitz, DCFTA and other similar “partnership agreements” are tailored to EU (or US) corporate interests. They “go well beyond trade, governing investment and intellectual property as well, impos-
ing fundamental changes to countries’ legal, judicial, and regulatory frameworks, without input or accountability through democratic institutions.” For a fully-deregulated economy, such as Georgia’s, going through the legalistic nightmare implied by the process of harmonization with EU’s legal and institutional systems represents a step back, not forward, in terms of creating a business-friendly environment (and, ultimately, jobs). It is not clear whether Georgia has anything to export to the EU (under the DCFTA) that it is not already exporting (under the GSP+ regime). At the same time, the burden of new regulations (often rushed through the Georgian parliament in a hasty and thoughtless manner) concerning e.g. TV advertising, migration and labor legislation, anti-trust, energy and environment (to name just a few) is already hurting the Georgian economy. Crucially, the observed lack of government capacity to tailor EU-style regulations to the Georgian context – a relatively simple task – should serve as a wake up for anybody thinking that their practical implementation will benefit Georgian businesses and society. If anything, these regulations are very likely to create red tape, increase producers’ costs (and consumer prices), increase corruption risks and undermine Georgia’s international competitiveness. This brings us back to the point we have made earlier. If the EU wants to get serious about
10 Galaktion Street
WHO IS LOSING GEORGIA? On May 8th, European Commission issued the third report on the implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP). To cut the long story short, despite the Georgian government’s rush to tick off the boxes on labor and migration legislation, Georgia was not able to complete all the VLAP requirements. Georgian citizens will definitely have to wait at least another year to be able to travel to Europe visa-free. As reported by Civil.ge, Angela Merkel’s speech, delivered on 21, May ahead of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, represents a clear attempt to manage expectations. “Visafree travel rules for citizens of Georgia and Ukraine … will only be possible once all requirements are met”, she said. Most importantly, she emphasized that Eastern Partnership “is not an instrument of the EU’s enlargement policy”, adding that the EU should not trigger false expectations of its Eastern partners in this regard. As Davit Usupashvili put it, “the smaller the country, the smaller is its right to be disappointed”. Yet, right or wrong, disappointment is a function of expectation. Great expectations, as was the case in Georgia, will inevitably bring about great disappointment with the EU and Georgia’s general direction. According to CRRC Georgian Barometer data, Georgian people’s trust towards the EU has been declining since 2008 (from 54% “fully trusting the EU” to only 33% in 2013). In parallel, a recent NDI poll (released on May 11) suggests that “although the majority of respondents remain in favor of Euro-Atlantic integration, support for joining the Russia-led Eurasian Union seems to be increasing. 31% of respondents said they “approve” if Georgia joins the Eurasian Union.” Importantly, the three most recent NDI surveys indicate an upward trend: from 11% in November 2013 to 20% in August 2014, to 31% in May 2015.
AND WHO GAINS? To paraphrase Sweden’s former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, while the EU is making Georgia offers it cannot properly understand, Putin’s offers are increasingly difficult to refuse. As discussed in a recent article by Sergi Kapanadze, Russia’s “soft power” has been on the rise since late 2012. Abashidze-Karasin discussions led to progress on many fronts. Russia simplified the process of issuing visas for Georgian citizens, and the Russian labor market opened for another wave of Georgian labor migration. The ban on Georgia’s imports was lifted by mid2014, resulting in the resumption of wine and mineral water exports to the Russian market, and a very substantial increase in the price of grapes (a great boon for Georgian farmers). Tourism from Russia has been growing very fast in 2013 and 2014 thanks to regular flight connections established between Tbilisi and an increasing number of Russian cities. Russian investment, partnerships in the energy sector, and planned infrastructure projects are all indicators of Russia’s growing presence and attraction as an economic partner, according to Kapanadze. * * * EU’s failure to accommodate Ukraine and Georgia’s demands for visa free travel and, eventually, access to the EU labor market must be understood in the broader context of Europe’s migration crisis. As discussed by Kenneth Rogoff in “Inequality, Immigration, and Hypocrisy”: “Allowing freer flows of people across borders would equalize opportunities even faster than trade, but resistance is fierce. Anti-immigration political parties have made large inroads in countries like France and the United Kingdom, and are a major force in many other countries as well…. With most rich countries’ capacity and tolerance for immigration already limited, it is hard to see how a new equilibrium for global population distribution will be reached peacefully. Resentment against the advanced economies, which account for a vastly disproportionate share of global pollution and commodity consumption, could boil over.”
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MAY 22 - 28
Making Sense of the Census Results By Eva Bochorishvili Galt & Taggart Research is partnering with Georgia Today on a biweekly column which will provide analysis of the latest macroeconomic developments in the country and its various business sectors, along with reports on the latest financial results of Georgian Eurobond issuers. This week’s topic: the latest census results. The process of economic and political transition in Georgia is traditionally associated with success in governance and business reforms, but weak progress in reducing poverty. As a result of the successful reforms, Georgia has generated strong growth rates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the past decade, averaging 6.3% annually from 2003 to 2014. Meanwhile, per-capita GDP, the most useful measure of living standards, jumped 4x to US$3,681 in 2014 from US$920 in 2003. These achievements are even more remarkable given the multiple crises Georgia has faced on its path of economic success – domestic and global crises, the 2008 conflict with Russia, and most recently, regional instability. It is important to note that Georgia achieved the economic success without generating actual growth in employment – over 2003-2013 the unemployment rate remained in double digits, averaging around 15%, and job creation was weak, even in the double digit growth years. Capital and productivity in the manufacturing and service sectors were the major sources of growth. Job creation was restrained by a skills mismatch: Georgia’s labour market is dominated by low skill and low wage workers, with more than 50% of the workforce engaged in agricultural activities (mainly self-employed), while agriculture accounts for just 9% of GDP. At the same time, aver-
age wage earned in agriculture was only 1/3 of that in manufacturing, which employs only 6% of the workforce and accounts for 17.1% of GDP. Moreover, the poverty rate in rural, agricultural areas is 11.7 percentage points higher than in urban centers. With that lesson in Georgian labour markets in mind, the preliminary results of Georgia’s recent population census, carried out in November 2014, can come as no surprise. The census shows that higher poverty rates and a continued lack of paid jobs in villages have been the major factors affecting Georgia’s demographic profile. According to the census, Georgia’s total population shrank by 14.7%, or 642,000 persons, to 3.7 million persons, from 4.4 million in 2002, when the last census was conducted. Rural areas drove the decline: rural population lost 23.8%, or 495,400 persons, compared to a much smaller drop of 6.3%, or 145,200 persons, in urban areas. As a result, the urban population now holds a 57.4% share of the population (52.3% in 2002), compared to 42.6% for rural areas (47.7% in 2002). It is noteworthy that despite the 14.7% decline in Georgia’s total population since 2002, the age structure of the population is in line with the demographic trends in peer countries. Faced with economic hardship in rural areas and constrained by insufficient skills with poor job prospects, international migration has helped workers escape the poverty trap and also helped ease domestic labour market pressures. While some workers undoubtedly moved internally from rural to urban centers, globalization and the draw of overseas employment prospects clearly played a key role in Georgia’s changing demographic landscape. Globally, there are over 250 million international migrants, including 1
million from Georgia. As a consequence, the World Bank expects US$ 440 billion in remittance flows to developing countries in 2015. In Georgia workers’ remittances account for 8-10% of GDP annually and have enormous implications for poverty alleviation. The continued international migration of Georgia’s workforce is evidenced by the fact that remittances continued to grow not only from traditional donor countries, but also increasingly from countries that accounted for no inflows as of 2002, like Israel, Belarus, Iraq, and others. While the census results are disappointing from a certain perspective, it is important to remember that the key measure of economic well-being is GDP per capita. Adjusting for the new population estimate of 3.7 million, Georgia’s GDP per person jumps to US$ 4,400, up from US$ 3,681 based on the 4.5 million officially reported population for 2014. On this measure, Georgia moves up 8 spots on the IMF’s global ranking to 106th out of 189 countries. If Georgia can generate healthy growth rates in the coming years and reach per-capita income of US$
Austrian President Admires Georgia By Zviad Adzinbaia Austrian President Heinz Fischer arrived in Georgia on 18 May for an official visit hosted by the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili. During the visit, the parties discussed different issues ranging from Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU to Europe’s security climate. “The Association Agreement is by no means an anti-agreement against any other state,” the Austrian President emphasized. “I have to sincerely say that our economic cooperation started at a very low level, but we have seriously developed those relations. The Georgian President has already talked about the Association Agreement. We encourage it. Our position is clear - that these kinds of agreements bring states together, including their economies, and are not directed against any third country,” Fischer maintained. Fischer said he was looking forward to Austria becoming the OSCE chair country in 2017. “This organization has a great responsibility to maintain peace and it will do its best to ensure peace, including bilateral cooperation with Georgia,” said the Austrian President. The visiting president was also asked about violent developments in Ukraine. “We are concerned about this issue and feel that the political climate of Europe was damaged by these processes. Our interest is to affect both sides and to help implementation of the Minsk Agreement. The impacts on the political climate in Europe are very high. The dam-
age is great, and all this makes us strengthen our efforts to overcome or at least partly solve this problem,” the visiting president underlined. The visit also focused on Georgia’s expectations for the upcoming Riga Summit and Georgia-Russian relations, including the relations between the two churches. At the Austrian President’s meeting with the Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II, the head of the Georgian Church declared that the issue of relationships between the Georgian and Russian churches is of a complicated nature. When asked by the Austrian President about the Georgian government’s European choice and the relationship between Tbilisi and Moscow, Ilia II replied: “Georgia has chosen the European path. Georgia wants to become a member, a part of European democratic struc-
tures. Our choice is very firm and we will achieve this.” The Austrian President also revealed that Georgia had left a great impression on him: “We prepared for the visit by studying information on the problems and troubles Georgia has faced. We are familiar with the recent history as well. We have studied your personal history and your contribution to building the Georgian state in detail.” “Georgia has chosen its complicated way of freedom, sovereignty and European and NATO integration, a process where international support is of vital importance. During the last decade of successful reforms in diverse spheres, Georgia has introduced itself to the entire world and become one of the EU and NATO aspirant countries in the region of Eastern Europe,” added Fischer.
