Visa Waiver Regulation for Georgian Citizens Signed
EU disburses another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced today that the European Union has disbursed another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.
“Our support helps keep Ukraine running, while defending itself,” wrote von der Leyen on Twitter. “And puts Ukraine firmly on its EU path by supporting reforms – good governance and financial stability, for example.”
On 17 January, the European Union disbursed the first €3 billion of the €18 billion of promised macro-financial assistance agreed in December 2022.
This emergency assistance aims to provide short-term financial relief, financing Ukraine’s immediate needs, rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and initial support towards sustainable post-war reconstruction, with a view to supporting Ukraine on its path towards European integration. The loans will have a 10-year grace period.
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Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosts dinner in honor of EU delegation members
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hosted a formal dinner in honor of the EU delegation members currently visiting Georgia.
The official dinner honoring the diplomats was held at Mtatsminda. The Head of Government and the European diplomats discussed Georgia’s European integration in an informal setting.A high-level regional ambassadorial organized by the EU Delegation is about to be held in Tbilisi. Senior officials for the EU’s External Action Service and the European Commission—including the Heads of the EU Delegations to the countries of the Eastern Partnership and Central Asia, also to Turkey and Austria—will participate in the regional ambassadorial.
The high-level regional ambassadorial of the EU is held periodically and represents an important forum for discussing the EU’s policy toward concrete countries.As it was noted at the official dinner, holding the ambassadorial in Georgia demonstrates Georgia’s importance in the region for the EU, including as a strong ally in cementing the cooperation among European and Central Asian countries.Press Service of the Government Administration
Georgia: EU welcomes withdrawal of draft legislation on “foreign influence”
The EU Delegation to Georgia has welcomed today’s announcement by the Georgian ruling party ‘Georgian Dream” that it would withdraw the draft legislation on the “Transparency of foreign influence”.
“We encourage all political leaders in Georgia to resume pro-EU reforms, in an inclusive and constructive way and in line with the 12 priorities for Georgia to achieve candidate status,” the Delegation said on Twitter.
On 7 March, the bill passed its first reading in the Georgian parliament, despite widespread protests.
The EU said the law was incompatible with EU values and standards and goes against Georgia’s stated objective of joining the European Union, adding that this is “a very bad development for Georgia and its people”.
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New Visa and Emerging Europe survey reveals women entrepreneurs want to develop their digital skills and take their businesses international
Results of recent research in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus- conducted by Emerging Europe as part of the She’s NextEmpowered by Visa campaign - show female leaders in the region have a keen interest in digital marketing and social media and are willing to expand their businesses internationally. The survey proves women entrepreneurs in Georgia tend to acquire additional funding
Tbilisi, March 1, 2023 – Visa today announced the results of research into female leadership and entrepreneurship in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Central Asia & the Caucasus conducted by Emerging Europe, a prominent growth hub with expertise in the region, as part of the She’s Next initiative.
The extensive study comprised an online survey of 2,000 business owners or self-employed women in 11 countries, including Georgia, 75 in-depth interviews and focus groups. The findings provide a thorough profile of the average female entrepreneur from the region and will allow stakeholders to understand the struggles and challenges faced by women as they pursue their careers.
“As one of our interviewees said, it is harder for women to raise funds. It is harder in Silicon Valley. It is harder in her country of Armenia. And raising funds is only one of multiple challenges that female entrepreneurs are facing,” said Andrew Wrobel, Founding Partner of Emerging Europe. “In this research, we wanted to explore female entrepreneurship as deep as possible and understand all potential obstacles that might influence the businesses and start-ups women create. We also wanted to explore their needs, as well as potential solutions that could empower them and help their businesses thrive and grow internationally.”
Overall, most women-owned businesses in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus (84 per cent) don’t cross international borders, but female entrepreneurs are willing to learn about doing business abroad.
The leading sectors where women-owned businesses operate are beauty and wellness (17 per cent), retail (12 per cent), agriculture and food (12 per cent), education (eight per cent) and PR and marketing (seven percent). Two-thirds of female entrepreneurs do not use external financing, while three-quarters do not have any employees. Some 35 per cent of women-owned businesses in the region were set up with an investment of less than 1,000 US dollars. Only one in 10 women employs more than 5 people.
“From its start in 2019, the She’s Next programme was all about empowering female leaders and local communities and helping them thrive,” said Vira Platonova, Visa Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for 17 countries. “That is why it is very important for Visa to learn about the specific needs and concerns of women entrepreneurs in the countries where the initiative is active. We are happy to see female leaders of Georgia and the whole region of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus gradually transition to e-commerce and enjoy convenient and reliable digital payments. We will use the results of the research to bring many more initiatives promoting gender inclusivity in the region.”
- Women strive for professional and financial independence. The main sources of motivation for women to start their business are a desire to increase income (50 per cent), willingness to work for themselves (31 per cent) and fulfillment of a dream (21 per cent). In Georgia, the main motivation of women entrepreneurs is to increase their income (55 per cent).
