Georgia: National Women’s Business Forum to take place in Batumi on 8 March
The Georgian city of Batumi on 8 March will host this year’s National Women’s Business Forum, with the support of EU4Business. It will gather women entrepreneurs from all regions of the country, public, private and civil society organisations that support women’s entrepreneurship in Georgia, and national, regional and local government decision-makers.
The main topic of the Forum is women’s economic empowerment, financing opportunities for women start-ups and sharing of experience. Successful examples shared by women entrepreneurs from Georgia and neighbouring countries will give participants more knowledge about existing grant projects and loans and how to expand business.
Private and governmental organisations implementing grant projects will introduce financial opportunities via info desks. Panel discussions will be held between the participants and financing organisations, which will help to establish close linkages.
The Forum is organised by the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Association of Businesswomen of Ajara (ABWA).
The event is supported by the EU-funded “SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia” project, implemented through the EU4Business initiative.
Air Astana switches to summer schedule!
According to the administration of the Air Astana, company Air Astana has switched to its 2023 spring-summer schedule.
From the summer period, the flights between Tbilisi and Almaty will be operated daily.
As of June starts a seasonal service between Batumi and Almaty 5 times a week and Tbilisi-Astana 3 times a week on a comfortable Airbus A320/A321.
"Air Astana has switched to a spring-summer operating schedule effective from 26th March to 29th October 2023and during this period will steadily increase the number of international flights.
Services from Almaty to Antalya (Turkey) will be increased to ten flights a week, whilst those from Astana will increase to seven services a week. Almaty to Tbilisi (Georgia) services will be increased by seven flights a week, those from Astana to Tbilisi increased by three flights a week. Almaty to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) up to fourteen flights a week and Astana-Tashkent to five flights a week. Almaty to London service will be increased up to five times a week, and Almaty to Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) to nine flights a week. In addition to a weekly flight to Chengdu, Air Astana will serve Beijing daily from Almaty and up to twice a week from Astana. Almaty to Istanbul will be served eleven flights a week, whilst those from Astana up to seven flights a week and from Atyrau three flights a week. Services from Almaty to Baku (Azerbaijan) and Dushanbe (Tajikistan) will be increased to up to four flights per week.
The spring-summer operating schedule also includes the relaunch of seasonal services between Almaty to Bodrum (Turkey) and Heraklion (Greece), as well as those from Almaty and Astana to Podgorica (Montenegro), operating three times a week, and from Almaty to Batumi (Georgia) operating five times a week. Air Astana will also continue operating direct daily flights to Thailand with three times a week flights from Almaty to Bangkok and four times to Phuket.
Detailed flight schedule information and ticket purchase can be undertaken at the Air Astana website, ticketing offices, call-center and IATA accredited travel agencies" - reported in a company press release.
Georgia: EBRD to help improve solid waste management in Kobuleti and Batumi
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is committing new funds to address solid waste treatment issues in Batumi and the wider Adjara region in Georgia. A sovereign loan of up to €19 million for Adjara Waste Management Company will help tackle some of the most pressing environmental challenges faced by the tourist region’s inhabitants and visitors.
The first committed tranche of up to €3 million will be used to purchase new solid waste management equipment. This will enable the borrower to start new landfill operations and, consequently, stop waste being disposed of at the current non-European Union (EU) compliant dumpsites. The second uncommitted tranche of up to €16 million will be used to build a new waste treatment plant, allowing the company to recover recyclables and divert waste sent to the new sanitary landfill.
The investment will address the priority needs of Batumi and the wider Adjara region. This includes stopping the disposal of waste at existing dumpsites in Kobuleti and Batumi, with the latter being the largest and most dangerous polluter in Georgia. “These dumpsites are active sources of land, water and air pollution, impacting the ecosystem of the region in particular, and the Black Sea in general,” says EBRD.
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1st National Peace Convention Held to Promote Unity
PASAY CITY—The 1st National Peace Convention was held on January 25, 2023 with the theme, “Peace Builds One Nation, One Future: Peace is Here”, attended by over 1,500 peace advocates to build a holistic roadmap towards the attainment of national unity through peace in consonance with the Marcos Administration’s agenda.
Dr. Ronald Adamat, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Founding Chairman of Volunteer Individuals for Peace (VIP), spearheaded the event.
"We want peace to reign in our country. We want peace to be the language everyone of us will speak and every Filipino and every foreigner will understand. Today, let's declare peace as a pandemic. Infect people not to rest in peace but to live in peace," said Dr. Adamat.
Dr. Adamat is the first Filipino recipient of the prestigious Mahatma MK Gandhi Prize for Non-Violent Peace awarded last year in recognition of his contributions to peace-building including the higher education
In attendance also is Chairman Lee Man-hee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a 92-year old Korean war veteran.