5,500-7,000, the benefits of economic growth will be shared and felt more widely. To achieve this level of per capita income, Georgia’s output will need to increase by about US$ 5-10 billion in the coming years, and faced with low national savings rates, foreign direct investments can be seen as a major vehicle for achieving better living standards. Higher per-capita GDP can substantially improve Georgia’s standing on the global corporate map as well. In just one example, a country’s level of per-capita GDP contributes around 25% to its overall sovereign credit rating score; by reaching the US$ 5,501 level, Georgia would qualify for a considerable improvement in its Standard & Poor’s credit rating. This, in turn, would make Georgia a more attractive place for foreign investors, while Georgian companies would get easier access to cheap financing in foreign markets, which would help fill funding gaps, a major constraint that local businesses face. Although a shrinking population translates to less labour and output, both Georgia’s experience and global success stories offer real hope. The experience of peer countries shows that even a limited labour force need not restrain strong economic outcomes. Estonia’s significantly smaller workforce – 700,000 to Georgia’s 2.4 million (according to the World Bank; 2 million according to GeoStat) – generates economic output 1.6x and per-capita income 5x that of Georgia’s. The contrast is even sharper in Singapore. With a labour force of just 3 million and a 5.4 million population, Singapore’s economy is 20x larger and per-capita income 15x larger than Georgia’s. Because job creation is immensely important and a key to political stability and sustainable economic development, Georgia must find ways to address its skills mismatch and encourage workers to move into more productive sectors that offer higher wages. This will require a continued improvement in the business environment, supported by liberal eco-
nomic policy, and access to the means to improve skills. The movement of workers into more productive activities will support growth that generates additional employment. In this regard, the free trade agreement with the European Union, in place since September 2014, is a definite booster for job creation in the coming years, notably in export-oriented sectors. The related improvement in business activity has the real potential to bring an end to the endemically high unemployment that has plagued Georgia for decades. Given the new opportunities offered by the EU free trade deal, Georgia’s strong history of successful structural reforms, and commitment to market-based growth, fiscal discipline, prudent monetary policy, tax-friendly regime and a pro-business environment free of corruption, improved living standards are definitely achievable for Georgia. ——— Galt & Taggart has established itself as the leading investment banking and investment management services company in Georgia. The company is at the forefront of capital markets development in the country. Our expertise is leveraged through Galt & Taggart’s 5 core activities: investment banking, asset management, wealth management, brokerage, and research. We are committed to the pursuit of our clients’ best interests and approach every transaction with the aim of securing them the best possible outcome. Our regional focus allows us to provide indepth services and insightful solutions to our domestic and international clients. Our team consists of over 20 talented professionals with extensive experience in the industry, while our senior professionals are exclusively dedicated to each client. Galt & Taggart is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Georgia which has a unique insight into the regional market and a solid international investor base. With its institutional backing, Galt & Taggart is well positioned to assist investors in exploring investment opportunities and to offer local and regional companies greater access to both equity and debt capital markets. For free access to Galt & Taggart Research reports and analysis, please visit gtresearch.ge or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAY 22 - 28
Tbilisi Marks International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia Groups of activists rallied together to mark The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in Tbilisi on May 17th, gathering outside the Ministry of Justice. They were also present to celebrate the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights which declared that the Georgian state is responsible for being unable to protect the rights of citizens who participated in the anti-homophobia demonstrations in 2012. The amount of money demanded for compensation was determined as 33,000 Euros. Activists called for authorities to simplify the procedures for obtaining identification cards for transgender people. They also called on consideration of the criminal code clause that provides a source of bias often used to deny the issue of ID cards to members of the transgender community. Some of the banners flying at May 17th rally emphasized the fear and insecurity that homosexual people feel in Georgia and asked authorities to take action: ‘LGBT community at
Risk’, read one such banner. ‘State authorities must ensure freedom of assembly and speech, and the physical security of all persons who take part in legal demonstrations ,” Read another. Another group of activists gathered in “Mrgvali Bagi” (Round Garden) in front of the UN office, holding rainbow flags and reading quotes from the European Court’s verdict. Throughout the demonstration a large number of policemen, brought to the location with municipal buses, stood surrounding the garden with the aim of ensuring peaceful proceedings. Unlike previous rallies, this time the LGBT community and rights-defenders took caution by not announcing the locations and time of events publicly. Furthermore, everyone who joined The International Day against Homophobia on May 17th was required to pre-register and go through a screening process during which journalists working for media sources that have welcomed homophobic views were not included.
Extensive secrecy and defensive measures were taken due to the consideration of the events of 2012 and 2013 when a group of people violently attacked activists. Demonstrators were joined by the Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia,
Former Abkhazia President Ankvab Rumored to be Receiving Heart Treatment in Tbilisi
By Zaza Jgharkava The various de-facto presidents of the occupied region of Abkhazia have never been particularly lucky. From Moscow, their treatment has been condescending at best. The term of second president Sergey Baghapsh ended fatally, now it is becoming clear its third president Alexander Ankvab is in an uneasy position. Media reports from the occupied Abkhazia state that the condition of Ankvab, after returning from a heart operation to Sokhumi, has worsened to the point that he has sought help in Tbilisi. Officially, Georgian government members have yet to confirm that Ankvab is being treated in Tbilisi. “I have not heard anything about it,” Georgia’s Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko said. Not surprisingly a different version was presented by Healthcare Minister of the Abkhazian government in exile, Ketevan Bakaradze who says that patients living in the occupied region often attend various clinics in Tbilisi. The clinics themselves are of course keeping to a strict code of confidentiality on the matter. According to Prime Time News, Ankvab might be receiving medical
treatment in Tbilisi, at the Medi Club. The Medi Club itself neither denies nor confirms this information. They only say they have no right to give out information on patients. Experts though are almost certain that Ankvab is at the Medi Club since diplomats and other high-ranking persons are treated there. Former Healthcare Minister of the Abkhazian government Dalila Khorava does not exclude the possibility of Ankvab being treated in Tbilisi. According to her, high-ranking officials from occupied Abkhazia used to come to Tbilisi for medical treatment even during her term as a minister and the information was highly confidential even then. “During my term, district heads, even officials arrived; as well as soldiers and veterans, all of them very confidentially. Unfortunately, they do not come for good reasons; they are mostly ill, HIV-infected or Hepatitis C patients. It is not my information as a ‘minister’ but taking into consideration that the sister of the former Healthcare Minister of the de-facto Abkhazia Rusudan Marshania has been living in Tbilisi for years, has a non-government organization and used to go back and forth to Tbilisi and Sokhumi, I would not be
surprised if the so-called ministers and former ‘president’ came for medical treatment,” Khorava says. Data from Geostat confirms that people from occupied Abkhazia do travel to the other territories of Georgia for medical treatment. According to the official data, in the first four months of 2015, a total of 107 ethnic Abkhazians came from the territory of the occupied Abkhazia and used the referral program, while there had been several hundred cases on an annual basis in recent years. Against the background of the frozen political status quo between Tbilisi and Sukhumi, these statistics may seem surprising. Ankvab previously assured his opponents that Sokhumi was not captive to Georgian physicians but he noted that he could not prohibit dying patients from going to Tbilisi: “The fact that we are not denying our citizens the chance to go to Georgia for medical treatment does not mean that we have a wish to be closer to someone. The issue is about saving people’s lives. Show me the man who will have enough courage to say no and prohibit his loved ones from receiving treatment.” Meanwhile, Abkhazians have been demanding more freedom of choice from the Kremlin. According to political scientist Mamuka Areshidze, by sending Ankvab back Russia could establish a full monopoly: “Any leader is ruling Abkhazia through clans. This was why, despite tight relations between Abkhazia and Russia, Russian citizens who were ousted by Abkhazians from their homes could not be returned. There were statements of over four thousand ethnic Russian citizens on the table of the Russian Ambassador to Abkhazia. During the term of Baghapsh, a commission was established but nothing could be done. Baghapsh even mentioned in private talks: ‘What do you want? To start a civil war?!’ There are spheres where Russians do not dare anything and there are spheres, which are totally in the hands of Russians; for example, border defense. Abkhazians had to concede and allow Russians to settle in Gali. Soon there will be many Russian families in Gali,” Areshidze told Rezonansi.
Martina Quick, along with two members of Georgian parliament, Chiora Taktakishvili (UNM party) and Tamar Kordzaia (Republicans faction which is part of the Georgian Dream coalition). Fortunately, incidents of violence were not recorded and Prime Minister
Irakli Gharibashvili said that the absence of disturbances during the demonstrations emphasize that “Georgia is a deserving, distinguished society and a civilized state.” The same day pro-Russian movement, the King Erekle II Society, held demonstrations outside the EU embassy in Tbilisi with banners calling on Europe to stop propagandizing homosexuals. On Sunday May 17th, Georgians also celebrated the Day of Family, was introduced by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2014 which some consider as a clear attempt to counter the LGBT rallies. Georgian Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, noted that even though the issue is urgent, authorities fail to impose measures that will increase public awareness of human rights and enhance the culture of tolerance in Georgia. According to Nanuashvili, the country still faces the problem of hate-motivated violence which is then rarely investigated in an efficient manner.
Usupashvili to NATO: “Today, Georgia is ready to be a NATO member”
By Nini Gegidze Georgia’s Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili spoke at the NATO PA in Budapest, explaining to the audience why the decisions made there were so important for his country: “This is my first speech at NATO PA. I have the unique opportunity to once more highlight why the decisions made here are so important for my country,” he said. “Despite the socio-economic crisis, poverty and violation by a neighbor country, Georgia has managed to make steps towards democracy. We are not yet over the long-term journey but we are ready to be a state standing resolute to make its own decisions, to be reliable and to be a foreseeable partner to NATO states. This progress cannot be achieved without friends and allies. Russia must be engaged, but for the Euro-Atlantic security architecture to retain its integrity there must be deterrence,” Usupashvili said, adding that upholding an open door policy should be one such deterrence. He went on to speak about reforms
following the 2012 parliamentary, presidential and municipal elections, the human rights national strategy, the law on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination, judicial independence, freedom of media and more. He also said that Georgia wants to be a safe, democratic state with an open market and rule of law. “Aspiration to NATO is irreversible. Our obligation in collective security is already clear and is evident in our contribution to Afghanistan. Georgia may not be a full-fledged member of NATO but, legally, politically and tactically, we are valuable contributors to the collective security.” “After more than 12 years of travelling, I do not want people to be disappointed by prolonged talks whether Georgia deserves MAP or not,” he said. “The time has come for another step to be made on Georgia’s NATO integration process, but it has to be a decisive step in this direction, and the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw next year is the right place for that. The time has come for responsible political decisions about Georgia.”
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MAY 22 - 28
With the Support of “Siemens” Georgian Electrical Engineering Company “Insta” Expands its Production
On May 15 th 2015 exhibition Center “Expo Georgia” hosted an event, during which one of the largest German companies Siemens and Georgian Electrical Engineering Company Insta held a joint presentation on medium voltage switchgear. Representatives of Siemens were among the visitors to Georgia who talked about the medium voltage switchgear, whereupon the presentation of the local partner companies and local prod-
ucts followed. Main focus of the presentation was the cooperation between Siemens and Insta on this topic, leading to the development of a new partnership. At the Presentation, Insta in details showcased a medium voltage switchgear test model equipped with Siemens components and its functions. Founded 17 years ago, Insta has become one of the most successful companies in the Georgian market. The company
specializes in design and installation of electrical, telecommunication and fire alarm systems, providing also industrial and building automation concepts, programming, commissioning and proper maintenance service. Insta team is comprised of dedicated professionals - a total of 100 qualified and certified employees, performing works in compliance with European standards and technologies. Siemens and Insta collaboration in
terms of technological and energy infrastructure development could be beneficial for the country. Insta constantly
shares partner companies experience in order to provide innovative and quality products for its customers.