- Female entrepreneurs care about their business and private lives almost equally. Respondents named business failure (29 per cent), a worsening financial situation (27 per cent) and neglect of family and children (25 per cent) among their biggest concerns. Women in Georgia are mostly concerned about business failure (41 per cent).
- Women-owned businesses struggle to survive competition and raise funding. Female entrepreneurs tend to face such challenges as high competition (40 per cent), raising capital (32 per cent), and unfavorable business conditions (31 per cent). Respondents in Georgia said that the biggest challenges of setting up and running a business in their country were high competition (36 per cent) followed by obtaining investments and financing (36 per cent).
- Female entrepreneurs want to learn about doing business online. The primary skills that respondents are willing to obtain are strategies to acquire additional funding (47 per cent), digital marketing and social media (37 per cent), e-commerce (24 per cent) and international business development (21 per cent). In Georgia, the most popular skills to be improved are obtaining additional financing (52 per cent), followed by e-marketing and management of social networks (42 per cent) and development of international business (25 per cent).
- Women-owned businesses stick to cash when paying employees and suppliers but tend to install POS terminals for customers. 42 per cent of female entrepreneurs pay their employees and suppliers in cash, while 37 per cent prefer card payments. For Georgia, those numbers are 22 per cent, who pay in cash and 45 per cent choose card payments. When it comes to customers, electronic payments are far more popular: 37 per cent of respondents named card payments the most frequent method to pay for their goods and services and 42 per cent said they prefer their customers to pay them by card. In comparison, 35 per cent of female entrepreneurs said their customers paid in cash more often, and only 28 per cent prefer clients to stick to cash. In Georgia 40 per cent choose card payments, only 29 per cent select cash.
The next stage of the Visa and Emerging Europe partnership — which has the ambitious goal of uniting female entrepreneurs throughout the region within the She’s Next community — is to provide them with a platform to communicate, mentor, exchange experiences, and expand the horizons of their businesses.
Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating payments transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at visa.com.ge
About Emerging Europe
Emerging Europe is a London-based growth hub that empowers public and private organisations to grow and expand internationally. Our mission is to foster sustainable growth in emerging Europe. We are a go-to partner for those looking to navigate or grow in the region. Through in-depth analysis, market intelligence, research, programmes and engaging content we help businesses, governments, and civil society organisations thrive. We provide them with targeted insight, access to key stakeholders and data to make the right business decisions. Our online platform, Emerging Europe, is the world’s most prominent source of English-language analysis about the region.
The Regime of Tyrant Putin and his Shameful Army should Unequivocally and Unconditionally get Defeated in this War !!!
February 24, 2022 is the day which will be imprinted in the memory of the people of Ukraine and the whole civilized world as the first hours of severe war of Russia against Ukraine. Today, it has been exactly a year since Russia has started a wide-scale war in the middle of Europe against independent Ukraine, which at the moment gets continued with mass assaults of heavy artillery bombs. The day today is the most painful for every Ukrainian. This is the day which substantially changed everything and moved us to the new world of unpleasant reality.
During this one-year people of Ukraine have been exposed to a lot of suffering, sadness and anxiety. Atrocities of Russian invaders and destruction are indescribable. The destructive war started by Putin led to everyday deaths of thousands of innocent peaceful citizens, elderly and children. The Russian barbarian army has already exterminated 459 Ukrainian children and these data are not final. When on everyday basis we see terrible acts of the Russian invader, I have no doubt that Putin is a tyrant and the most dangerous terrorist in the 21st-century world. When I think about what the people of Ukraine have to stand, the feeling of pain emerges and my hatred towards the Russian invader gets even more intensive.
Tyrant Putin and his terrorist authority made millions of Ukrainians to essentially leave their homes. But, despite this hard suffering, brave Ukrainian people demonstrated to everyone that fighting for independence, freedom, values, identity, territorial integrity and the strength to fight for the right to live on one’s own land is in unity and this strength is much more than the will of any Kremlin dictator. Unity, bravery and persistent fight of Ukrainian people against the Russian military aggression is exemplary for the whole world.
These hard days gave the world civilized community the feeling of solidarity and it is not a coincidence that today, on February 24, the war anniversary, the American Friendship Club decided to hold the solidarity action near the territory of the embassy of Ukraine which was dedicated to the memory of peaceful Ukrainian children, elderly and soldiers who died as a result of the Russian war.
At the same time, with this event we wanted to once again show everyone and, most importantly, the Russian authority in Georgia, what the attitude of freedom-loving Georgian nation is towards brave people of Ukraine and our common values.
Besides, the aim of today’s solidarity action was to once again remind to the Russian authority of Georgia how much evil party and individual collaboration with tyrant Putin brings.
Finally, I consider that besides military support it is extremely significant not to slowdown and further enhance support of brave people of Ukraine.
I am sure very soon brave Ukrainean people and the whole civilized world together with them will celebrate victory on the land of freedom and defeat of the tyrannous regime of Putin and his shameful army.
Indeed! Russia should unequivocally and unconditionally get defeated in this war!!!
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Georgia and the civilized world!!!
President of the American Friendship Club - Ilia Zukakishvili
February 24, 2023
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