“Peacebuilding in Mindanao after conflict is becoming known worldwide. This is the case of transforming death into life for peace. Starting with Mindanao and the Philippines, when we unite in love, peace will come to our world. For this reason, everyone in the Philippines has to become one and work together as messengers of peace,” said Chairman Lee.
The two peace advocates first met in 2017 during HWPL World Peace Summit held in South Korea. As an expression of their shared commitment to promoting peace, CHED and HWPL signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in 2018 to integrate peace education in the higher education curricula.
The convention commenced with the first Plenary Session followed by parallel sessions in the afternoon. The parallel sessions were conducted separately for five sector groups—lawmakers and non-government organizations, academe and youth, religious and ethnic groups, women, and media. Each session drafted a resolution which contained their solidarity with the organizers’ peace-building efforts.
The five resolutions were consolidated during the second Plenary Session to call for President Bongbong Marcos to proclaim January 24 as ‘National Peace Day’ or “Truce Day”.
The date January 24 was proposed in commemoration of a civilian-led peace agreement signed at General Santos City in 2014 to boost reconciliation among the local communities. It was proposed by Chairman Lee to mediate between the existing conflict in Mindanao at the time. The date was later declared as ‘HWPL Peace Day’ by then Maguindanao governor Toto Mangudadatu in 2015 and BARMM Chief Minister and MILF Chairman Ahod Ebrahim in 2016.
The organizers believe that the declaration of a National Peace Day shall be the mechanism by which every year, peace-related activities are observed and celebrated across the country.
FIFTH CENTRAL ASIAN EXPERT FORUM
On December 10, 2022, the Fifth Central Asian Expert Forum "Actual aspects of regional cooperation on climate change, water use, food security and information and communication technologies in the Central Asian region" was held in the Turkmen capital.
The event was organized by the Scientific Center for Strategic Studies of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan with the assistance of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.
The purpose of the event is to discuss topical issues of ensuring regional cooperation, development of common strategic approaches, practical proposals and recommendations for the governments of the states of the region in agreed areas by the leading experts of the Central Asian countries.
The regular meeting was attended by heads and experts of the Institutes for Strategic Studies of the Central Asian States, heads and representatives of diplomatic missions, UNRCCA, faculty and students of the IMO MFA, and media representatives.
The forum program included three sessions: "Cooperation in combating climate change in Central Asia in the light of the decisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), water cooperation in the Aral Sea Basin", "Issues of food security in the Central Asian region", " Problems of ensuring security in the field of information and communication technologies”.
During the meeting, the measures taken in the countries of Central Asia to mitigate the effects of climate change, and the possibility of attracting the resources of international financial institutions, in particular, the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), were discussed.
The importance of analyzing the emerging realities, identifying priority areas for mutually beneficial cooperation based on a thorough and critical study of the key processes of regional development and trends in interstate relations, and achieving concrete results that can make the CA region more secure, stable and prosperous was noted.
Speaking about integrated approaches to protecting cyberspace, ensuring information security at the national and regional levels, the participants noted that at present all countries of the region have adopted and are implementing their own strategic and conceptual documents aimed at developing the digital society, as well as countering cyber threats.
In conclusion, the participants expressed their sincere gratitude to President Serdar Berdimuhamedov for his support in holding this forum at a high level, noting with satisfaction that it would give an important impetus to the further development of cooperation between the countries of Central Asia in addressing topical regional issues.
German Government allocates 55 million EUR to support the rehabilitation of a drinking water treatment plant in Batumi
On 7th of December 2022 KfW Development Bank, on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, signs financing agreements of a total of 55 million EUR with the Government of Georgia, represented by the Ministry of Finance of Georgia for the fifth phase of the Municipal Infrastructure Batumi project.
For more than 16 years the project with a financing volume of around 138 million EUR was implemented for the creation of a modern water infrastructure in Batumi.
As a result, more than 200,000 people who previously had access to drinking water only for a couple of hours a day, are now continuously supplied with hygienically safe drinking water. Additionally, with the construction of a modern sewer system and wastewater treatment plant, wastewater is now professionally drained and cleaned. A new stormwater system and new stormwater pumping station have furthermore significantly reduced the risk of flooding the city center. Even dolphins have been seen from the beach again, which speaks for the improvement of see water quality.
The newly signed financing agreements will ensure that the improved supply of drinking water can be extended for the growing population of Batumi. An old drinking water treatment plant will be rehabilitated and adapted to the modern standards and the wastewater treatment plant will be expanded and equipped with sludge treatment and nutrient elimination systems.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany supports the project through KfW with a 53 million EUR loan and 2 million EUR grant for accompanying measures to support the municipal water supply company “Batumis Tskali”.
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