On May 16 the first five-star hotel-Rixos Borjomi presentation was held for media and a number of Georgian businessmen
Rixos Borjomi hotel was built through the joint investment of The Partnership Fund of Georgia and Kazakhstan. The total cost of the project was $38.5 million, of which 50% came from The Partnership Fund of Georgia. Rixos is located in the heart of the Likhani area and is 177 km away from Tbilisi and the international airport. The Hotel is 9 storeys tall and houses 151 comfortable rooms plus auxiliary buildings. The complex also includes a restaurant, cafe-bar, conference facilities, playground and tennis court, spa, gym, swimming pool, as well as a children’s entertainment center called Rixi Club. Owing to the region’s famous reputation for its mineral waters, the hotel is distinguished from others in the Rixos chain by its therapeutic baths and showers. The famous Romanov Summer Palace also resides on the territory of the Rixos Hotel Borjomi, a very wellknown attraction testifying once more to the curative capability of these waters from the oldest times. Today, this wonderful park sustains this luxury building with its exceptional five-star deluxe facilities and an undoubtedly
well-equipped Health Center. Nowadays, Rixos is one of the most famous and fastest growing luxury hotel chains. Rixos Hotel Borjomi continues the tradition of luxury services well integrated in its statement of excellence: “Expect Nothing Less.” Rixos Hotels has experienced significant growth worldwide in key emerging markets, especially in recent years, and it has invaluable expertise in providing five-star and luxury accommodation with 29 hotels owned in 11 different countries. The Hotel itself has very stylish and cozy rooms, with comfortable furniture and beautiful bathrooms. Each room is bright with an amazing view overlooking wonderful mountains. The therapeutic properties of the water give this place its main value, but aside from the Health Center facility, Rixos Borjomi Hotel offers its guest Spa Massage services, Turkish Hammam, Saunas and the most luxurious of fitness clubs, a rare feature in hotels. Rixi Club and the Water Dome, with its free flow of natural mineral water, have been especially designed for the Hotel’s youngest VIPs. For Organizations and Business Travelers, the Rixos Hotel Borjomi offers flexible meeting spaces equipped
with latest models of audio visual equipment. The 166 square meter ballroom (four modern conference rooms as a whole) with pre-function area, excellent service provision for food and beverages and coffee breaks, is ideal for any kind of event. The Hotel’s exterior “Gardens” and Summer Terrace are perfect for weddings. Established in 2000, Rixos is dedicated to offering traditional Turkish hospitality. A Dubai-based group, Rixos operates premium resorts and villas including city hotels in key diverse regions throughout Turkey, Europe, CIS Countries, North Africa and the Middle East. With more than 6,500 staff serving all its properties, Rixos Hotels have developed an innovative guest experience that blends the best of the new and the old. Designed to offer a unique luxury long-stay experience, the Rixos Villas concept and tailor-made services with private butler and concierge are the ultimate choice for the world’s most distinguished travellers. The Rixos Borjomi Hotel has a wide variety of food and drink venues including: THE RIXOS RESTAURANT which welcomes guests from early breakfast to late dinner; THE WINE HOUSE with a large collection of local and international wines and cocktails, including a degustation menu; THE LOBBY BAR – where you can taste from an abundant menu which includes beverages from around the globe and an exclusive cigar list consisting of world famous brands; THE BAGRATIONI RESTAURANT – serving the best collection of Georgian cuisines from different regions; THE D’LIGHT BAR with a large selection of shakes and fresh juices, champagne and wine by the glass; and THE SUMMER TERRACE - an outdoor venue ideal for the summer period and presenting international seasonal menus of food and beverage and capable of hosting up to 300 guests in the open air. Rixos Spa is the ideal place to enjoy
exceptional therapies from around the world, such as Bali Massage conducted by Balinese masseurs, Thai traditional Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Traditional Turkish Hammam Treatment, and body wraps and facials. Rixos Hotel also has free of charge services: an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a Peeling Room, Steam Room, Fitness Room, and a Turkish Hammam. Massage, body Wraps, Body Exfoliations, Traditional Hammam pilling and Facials are additional services on offer. Borjomi Water is the main therapeutic agent of the resort, traditionally used in the curing of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders of the liver, biliary tract, metabolism, kidneys, nervous system and respiratory organs. Rixos Borjomi Health Center has a rehabilitation and diagnostic center equipped with the latest equipment from the leading companies in medical equipment manufacture. The Center has a variety of treatments of various
types, such as: Doctor consultation; ultrasonography; gastroscopy; functional diagnostics, physiotherapy; bath Procedures; laboratory research; biochemical research; and numerous treatment methods. Rixos Borjomi also has Outdoor activities such as Tennis, Ping-Pong, Basketball, Soccer and upon request: Skiing, Horse riding, Tours and excursions around Borjomi. Known for their hospitality, attentive personalized service and fine cuisine, Rixos Hotels received global recognition and top rating from distinguished specialist professional bodies such as the American Five-Star Diamond Award, Conde Nast, World Travel Awards and Great Hotels of the World. The Guests of Rixos Hotels are provided with the most exceptional standard in customer service and client care during each and every stay. Rixos – an Unforgettable Experience.
MAY 22 - 28
Leading Marketers at Spotlight P.13 2015
Coming Soon: Georgia’s Very First Wind Park P.13
Young Professionals and Students Discuss Future of Caucasus at EBRD Closing Ceremony By Baia Dzagnidze The EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Tbilisi closed with a special event focusing on the thoughts of future leaders and decision-makers from the region. Together with the Free University of Tbilisi, the Tbilisi State University, the American University of Armenia and the ADA University of Azerbaijan, the EBRD launched an essay competition entitled Tbilisi 2015/Caucasus 2051- A History of Our Future: Our Fears, Our Hopes, Our Lives in which the winners discussed their ideas on how to make the region a better place. Natalia Antelava, journalist and TV presenter, noted that Georgia is not doing enough in many areas. She gave the example of the government’s initiative of Georgia 2020, noting that “future should be today and now.” She also added that the young generation in the Caucasus region has more options and more opportunities than before, but also more responsibilities compared to previous generations. David Abesadze of TSU stated in his essay that the fate of Sisyphus (by Albert Camus) is similar to the fate of Georgia, who inexhaustibly fights for its freedom. “You have to try and try again, despite success or failure. The future is the result of what we try today” he asserted. Hambardzum Galstyan from the American University of Armenia gave another perspective: “People in my country [Armenia] are less optimistic; they don’t see and strive for the change, while I disagree with them. We need to change our char-
acter and think more about society rather than ourselves.” Dimitri Dekanozishvili from the Free University of Tbilisi in his work states that the Caucasus has historically been unsure whether it belongs to Asia or Europe: “It’s like an individual who has lost its faith and is oriented towards not creating something new but searching for a successful person from whom he will be able to attain everything good.” When asked how they see the region in ten years from now, the participants identified territorial in-
tegrity, economical growth, democracy and great competition as being main features of the near future. In addition, while discussing the future the region, Antelava expressed her opinion that: “the only chance this region has lies in innovation and creating something new. This is the place facing huge opportunities and challenges due to the political situation of its neighbors. But in order for South Caucasus to become something other than a back water of the world, it really needs to reinvent itself; however, I don’t think it will happen if the
political situation in each country continues to be as it is today. You need to have freedom to have innovation – a political freedom. We need to be truly unique to offer the world something that others can’t. The potential is there but it’s being lost unless we grab that opportunity.” The panel was concluded by an award ceremony, where Lile Kazaishvili, Nika Maghlaperidze, Hambarzoum Galstyan and Toghrul Novruzlu won specially engraved iPods. Elsewhere, as a reward for her poetic and distinguished essay, Lile Kazaishvili won an internship at Wissol Group.
MAY 22 - 28
Representatives of the Social Services Agency Visit Beneficiaries of the Take Care of the Future Project at Natakhtari Factory
4, V. Daraselia Str. Tbilisi, Georgia
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Car Rent Company Natakhtari hosted representatives of the Social Services Agency of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs and Association Our Home Georgia, as well as pupils of Caritas Georgia’s small family type homes. Public and private sectors united once again to assist children deprived of care, and expressed their readiness to implement joint projects in the future to help such children. For this purpose, a Memorandum on Cooperation was concluded between the Social Services Agency and Association Our Home Georgia. The Memorandum provides for mutual cooperation and supporting activities of the Natakhtari Fund. It was signed by Revaz Barbakadze, CEO of the Association Our Home Georgia and Zaza Sopromadze, Deputy Minister of Health and Director of the Social Services Agency. According to Sopromadze, one of the major priorities of the government is assistance to children deprived of care to which Natakhtari Fund is making significant contribution. “By signing a memorandum we showed an example of how state, private institutions
and non-governmental organizations can cooperate. Social projects, including assisting children deprived of care, represent one of our top priorities. With the help of Natakhtari Fund it became possible to retrain dozens of children that had left institutions to enable them acquire professions and find employment. In our opinion, this is the period when they need support the most, to be ready for an important stage of their life,” he said. According to Tornike Nikolaishvili, Marketing Director of Natakhtari Company, the project beneficiaries are competitive on the labour market and have all the right conditions to pursue successful careers. “Natakhtari Fund has been operating for four years now and we currently have 61 employed beneficiaries, of which three work in the technical unit of the Natakhtari Company. The project is a long-term one which lends special importance. We are trying to empower the adolescents to become competitive on the labour market. They are distinguished by good skills, have acquired vocations and can easily compete with peers to find a decent place in society,” – noted Nikolaishvili. Revaz Barbakadze, CEO of
the Association Our Home Georgia: “Our target group is represented by those children who are leaving the public care system. At this stage, many are left without shelter; they have neither respective knowledge nor financial resources to cope with life problems independently. Natakhtari Fund provides great assistance so that the adolescents are in a socially safe environment, and have an occupation and the possibility to live decent lives.” As Manana Omarashvili, Head of the Psychology Service of the Association Our Home Georgia noted, a psychologist was working in small family-type houses with children on an individual basis, planning careers for each adolescent as necessary. “We start working with adolescents living in small familytype homes and support them until the age of 18. Psychologists have permanent communication with the children and we are ready to discuss any issue with them and support them,” Omarashvili explained. Gela Gogiashvili, 19, is one project beneficiary who was employed at the Natakhtari Company a month and a half ago. “I became a project beneficiary three years ago. The project
gave me an opportunity to be independent and lead a decent live. A few years ago I couldn’t even imagine that I would have a job allowing me to have a shelter and be strong,” Gela said. Along with the Natakhtari Company, the following institutions are actively engaged in the assistance of the children deprived of care: PR School under the Georgian – American University, NGO Chance for Life, Andamati Ceramic Workshop, Beauty Salons Natalie, Eden, Gracia and Aziati; Sole Proprietor Irakli Gemezashvili, Gardenia, Skyler, Gorgia, M Group, and others. According to the Social Services Agency, there are hundreds of children in state care, including 334 children in small family-type homes and 1205 in foster care. Every year, 1-15 children leave the state care program upon reaching the age of 18. Following the presentation, guests visited beneficiaries employed at Natakhtari Factory. A special Lemonade Tour was organized for children of Georgia Caritas – Small Family-Type Home whereby they discovered the complex cycle of lemonade bottling and were awarded with memorial certificates.
Euro-standard Hypermarket ‘Domino’ Opens at East Point Georgia’s first euro-format construction hypermarket Domino officially opened at the new East Point trade and entertainment centre on Kakheti Highway (Tvalchrelidze str, 2) this week. The event was attended by Mayor Narmania; General Manager of CBD Development, Tomas Gizas; and Deputy Minister of Economy, Keti Borjorishvili. The Domino hypermarket, spread across a massive 11,500 sqm, offers more than 40,000 products for construction and
renovation: roofing, laminate flooring, floor and wall tiles, plumbing and central heating equipment, furniture, lighting, hand tools, paint, chemicals, and everything else you might need in home décor supplies. Clients can get euro quality service when making purchases, all in the comfort of one space. You will find the hypermarket staff highly qualified and well trained and, if needed, you can consult with professional interiors designers, who will help you
to make the right choices when (re)designing your home. Delivery is also available. The Domino hypermarket project investment was 10mln USD and it is currently employing around 250 staff members. The East Point Centre, meeting international standards and being unique in concept and architecture, consists of 21 hectares of land from which 70,000 square meters are still available to rent. In the near future East Point
will be home to a wide range of outlets providing discerning customers with domestic electrics, a children’s entertainment centre, a 10 screen cinema, an IMAX, and about 150 brand shops offering shoes and accessories, not to mention a wide selection of the best fast food restaurants. Construction is ongoing and is set for completion in autumn 2015. It is expected that about 3000 people will find employment there.
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BUSINESS Leading Mar keter sa Mark eters att Spotlight 2015
MAY 22 - 28
Repor t: Fir ms Need to port: Firms Intr oduce Inno vations Introduce Innov Frequentl y equently By Baia Dzagnidze
By Eka Karsaulidze Imagine you have only 13 minutes to talk about the most important things. Are you going to talk about the success of your company, or your own great achievements or biggest failures? Fourteen Georgia marketers will take this difficult challenge for the third time. On the eve of the main marketing event Spotlight 2015, which will take place in Tbilisi on May 24, Georgia Today tried to find out who those people will be and why the interest in marketing has grown over the past few years. “Our main goal is to develop Georgian marketing. We set this mission when creating the Marketer online magazine and Spotlight is one of the tools to achieve this goal. As it turned out, it became a wildly popular event,” said Nino Akhalaia, Manager of Spotlight. The first Spotlight was held in 2013 based on the well-known TED (Technology Entertainment Design) example. The main idea is to allow marketing representatives to speak about their achievement for just 13 minutes. Not much time, but enough to focus only on the most important details. Moreover, Spotlight is the only place in Georgia where people from the marketing environment can meet, exchange experiences, assess each other’s work, establish communication and create joint projects that helps to develop market-
ing throughout the country. Nino Akhalaia says that when the project was launched, people were quite skeptical. “We have a stereotype that Georgians can’t make high quality products. But all our speakers are great experts in their field. Most of them graduated universities abroad then were able to return, apply their knowledge in the Georgian reality and bring their companies to a leading position,” she explained. Wendy’s & Dunkin’ Donuts, Silknet, Radisson Blu, Geocell, Adjara Group, Caucasus Online, Myvideo.ge, Tbilisi Zoo and others will be presented at Spotlight 2015. Every year speakers were selected in cooperation with the Marketer’s readers, which means that Spotlight is not only a purely professional event, but is also interesting for people who are not involved in marketing. Spotlight focuses only on marketing managers; their companies are just a platform from which the professionals realize their ideas. “We never make a choice in favour of large companies. You can work in a lowbudget enterprise, but achieve more in this area than a representative of a multimillion dollar corporation. We are interested in the person and his/her unique professional and life experience, so I think that why Spotlight is also interesting for people who are far from the profession,” said Akhalaia. Experience shows that people who are
interested in the event are, in 99% of cases, from the marketing field. In addition to the invited former speakers and partner organizations, Spotlight is for the second time selling tickets to the public. These are in limited supply- just 150 and yet they steadily sold out less than a day. The organizers do not think about expansion; seeing as Spotlight’s format implies chamber performances (300-400 people maximum), it is better to maintain contact and interaction between the speaker and the audience. But for those unable to attend, all the speeches will be recorded and later available on Spotlight’s official website (www.spotlight.ge) Spotlight itself does not concede from the participants in terms of implementation of marketing ideas and surprises. Georgia Today even managed to find out some of the participants. For example, Zackharia Metreveli and Dimitri Vachnadze, winners of Young Cannes Lions in Georgia, will be awarded with a special prize. Moreover, Pasha Bank, Spotlight’s official partner, will announce a new program that has already started on Facebook. “MyBookChallenge, from Pasha Bank is a very important project for all people who involved in marketing and, thanks to this project, they will have new opportunities for development. That’s all I can say as the full announcement will be this Sunday at the Spotlight 2015,”Akhalaia concluded.
Aiming to help companies to better absorb foreign technologies and improve management techniques, the Adopt, Adapt, Advance: Innovating for the Future panel at EBRD’s Annual Meeting was held last week in Tbilisi, which brought together representatives of business, academia and experts to explore various options. According to the Transition Report 2014, Innovation in Transition, individual companies’ innovations can help to establish new growth drivers and recuperate transition in the EBRD region. “Returns to innovation are sizeable in all industries – including in low-tech sectors, where firms tend to innovate less. In addition, many firms can boost their productivity by simply improving the way they are managed,” the report explained, adding that a 40% average increase in productivity is associated with improved management practices in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, while a 43% average increase in productivity is linked with introducing a new product. The report also shows that firms innovate more in countries with better core economic institutions where there is low corruption, a strong rule of law, open-
ness to trade and investment and a highly skilled workforce. Furthermore, ease of access to credit conditions by banks was named an important factor in innovation. Beata Javorcik, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford, stated that there is not a straight-cut recipe for economic growth, but there are some widespread issues - the least progressive countries need to follow sustainable growth via leaning from the experiences of more innovative economies. On the other hand, Albert Bravo-Biosca, Senior Economist at Nesta, says that carefulness is a crucial attribute while introducing any innovation and suggests trying different innovation designs and efficient solutions to ascertain whether they work or not. The panelists also acknowledged foreign direct investments (FDI) to be of vital importance for innovative drive. George Chirakadze, the President of UGT and member of the Business Association of Georgia, noted that in transition economies such as Georgia, the challenges are much more complex. The shortage of skilled workers makes FDI riskier and less attractive, however developing educational policies might be very helpful if the economy is to flourish.
Arabian Dhabi Group Mak es Extr a $250 million Makes Extra In vestment in Geor gia Inv Georgia
Coming Soon: Geor gia’ s Georgia’ gia’s k Ver y Fir st Wind P ar ery First Par ark By Beqa Kirtava The Government of Georgia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have signed the initial agreement of cooperation on the upcoming wind park project in Gori. The document was signed during the 2015 EBRD Annual Meeting in Tbilisi, in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, Kakha Kaladze; EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources, Riccardo Puliti; Giorgi Bezhuashvili, Director of the Georgian Energy Development Fund and Aida Sitdikova, EBRD Director for Energy and Natural Resources in Russia and Central Asia. “Georgia is becoming successful at developing domestic renewable energy sources, thus reducing imports of power generated by fossil fuels. This is important in terms of energy security as well as climate change. After investing ˆ312 million in hydropower generation, we are hoping to make another renewable source – wind – attractive for in-
vestors,” stated EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources, Riccardo Puliti, after the signing. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, Kakha Kaladze, expressed his gratitude to EBRD for its constant support and placed special emphasis on the importance of the first wind pow-
ered project in the Caucasus region. The total cost of the wind park project is an estimated $35 million. EBRD is planning to provide a total of $25 million as a loan to Georgia to contribute to this project. The capacity of the wind power plant is set to be 20 MW and it is expected to generate 85 GWh annually.
By Nino Melikishvili Arab investment company Dhabi Group has increased its investment portfolio in Georgia by 35 percent to make an additional $250 million investment. KSB bank was one of the investments of Dhabi Group, the largest company in Georgia and the leading business group in the UAE, operating in many spheres of business. Dhabi Group committed to offer additional funding to two projects. This extra investment would further support KSB bank as well as the construction of the 5-star Millennium Biltmore Hotel complex in Tbilisi, which is
one of the world’s largest owned-andmanaged hotel companies with more than 120 properties around the world. The hotel is centrally located next to Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel and is expected to open in January 2016. Dhabi Group has already made a $140 million investment in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel construction. According to Dhabi Group the 32-floor hotel will be the first hotel in Georgia to have a presidential room. Dhabi Group is focused on expending its investments in financial activities through offering strong financial resources and management experiences in emerging and developing markets.
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MAY 22 - 28
Finance Minister Khaduri Optimistic After EBRD Business Forum meeting and business forums as to why Georgia is an attractive country for investments. Q: How do people benefit from the projects implemented by EBRD? A: First of all, it should be noted that the European Bank for Reconstruction has provided significant financial support for Georgia. It can be said that the bank is one of the largest foreign investors for our country. EBRD has invested more than 2.6 billion euro in more than 170 projects in different directions. Namely these have been in energy, the private sector, also, to foster small and mediumsized enterprises, infrastructure, communications, financial, banking and other sectors. The government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will work together to attract investment and to improve the business environment.
build a new landfill in Kvemo Kartli region (Marneuli) and purchase all the necessary machinery/ equipment for solid waste transportation and for functioning of the landfill. The new landfill will serve 5 municipalities in Kvemo Kartli - Marneuli, Bolnisi, Dmanisi, Tetritskaro and Tsalka. Within the framework of the EBRD annual meeting a 24 million euro investment in Georgia was signed. A concrete agreement about the allocation of 10.9 million euro for financial resources was signed between EBRD and Aversi Farma. That will be used for the reconstruction of hospitals. Part of the money will be spent on improving the supply of drugs and to buy pharmaceutical products. Another agreement has been signed between EBRD and Georgian Energy Development Fund to finance the “Kartli” wind farm project. EBRD will finance the project with $25 million. The
EBRD has invested more than 2.6 billion euro in more than 170 projects in different directions. Namely these have been in energy, the private sector, also, to foster small and medium-sized enterprises, infrastructure, communications, financial, banking and other sectors. The government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will work together to attract investment and to improve the business environment. By Meri Taliashvili Georgia Today met with Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finance of Georgia, to review the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Tbilisi. Q: What does the EBRD Business Forum mean to Georgia and its economy? A: The EBRD annual meeting gave us the opportunity to introduce the investment opportunities and business environment to the forum participants
and invited guests. As you know, within the framework of the annual meeting the Georgian investment review session was held and our Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spoke about our country’s economic and investment potential. I think that the potential investors received detailed information about the investment and business environment in our country. We hope that EBRD’s annual meeting will further increase the interest in Georgia. On the website of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, you can read information and assessments made by our partners at the annual
Hotel Citrus – A Refreshing Change By Beqa Kirtava Although the Georgian hospitality market is mainly dominated by gigantic luxury hotels, the trend of opening smaller inns seems to be gearing up in the country, as more and more tourists place serenity above all else. One of the proud representatives of the smaller hotel family is Hotel Citrus, which is located in the calmest place in the capital within walking distance from Freedom Square – Tbilisi City’s beating heart, where museums, restaurants and official fashion boutiques such as Versace, Burberry and others are located. Citrus is run by a man who has opened a total of 16 hotels, having every single bit of experience needed to take any hotel to the top, Shalva Alaverdashvili. Hotel Citrus was opened on April 24, 2015, with co-financing from Tbilisi City Hall within the framework of the “Low Credit” project; a total investment of 3.5 million GEL. According to the General Manager, Hotel Citrus has many advantages over its bigger competitors – “Many brands cannot sell their rooms under the minimum price, while we will be able to adjust the costs to our customers, if it is a particularly beneficial deal,” said Alaverdashvili in an exclusive interview with Georgia Today. “Furthermore, we will be the first hotel
to actually take advantage of the existing balneology center in the capital and offer our clients various packages. I have a lot of experience in the aforementioned field, as I worked in Borjomi for quite some time and I want the people who are interested in balneotherapy to come to Tbilisi as well.” All the transportation costs will be covered by the hotel and one of the most important things about the inn is that they are ready to adopt the menu to your needs – “If the doctor orders any of our guests to only eat a particular kind of food while taking balneotherapy, we are ready to prepare the dishes adjusted for their prescription.” All the staff members of Citrus Hotel are excellently prepared, as the General Manager believes that service is the most important aspect of a great hotel. “It doesn’t matter what kind of a grand hotel you build if the staff cannot deliver the level-best service,” Alavaerdashvili said. The Hotel consists of 36 spacious guest rooms, including standard, family, studio, disabled persons’, semi-suites and suites. The restaurant offers traditional Georgian dishes alongside European cuisine. While the two meeting rooms (10 to 100 guests) create an ideal space for your business gatherings. So, leave the hectic atmosphere behind, choose Citrus and rest in a perfectly soothing atmosphere.
Prime Minister Garibashvili and EBRD president Sir Suma Chakrabarti have signed the Memorandum of Understanding about the establishment of the Investors Council. The Investors Council will work to promote economic development and to attract additional investments in Georgia. Q: Which sector of Georgia was most interested by the EBRD annual meeting? A: During the annual meeting, specific agreements have been signed. In the aim of the imp- mentation of “Kvemo Kartli Solid Waste Project”, we have signed an agreement with EBRD that aims to
loan aims to build and operate a wind power plant in Georgia. Additionally, EBRD has granted a $31.5 million loan to Basis Bank. The loan is intended to finance local small and medium production, energy efficiency and trade. That will be a significant contribution to the process of the development of the Georgian economy. So, I think that very interesting agreements have been signed. Business ideas will not be transformed into investments instantly. However, it is important that during the annual meeting, the work on specific projects have begun and I hope that soon we will get real results.
SOCIETY Wha t’ s Going on a hat’ t’s att Tbilisi City Hall? By the Center of Research for the Study of Georgian Complex Development Issues It is more than concerning that our latest survey reveals 57% of Tbilisi citizens are not satisfied with the work of City Hall. It is necessary to further analyze the fact that 36% of respondents believe that since the election of the new City Hall and members of the City Council, citizens’ lives have not improved, in fact 15% say that their lives have deteriorated while 26% find it difficult to answer. It is noteworthy that the work of Tbilisi Mayor David Narmania was evaluated negatively, with 12% assessing his work
as very bad and 37% as bad, which is more or less half the total respondents. In this regard, the City Council has no grounds for complacency as the Council’s performance itself was evaluated as very bad (10%) or bad (33%). The results of this Study aim to identify and analyze already existent problems in the capital, with the research focusing on detailed problems in Tbilisi districts. In the near future the Center plans to conduct separate studies on the problems of young people. Together with youth organizations and the Ministry of Sports and Youth of Georgia, we will develop recommendations for solving the problems identified.
MAY 22 - 28
Feder al J ur y Sentences ederal Jur ury Dzhokar Tsar nae v to Dea th sarnae naev Death By Joseph Larsen The State of Massachusetts abolished the death penalty in 1984. But while the State may no longer execute people, its residents can still be handed down the sentence. Dzhokar Tsarnaev, an American citizen born in Kyrgyzstan, raised in the Boston suburb of Cambridge and guilty (along with his elder brother Tamerlan) of the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, has been sentenced to death by a federal jury. The 21-year old was found guilty of setting off two homemade bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring at least 260 – as well as the shooting of Sean Collier, a 27-year old campus policeman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tsarnaev was tried in a federal court because, despite the crime being planned and carried out in Massachusetts, the authorities deemed it a crime against the United States rather than against Massachusetts. Dzhokar’s elder brother Tamerlan was 26 at the time of the attack, and was killed in a shootout with police on 18 April 2013, days after the Boston Marathon. Dzhokar escaped but was found the next day hiding in a boat. The younger brother was found guilty of 30 charges ranging from murder to conspiracy to using weapons of mass destruction. Six of the 30 charges were eligible for the death sentence. While few doubted his guilt in the bombings and shooting of Collier, the handing down of the death penalty was not viewed as a foregone conclusion. In order for that sentence to be given, the 11-person jury had to unanimously decide in favor of the prosecution. After 14 hours of deliberation conducted over three days, the jury issued the verdict:
death due to his role in the planting of the second of two bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon. The instance marks the first time in the post-9/11 era that the federal government has issued the death penalty. The responses of the survivors of the attack were mixed. Several, including Adrianne Haslet and Sidney Corcoran, whose mother lost both her legs in the bombing, expressed approval for the verdict, as did many other survivors and some relatives of the deceased. Bill and Denise Richard – whose eight-year old son Martin was killed along with 29year old Krystle Campbell and 23-year old Lingzi Liu, a university student from China – expressed unequivocal opposition to the death penalty. Their daughter Jane survived the attack but not without losing a leg. Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s defense team did not attempt to assert his innocence. Rather, they focused on the trial’s sec-
ond stage, attempting to spare him death by persuading the jury that he had acted under the manipulation of Tamerlan. Casting the elder Tsarnaev as the attack’s “mastermind,” chief defense attorney Judy Clarke asserted that he both constructed the bombs (which were made from store-bought pressure cookers, gunpowder and shrapnel made from nails, screws and BBs) and planned the attack, with Dzhokar playing a supporting role. The defense is now likely to initiate a lengthy appeals process, as is standard practice following death penalty rulings. While Tsarnaev’s guilt will not be overturned, the verdict of death could be. It has been speculated that the defense will push for a retrial outside the State of Massachusetts, arguing that because Tsarnaev was tried in the same jurisdiction in which he committed the crime, there was no chance of the jury being impartial.
Gori Marches for Geor gia’s Dignity By Zviad Adzinbaia On 19 May, a group of Georgian nongovernmental organizations organized a counter-action in response to a rally held in Gori on May 9, calling on people to support Russia’s Eurasian Union. The counter-action, entitled Gori for Georgia’s Dignity, involved thousands of civilians region-wide, centering around one idea: No to Russia’s Eurasian Union. There have always been questions as to how the Soviet legacy has affected Gori, the town in which the dictator Joseph Stalin was born. Some people from previous generations believe that Gori should be a symbol of the Soviet Empire and the town should retain the Stalin museum and re-erect the statue which was removed by Saakashvili’s government after the war in August 2008. However, younger generations who are mostly Western-oriented perceive Stalin as contrary to Georgia’s independence and statehood and do not celebrate this inheritance, which ultimately resulted in the occupation of two regions of Georgia by Russian troops. It has been reported that some Russian-backed individuals, including the representatives of the Russia’s Fifth Column in Georgia, led the demonstration on May 9 in Gori supporting the Eurasian Union. Allegedly, Russian groups, who were not allowed to visit a Soviet soldier in Tbilisi’s Vake Park the same day, organized the event. Information spread through social media said some marginal groups par-
ticipated in the demonstration which many deemed to be against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Moreover, video montages and photos were shown portraying protesters as unaware of the purpose of the Gori action in which they were involved. Meanwhile, weeks later, the very message of the counteraction was that Gori was no longer attached to the Soviet empire. “We came here to protect our country’s future and to show the entire world that Gori, and generally Georgia, has a progressive and futureoriented generation,” one of the participants told Georgia Today. The protesters who strongly believe in Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic future condemned the aspirations of Russia, the occupying regime of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, mak-
ing up 20 percent of Georgia’s sovereign territory. In conclusion, some Georgian citizens look at the ongoing processes in the country quite skeptically as much of the country’s population remains vulnerable and lives in hardship. Georgia is on the arduous road of political, economic and social transition from the Soviet to democratic value systems. Moreover, global developments and rapid technological and educational developments have forced the country to follow the quick tempo of more advanced European countries while Georgia remains unindustrialized and a technologically developing state in the region. Education, democracy and economic growth remain the unalterable remedies with which Georgians can address the remnants of its Soviet past.
MAY 22 - 28
Memor andum Signed Memorandum betw een AS Geor gia between Georgia and TBC Bank
A partnership memorandum was signed between “AS Georgia” and TBC Bank, the daughter company of the international development holding “AS Group Investment”, regarding the “DIRSI” project. Based on the memorandum, new conditions will make newly-built apartment complexes in Transcaucasia more accessible. In the frames of the joint project, consumers will have the ability to purchase an apartment in a completed “DIRSI” complex through TBC Bank’s mortgage rates and take advantage of accessible conditions, which include co-financing of just 15%, a long-term payment plan, and a preferential interest rate. Several other advantageous offerings were facilitated by “AS Group Investment” for people looking into purchasing “DIRSI” flats in finished apartment complexes:
· A fixed currency exchange rate of 1 USD = 2.0 GEL · A gifted Nissan Sunny automobile to the consumer who purchases a 3-room flat by the end of July 2015. · Additionally, the price for 1 square meter in apartment complex “DIRSI” will start from $900. The international holding “AS Group Investment” has been successfully implementing government and private sector projects for a long time in both Georgia and Azerbaijan. This comes as a result of effective management, contemporary technical and production bases and systematically updated technologies, making “AS Group Investment” a trustworthy business partner in many countries around the globe. A multitude of contracts signed with leading brands of the construction sector are a testament to that.
Tbilisi to Welcome Amir ani Amirani Film F esti val 2015 Festi estiv
Announcement of Amirani Film Festival plans at the Ministry of Culture.
By Eka Karsaulidze The 9th International Student Film Festival “Amirani” is set to be held in Tbilisi on June 2-6. 48 films from 21 countries will be shown during the Festival and it will also serve as a platform for workshops, presentations, experience exchanges and communication with leading experts from around the world. “We are pleased to announce that every year the Festival is expanding geographically and increasing its authority,” said Mikheil Giorgadze, the Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. “This is indicated by the large number of applications by young directors, which was accepted this year. The Amirani Film Festival is a unique platform and opportunity for young filmmakers to show off their talent, see others’ works and learn about the latest trends from the cinema world,” he added. More than 50 film academies have applied to participate in the Amirani Film Festival and, following a thorough selection process, representatives from
Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Argentina, the U.S., Poland, Belgium, Spain, Iran, Israel, Cuba, Canada, Australia and many other countries were chosen to present their works in the main competition program. Among the participants also will be students of the Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film Georgia. The university is one of the organizers of Amirani Film Festival along with Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, Tbilisi City Hall Center for Cultural Events and Georgia National Film Center. Professor Gogi Margvelashvili, Rector of the Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film, stated that this Festival plays an important role, especially for Georgian students. “It is a chance for them to see what is happening in world cinematography, to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of their own work and to start to develop in the right direction,” said Margvelashvili. “Naturally, it is difficult to compare our works with films from other countries. Often, others have better technical possibilities, but despite this fact, we
can compete with them on equal terms. Recently, our students won a prize in Germany and the jury members themselves noted that Europeans have an advantage in financing, but we have great ideas,” he added. The international jury at Amirani Film Festival 2015 will include Peter Slansky, Professor at the University of Television and Film of Munich; Professor Xie Fei of the Beijing Film Academy; Nenad Dizdarevic, the Dean of the Sarajevo Film Academy; and Vadim Prodan, the Director and Professor of the Kishinev Film Academy. The jury will reveal winners in the following categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Best Animation/Experimental Film. Special prizes will also be awarded for Best Direction, Best Sound and Best Cinematography. The winners will be revealed on June 6. All events in the framework of the 9th International Student Film Festival Amirani, including screenings, workshops, and presentations, will take place at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgia State University. Entrance is free of charge for all.
Bona par te’ s Dea th Mask No w in Tbilisi Bonapar parte’ te’s Death Now By Katie Ruth Davies For one month residents and visitors to Tbilisi will have the chance to see Napoleon Bonaparte’s first-forged death mask at the Art Palace museum (Kargareteli Str. 6). It has been temporarily brought, along with other artifacts belonging to the Royal Dadiani family, from its home in the Dadiani Palace, Zugdidi. One of only four in existence, the bronze death mask of French Emperor Napoleon I is said to have been made by Dr. François Carlo Antommarchi, in the manner customary following the death of a great leader, using plaster which was carefully placed over Napoleon’s face and removed after hardening. From this mould the bronze masks, such as that now in Tbilisi, were cast. A lot of mystery and controversy surrounds the origins and whereabouts of most of the original cast moulds but the one now on display at the Art Palace museum is confirmed as the first and shows the seal of the Doctor at the neck. The Mask was brought to Georgia in the late 1800s by the grandson of Napoleon III’s sister, Achill Murat, heir to the French Emperorship, whose hopes of holding such office were crushed by
revolution in his own country. Attractive, intelligent and well-respected, Murat married Princess Salome of Megrelia (1848-1913), in 1868. Salome was the daughter of Queen Ekaterine of Megrelia (1816-1882) and King David Dadiani (died in 1853), and brother of the last King of Megrelia, Niko Dadiani (1847-1903). The family was especially close to Russian Tsar Alexander II and French Emperor Napoleon III and were educated in St Petersburg and Paris, being fluent in French. As the air of revolution increased in France, Murat decided to move with his family to the Dadiani Palace in Zugdidi where he enjoyed his time working the land and entertaining guests. He brought with him a bounty of French furniture and books- and the family heirloom: the first made mask of Napoleon Boneparte. Eventually, the realization that he would never return as Emperor to his native France drove him to depression and suicide. But his legacy lives on in the great treasure which he brought to Georgia and which can be enjoyed for the next three months at the Art Palace (the Mask will remain just one month) before returning to its home in the Dadiani Palace, Zugdidi.
MAY 22 - 28
“F assbiner NO W” and Ev er on “Fassbiner NOW” Ever the Occasion of F assbinder’ s Fassbinder’ assbinder’s 70th Anni ver sar y Anniv ersar sary By Dr. Phil. Lily Fürstenow-Khositashvili It is difficult to write about Rainer Werner Fassbinder because his medium is film and this is a text. It’s all the more difficult because his films are some of the most wonderful films made in film history and this text needs to match this high standard but lacks in format and space. However the feel of the film, the visual experience, can be translated into words. His films are about feelings, about the raw naked feel that strips bare the inner worlds of his protagonists entangled in hopeless love affairs, personal dramas derived from socio-historical circumstances, stuffy middle class post-war German milieus, historical conundrums, fate. Protagonists driven to extremes, deadends, emotional breakdowns, tormented amid the flourishing facades of the socalled cosy “Wirtschaftswünder” superficial after war well-being in provincial Germany and bigger cities – Fassbinder is about extremes expressed sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly - subversively through camera work, lighting, composition of images and sets, costume minutes, montage and close ups. Fassbinder created not only films but film stars for his films – Hanna Shygulla, Barbara Sukowa, Mario Adorf to name but a few – he brought their artistic potential to shine as Lili Marlen, Lola, corrupt city official – the roles that defined their further artistic careers and images they represented in cinema. Fassbinder created about 40 film masterpieces throughout his short but extremely productive career, which makes him one of the most influential filmmakers ever. The exhibition on the occasion of his 70th anniversary in Martin Gropius Bau focused on Fassbinder’s films, showcased his work diaries and related handwritten documents allowing us to trace the
Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant, 1972, Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, Berlin
process of behind-the-curtain film production work, exhibited wonderful film costumes by Barbara Baum as well as attempted to trace lines of influence on contemporary film and photography. One remains thoughtful as to why the curators exhibited the works of the photographers and video artists they chose for this occasion in Martin-Gropius-Bau, since Fassbinder’s influence on contemporary image production has been so transformative it has influenced anyone dealing with moving image. Mere quotations of Fassbinder’s film titles or film settings can hardly qualify. Or why at all would we need comparison of more or less wellknown living artists in mid-careers represented by certain galleries with the legendary filmmaker? The Exhibition Fassbinder JETZT (NOW) runs in Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin till 23th of August, 2015. Related events and retrospectives of Fassbinder’s films will be shown by Berliner Festspiele and Kino Arsenal. And speaking of retrospectives, Georgian Film Weeks will be held in Werkstatt der Kulturen, Berlin, starting March 2016. Contributions are welcome! More info at: http://emergingartists.blogspot.de/2014/06/ blog-post_25.html
Exhibition: Ser go P ar ajano vi Serg Par arajano ajanovi 21st Centur y Dr eam Century Dream By Tatia Megeneishvili Tbilisi History Museum is hosting the exhibition “Sergo Parajanovi 21st Century Dream” dedicated to master of cinema Sergei Parajanov until 16th of June which, according to organizers, is set to be one of the most interesting that has ever been held in Tbilisi. In this exhibition, founders of Dream Museum (Kiev, Ukraine) Victoria Danielian and Tatiana Tsvelodub represent their interpretation of Parajanov’s life and his creativity. The exhibition is a complex multimedia collage-installation, uniting the exhibition hall space as a collection of myths, reflections, thoughts and memories about Parajanov, who was born in Tbilisi and is an integral part of Tbilisi history. Art objects, artifacts of a bygone era, objects from the Tbilisi History Museum fund, photos, film retrospectives “celluloid dreams”, collages and assemblages, movie posters, all lead to the dis-
closing of the mythical atmosphere of Parajanov’s life and creative work. More than 20 well-known Georgian artists, alongside artists from Ukraine, took part in the exhibition: Guga Kotetishvili, Yuri Mechitov, Olesya Tavadze, Oleg Timchenko, Nino Chubinishvili, Irma Sharikadze, Guram Tsibakhashvili, Vakho Bugadze, Mamuka Japaridze, Vadim Advadze, Erna Dolmazova, Salome Elanidze, Zhanna Davtyan, Grigor Devejiev, Vasily Kostenko, Ivan Kostenko, Eugene Remizova, Julia Bugaeva, Alla Zhmailo, and Mark Polyakov. Parajanov is a famous cinema master. He has directed movies such as Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Wild Horses of Fire), and The Color of Pomegranates, which brought him world fame. Parajanov wrote screenplays for movies such as Kyiv Frescoes, Studies about Vrubel, Swan Lake: The Zone, and more, receiving numerous prizes and awards for his achievements in cinema.
MAY 22 - 28
Fir st Tbilisi Inter na tional F esti val of Liter atur e Launc hed in Geor gia First Interna national Festi estiv Litera ture Launched Georgia By Eka Karsaulidze Twenty famous contemporary writers gathered in Tbilisi to take part in the first literary festival in Georgia. Literature discussions, poetry jams, books presentations, workshops for students, poetry evenings, photo exhibitions and many other events were held in the framework of first Tbilisi International Festival of Literature (TIFL) on May 18-23. Mikheil Giorgadze, the Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia many times argued that Tbilisi has the potential to become the capital of festivals of the whole Transcaucasian region. During recent years, the number of cultural festivals significantly increased in Tbilisi. But àmong the large number of music, film and theater festivals, there was no literary one. “Literature is one of the peculiarities of Georgian culture, so it can be a link between writers all around the world and raise the interest of the outside world towards Georgian literature. With this Festival, we provide writers an excellent platform to share experiences, build links and perhaps establish joint projects,” said Ketevan Dumbadze, Adviser to the Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. Thanks to these links, it became possible to have in the Festival such great contemporary authors as Philip Besson, Sarah Bower, Anthea Nicholson, Kimberly Johnson, Caronlyn Forche, Vera Pavlova, Claudio Pozzani and many others. The Writers’ House, official organizer of the TIFL, choose and invited writers with the support of partner organizations: Embassy of United States and Italy, Goethe Institute, French In-
stitute, British Council, the Polish Book Institute and others. Despite the fact that the Festival focuses on invited guests, Georgian authors were also involved in the TIFL. For example, especially for the Festival they translated “De la, on voit la mer” by French writer Philip Besson and “Voices from Chernobyl” by Svetlana Alexievich from Belarus. Among the invited guests were also writers from Azerbaijan and Armenia. Together with the Georgian poet Eka Kevanishvili they arranged a friendly poetry evening. “For the last 10 years I have had a strong friendship with Georgian poets and writers, and I know how many talented people there are. Also, not for the first time, I have cooperated with Violet [Violet Grigoryan, writer from Armenia]. For me, the TIFL is not only an opportunity to share my creativity, but a
chance to learn more about modern Italian, French and Polish literature,” said Giunel Mevlud, a writer from Azerbaijan. Tbilisi has always extended a warm welcome to famous writers. Alexandre Dumas, John Steinbeck, Boris Pasternak, Allen Ginsberg and many others lived and worked here in different years. Organizers of the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature hope that this tradition will continue. “We want to make the Festival a yearly tradition; and it is acquiring even more importance, as Georgia is getting ready to become Guest of Honour of Frankfurt Book Fair in 2018. We have a lot of book festivals, but they are more similar to the fair. In the TIFL we are talking about pure literature. There is no such festival in the Caucasus region and in this case, Georgia is taking on an important but very pleasant mission,” said
May 24 THE TALE OF TSAR SALTAN Aleksandr Pushkin Directed by Avtandil Varsimashvili Tale Small stage Russian Language Start time: 18:00 Ticket price: 5 Lari
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy Russian language Start time: 12:30, 15:15 Ticket price: 8.50 – 10.50 Lari
Natalia Lomouri, Director of Writers’ House and the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature. BRITISH AUTHORS VISIT GEORGIA On 19 May, at Writers’ House, the British Council in partnership with TIFL, organized the visit of two British female authors to show the best of contemporary UK literature to Georgian audiences. Anthea Nicholson and Sarah Bower read extracts from their works and discussed the fictionalization of historic facts in literature. Anthea Nicholson began writing fiction later in life, coming from the profession of a visual artist. She took an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University, 2005, and was then writer in residence for a year on a Dartmoor sheep farm. Further distractions included building a dwelling and reclaiming wildlife habitat
on the outskirts of Tbilisi with her Georgian partner. The Banner of the Passing Clouds, (Granta Books, 2013), is Anthea Nicholson’s debut novel. This novel is especially interesting for Georgian readers as it is about Georgians and some important historical facts are interestingly interpreted. ‘On the very day that Joseph Stalin dies, a baby is born in a hospital in Tbilisi, Georgia. The baby’s parents are grieving the death of their older child and don’t really notice that their new-born has been given the name Iosif by the nurses. Their surname being Dzhugashvili, means that the little boy has the same birth-name as Georgia’s most famous and feared son – Joseph Stalin. When the young Iosif learns of his strange link to the ‘man of steel’, he becomes convinced that Stalin has found a new dwelling place within his chest, a burden he both welcomes and fears. Sarah Bower is a prize-winning novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, The Needle in the Blood, won the Susan Hill Award in 2007. Her second novel, The Book Of Love (published in the US as Sins Of The House Of Borgia was translated into nine languages and was a Toronto Globe and Mail bestseller in 2009. Her third novel, Erosion, writing as S. A. Hemmings, came out in 2014. Her short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in a number of publications including MsLexia, and Words Without Borders. Zaza Purtseladze, British Council Director in Georgia: ‘The British Council Arts Programme is committed to showcasing high quality work from the UK. We were delighted to have two amazing female writers, Anthea Nicholson and Sarah Bower, to host the British Literature evening today’
WHAT'S ON IN TBILISI THEATRE ILIAUNI THEATRE Address: 32 a Chavchavadze Ave. Telephone: 2 29 47 15 May 22 KHARMS Daniil Yuvachev Directed by Otar Egadze With English subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10 Lari GABRIADZE THEATRE Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 2 98 65 93 May 22 MARSHAL DE FANTIE’S DIAMOND Directed by Revaz Gabriadze With English subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15 Lari May 24, 27 RAMONA Directed by Revaz Gabriadze With English subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15 Lari GRIBOEDOVI THEATRE Address: 2 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 93 43 36 May 22 ENGLISH DETECTIVE Agatha Christie Directed by Vakhtang Nikolava Ironic detective Small stage Russian Language Start time: 18:00 Ticket price: 5 Lari May 23 ELDER SON Aleksandr Vampilov Directed by Gogi Margvelashvili Comedy Small stage Russian Language Start time: 18:00 Ticket price: 5 Lari
CINEMA AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 299 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge May 22-28 MAD MAX 3D Directe by George Miller Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi English Language Start time: 20:00 Russian Language Start time: 17:15, 22:30 Ticket price: 11.50-12.50 Lari THE AGE OF ADALINE Directe by Lee Toland Krieger Cast: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford Genre: Drama, Romance English Language Start time: 20:00 Russian Language Start time: 17:30, 19:30 Ticket price: 11.50-12.50 Lari AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON 3 D
Directe by Joss Whedon Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Russian Language Start time: 12:30 Ticket price: 8.50-12.50 Lari SHAUN THE SHEEP Directed by Mark Burton, Richard Starzak Cast: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili
TOMORROWLAND Directed by Brad Bird Cast: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery Russian language Start time: 12:30, 15:30, 19:45, 22:15 Ticket price: 8.50 – 10.50 Lari MUSEUM IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM - KARVASLA Address: 8 Sioni St. Telephone: 2 98 22 81 May 18 - June 16 ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF MUSEUMS, THE GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM PRESENTS EXHIBITION “SERGO PARAJANOVI - 21ST CENTURY DREAM”. May 25 - June 4 EXHIBITION “ONLY INTUITION” BY ZAZA TSITSKISHVILI At the exposition will be presented the artist’s distinguished paintings with large format drawings and powerful expression. Tsitskishvili belongs to a generation of artists for whom the desire to connect to the international art scene and to understand the novelty of raising innovations. SHALVA AMIRANASHVILI MUSEUM OF ART Address: 1 Lado Gudiashvili St. Telephone: 2 99 99 09 www.museum.ge May 17 - June 7 ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF MUSEUMS THE SHALVA AMIRANASHVILI MUSEUM OF
FINE ARTS INVITES YOU TO VITALI KAPANADZE’S 70 YEARS ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION. Vitali Kapanadze, laureate of the David Kakabadze’s prize, has repeatedly exhibited his works at international, group and solo exhibitions. The Fine Arts Museum will host the artist’s most comprehensive solo exhibition, featuring about 200 paintings, where painters of almost every genre and stage will be presented.
“Golden Fleece Colkheti” (8- 3 BCE), Kingdom of Kartli-Iberia (3rd century BCE-4th century CE)
MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 1 Rustaveli ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22
ART PALACE Address: 6 Kargareteli st. Telephone: 295 19 00
Here, visitors can encounter the state’s personal files of “subversive” Georgian public figures, orders to shoot or exile, and other artifacts representing Soviet-era cultural and political repression in Georgia. The exhibition hall is equipped with monitors, where visitors can watch documentaries of various historical events. The exhibition also includes one of the train carriages in which the participants of the national uprising of 1924 were executed. It is also dedicated to the history of the antioccupational, national-liberation movement of Georgia and to the victims of the Soviet political repression throughout this period. SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM OF GEORGIA Address: 3 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22 “ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURE” Examples of work by early Georgian goldsmiths were discovered during archeological excavations, and are currently reserved in the archeological treasury. The exhibition presents three periods development in the history of Georgian goldwork, from the 3rd century BCE to the 4th century CE: Kurgan Culture (3-2 BCE),
GALLERY BAIA GALLERY Address: 10 Chardin Str Telephone: 2 75 45 10 May 16-25 ANTON BALANCHIVADZE’S PERSONAL EXHIBITION “THE PATH BY THE RIVER”
May 18 – July 18 ART PALACE PRESENTS THE EXHIBITION UNIQUE TREASURE FROM DADIANI PALACE MUSIC TBILISI CONCERT HALL Address:1 Melikishvili St. Telephone: 2 99 00 99 May 24 ALTERVISION GROUP PRESENTS: IYIKA Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 25, 35, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100 Lari May 22-24 SPRING FESTIVAL MUSIC AND BOOK FESTIVAL Presentation of new books, big sales, live music, lectures, masterclasses, children corners and many surprises. Start time: from May 22, 12:00 Entry: free CLUB 33 A Address: Vake Park Telephone: 577443313 May 23 GIO DZAMUKASHVILI & BAND Gio Dzamukashvili (Vocal, Guitar), Misha Japaridze (Bass Guitar), Levan Kutateladze (Guitar), Lasha Evgenidze (Drum) Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10 Lari
MAY 22 - 28
Inter vie w with R ainer K aufmann: Etseri, Sv aneti Intervie view Rainer Kaufmann: Svaneti By Tony Hanmer Mr Kaufmann was the driver for a family of three other Germans visiting our guest house a short while ago. He has been in Georgia since its end days as a Soviet state, and I was glad for the chance to get to know him a bit better during his stay. One anecdote he offered was that the same now-deceased Svans who had protected me during my early visits to Svaneti, in the lawless preSaakashvili years, had tried many times (without success) to rob him as he passed through Etseri! Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself—where you are from; when, how and why you first got interested in Georgia, how you first visited. A: I’m a German TV journalist. During New Year 1989/1990 I accompanied a pupil exchange from my hometown with Tbilisi 6th school, the then socalled “German School”. It was during the Soviet time and very impressive, especially because almost nobody believed in the future of the communist system. A country on its way to independence and freedom. Q: What made you stay? What are you doing here now? A: I didn’t decide, in those years, to stay permanently. But as a freelance journalist I’ve had enough time and—of course—curiosity, to explore this country in the years following that first visit. The first idea I considered was to orga-
nize cultural tourism from Germany, only to help German teachers in Tbilisi during their summers to earn some money. We started with tourist groups from Germany in 1993. The rest of the story is very simple. As there was no hotel in Tbilisi, private home-stays only, my wife and I invested in a little guesthouse there. As the business grew, the guesthouse had to expand. The ex-pats in Tbilisi were asking for a European restaurant. “Rainer, do you have pizza and bratwurst?” So 15 years ago I brought the first pizza oven to Tbilisi, and with that, the beer garden and pizzeria was established. And so on and so on. During this time I’ve produced some 15 documentaries for German TV channels in Georgia, the first in 1994-95 in
Svaneti. I have written two books, and published a photo-book about Georgia. And for the last three years I’ve been the editor of the traditional German Newspaper in Georgia “Kaukasische Post—founded 1906”. All of this happened by chance. Q: What are some of your fondest memories of your time in Georgia? A: Too much for me to choose from! For me, Georgia is a place that can take a lot from you, sometimes it takes too much from you, but it gives you all. Q: What was the greatest surprise for you here? A: The possibility to realize your ideas without regulations anywhere. Germany is over-regulated in each field of life. OK, Georgia is somehow under-
regulated. But what’s the better way? I really don’t know. Or do I? By the way: The greatest surprise for me is that, even after 25 years, this country is able to surprise me every day. Q: How has Georgia changed you? A: We Germans are world champions in organization, Georgians “only vice-champions” in this field. But they are world-champions in improvisation. Even if I have tried hard to train my staff in organization, I’ve learned a lot from them in dealing in a more relaxed way with all the daily problems. There is always a solution, even some minutes after midnight! Q: How would you describe your native country’s relationship with Georgia? A: A difficult question, because there are many approaches in Germany to Georgia, while the Georgian approach to Germany is clear: Germans are good, whatever they mean by those words. We in Germany have a lot to learn about Georgia; Georgia is widely an unknown and most of my compatriots even fear travelling here. “Isn’t it dangerous?”— the question I must answer constantly. But we should not forget that it is Georgia with its revolutions, civil wars and other bad events, which has contributed to this image. So there’s a lot to do to inform Germans about the reality here. Q: What is your opinion of the EU/ Georgia relationship, as it is or should be? A: First of all: Georgia is at the edge of Europe but definitely part of it. And Georgia has the right to be considered part of Europe. I cannot understand how the EU is monopolizing the word “Europe” for its own interests. If you stand at the eastern EU border in Poland, the distance to the Atlantic in Portugal is nearly the same as to the Urals. So: east of the EU there is the other half of Europe. Coming
to the Georgian dream of Europe, I fear that there is a huge misunderstanding between the EU and Georgia, including the countries of the so called Eastern Partnership. Georgia considers the Association Agreement as the first step towards gaining— in the near future—full membership of the EU. It’s the right of Georgia to demand this goal. But I fear that for Brussels this agreement has been designed as the first step, to avoid full membership. To avoid huge disappointment in the society of Georgia, isn’t it high time to tell the truth? But we continue to exchange diplomatic set phrases. The latest opinion polls in Georgia should be seriously considered in Brussels. If the EU is only demanding implementation of its standards, if during the next years the EU will produce only hardships for the majority of the poor population and nearly no benefits, than public opinion regarding the EU could be under serious risk. I would recommend all EU bureaucrats and politicians to come to Georgia, but not only to teach Georgians what they have to do; I wish them first of all to come to listen, to learn the reality of the population and also to learn from Georgia. Q: What one or two things would you most like to see changed in Georgia as it is now? I wish this country would find its own way at the crossroads of the worlds; the crossroads of east and west, north and south. This location has created the country’s unique charm over centuries. Despite all the needed progress and changes in society, in the economy and politics, Georgia will no longer be the country I’ve discovered if it’s not able to preserve this, its own character. My websites: www.erkareisen.de (German); www.hotel-kartli.com (German, English); www.kaukasischepost.de (German); www.erka-verlag.de (German)
Tony Hanmer runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with over 1000 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ . He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti
Geor gian Film Succeeds a Georgian att Inter na tional Film Interna national Festi val in R ome estiv Rome By Nino Melikishvili A Georgian film, Invisible Spaces, directed by Georgian film director Dea Kulumbegashvili won the Best International Short Film Award at the Rome Independent Film Festival (RIFF) held in Italy on May 7-15. Movies from more than 40 countries were participating in this Festival. “Invisible Spaces in an intimate glimpse into the world where family hierarchy and the place of woman are uncontested,” stated the RIFF website. Invisible Spaces was the first film in the history of independent Georgia to participate in the Cannes International
Film Festival. The minimalist 10-minute drama tells the story of a seemingly calm family morning that falls apart to reveal hidden tensions. It shows the barriers in which a priest husband holds his infuriate wife confined, which creates the ‘invisible space.’ Besides the Cannes Film Festival, in 2014 Invisible Spaces was also nominated for the Best Short Film prize at the Les Arcs European Film Festival and the Uppsala International Short Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Uppsala Award in memory of Ingmar Bergman, an award which is given to young and promising filmmakers.
MAY 22 - 28
Wor ld R ugb y Under -20 Championship Coming to Geor gia in 2017 orld Rugb ugby Under-20 Georgia By Alastair Watt As Georgia’s accomplishments on the rugby field continue to gain longdeserved recognition from experts in Europe and the Southern Hemisphere, there was another indication that Georgian rugby is advancing its reputation when they were announced as hosts of the 2017 World Rugby Under-20 Championship on May 14. “I’d like to congratulate the Georgian Rugby Union on being chosen to host the prestigious U20 Championship in 2017,” stated World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset when making the announcement last week. As well as the Georgian Rugby Union, whose tireless work has seen rugby rival if not surpass football in terms of national popularity, the Georgian government has pledged funds for the hosting of the tournament which helped to secure the decision. “I’d also like to thank the Georgian government for its investment in hosting the tournament. The future stars of world rugby will enjoy a great event in 2017, with unique hospitality and a warm welcome in a country that boasts such a rich cultural and sporting heritage,” said Lapasset in an extremely complimentary speech. The decision, which was made in Dublin, was unanimous and the event
Inte grated Bor der Integ Border Mana gement Cup – Manag Football Tour nament ournament Pr omotes Open and Promotes Secur e Bor der s Secure Border ders A four-team football tournament involving different border agencies in Georgia will compete for the Integrated Border Management (IBM) Cup on May 22 at the Muza Cultural Center on the Turtle Lake Turn in Tbilisi, starting from 5pm. The four agencies participating are the Border Police, Patrol Police, Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance. All are welcome to attend and watch the competition, where they will be joined in the crowd by the following Tbilisi dignitaries: Niels Scott, Head of the United Nations in Georgia; Giorgi Tabuashvili, Head of the Revenue Service, Deputy Head of the Minister of Finance of Georgia; Zurab Gamezardashvili, Head of the Border Police; David Tsinaridze, Head of the Patrol Police; and Nukri Gelashvili, Rector of the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. IBM is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
is expected to take place in June 2017, although no fixed dates have been confirmed as yet. This year’s Under-20 World Cup begins next month and takes place in Italy although Georgia are not among the 12
participating nations. However, with the duty of hosting the 2017 event comes a confirmed place in the tournament which will allow the Georgian youngsters to gain valuable experience against their peers from the
world’s strongest rugby nations. Understandably, the affable yet statesman-like Giorgi Nijaradze, President of the Georgian Rugby Union, was thrilled with the decision. “Hosting the World Rugby Under20 Championship is the highest honor, not only for Georgian rugby, but for the whole country,” said Nijaradze. Fully aware of the significance of Georgia being trusted with such an important occasion on the world rugby calendar, Nijaradze expressed satisfaction at the forward strides rugby was making both in the country and abroad. “This tournament will enhance Georgia’s international profile and hopefully attract a large number of people to visit our country and enjoy its rich culture and famous Georgian hospitality,” he added. Georgia climbed to 14th in the world rankings in the Spring following another European Nations Cup grand slam. And, as they leapfrogged Italy in the process, talk of Georgian entry to the coveted Six Nations championship emerged in various British newspapers. That step still seems unlikely in the immediate future but there is little doubt that Georgia will continue to knock at the door of top level European rugby if it continues its momentum both on and off the field. World Rugby Head of Competition
Wor ld Vision y Car e Centr e Suppor ts Vulner able par ents orld ision’’s Da Day Care Centre Supports ulnera parents By Tatia Megeneishvili World Vision established a Day Care Centre for Vulnerable Infants in order to support vulnerable children and their mothers though the Family Strengthening and Prevention service, in 2011. This service provides a range of support which ensures highly vulnerable parents have the skills and resources necessary to care for their young children and prevent them from entering the state care system. The provision of a Day Care Centre for infants from 0-3 is the only service of this type in Georgia. The Centre allows single parents who lack extended family support to leave infants in quality care while they pursue income-generating activities. Vulnerable parents, especially young mothers, are simultaneously provided with assistance in microenterprise development, vocational trainings, and tailored job placement opportunities. Additional special medical and psychological services are provided where necessary. 162 parents and 230 children have benefitted from these services. Parents are equipped to care, protect and better provide for their children. Local Partners/Stakeholders are the Agency of Social Services under the Ministry of Labour Health and Social
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World Vision Georgia beneficiaries, Nino Mokhevishvili and her daughter.
Affairs, the Mayor’s Office, Local and International NGOs, and local business representatives. All project beneficiaries are referred by state social workers; all cases are assessed individually, and relevant intervention plans are elaborated by the Project Social Worker in close collaboration with state social workers according to the beneficiary’s needs and abilities. The particular beneficiary could be involved in one or more project services at the same time. All served cases are supervised and monitored on a regular basis. Project Manager at World Vision, Marina Menteshashvili, spoke to Georgia Today, explaining that the project goal is to contribute to the ongoing state Child Welfare System Reform through development of alternative family support services and Child Protection policies. “This is a unique service in the country. Kindergartens are closed to children
under the age of two. However, we aim to change this policy in future. Right now we have only one center, which is located in public kindergarten #107. When we started in 2011, all the expenses were covered by us but since, the Mayor’s Office has been covering the expenses. Since we have a huge demand from other regions, we are working to somehow open at least one new center soon,” Menteshashvili told us. According to Menteshashvili, the center was renovated and fully equipped by World Vision Georgia and is currently functioning smoothly as well as being fully occupied, with children receiving quality supplies and services through the involvement of qualified and trained staff. Beneficiary of the project, Nino Mokhevishvili, said that, with the support of World Vision, her family now has an income. “Not only have they taken care of our baby by giving us the opportunity to leave her at their center from 9am to 9pm, but they also gave us chance to learn something. For example, my husband learned how to cook and now works for a big restaurant. I also used World Vision’s service and had a therapy course with their psychologist. It is very hard to leave my baby girl for a whole day, but I am doing it for her future welfare,” said Mokhevishvili.
and Performance, Mark Egan congratulated Georgia on winning the right to host the 2017 championships and noted the impressive evolution underway in Georgian rugby. “There has been a remarkable transformation in the standard of rugby facilities in Georgia over the past seven year thanks to a multi-million dollar facility investment programme funded by the Cartu foundation and supported by the Georgian government,” stated Egan. “The awarding of this prestigious tournament to Georgia is just reward for the outstanding progress that the union is making at all levels of the game,” he added. Tbilisi will play host to the majority of the championships although Kutaisi is expected to host some matches, a reflection of the immense popularity rugby enjoys in the West of the country.
es ts Fixtur Spor Fixtures Sports and Tables May 22-28 RUGBY UNION Umaglesi Liga Table 1. Bolnisi Kochebi 2. Lelo Saracens 3. Batumi 4. Lokomotivi 5. Kharebi Rustavi 6. AIA Kutaisi 7. Armazi 8. Jiki Gori 9. Armia 10. Tibies
58 56 50 48 46 46 38 36 22 11
FOOTBALL Umaglesi Liga Fixtures Friday 22nd May Samtredia v Merani Martvili; Dila Gori v WIT Georgia; Kolkheti Poti v Tskhinvali; Metalurgi Rustavi v Torpedo Kutaisi; Shukura v Dinamo Batumi; Sioni v Guria; Dinamo Tbilisi v Chikhura. Umaglesi Liga Table 1. Dila Gori 61 2. Dinamo Batumi 55 3. Dinamo Tbilisi 55 4. Tskhinvali 52 5. Chikhura 46 6. Samtredia 42 7. Shukura 41 8. Torpedo Kutaisi 40 9. Guria 39 10. Kolkheti Poti 36 11. Merani Martvili 36 12. Zugdidi 30 13. Sioni 29 14. WIT Georgia 26 15. Zestafoni 26 16. Rustavi 25 Georgian Cup Final Tuesday 26th May Dinamo Tbilisi v Samtredia (7pm) – Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi
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