Successful performance of the Georgian Government is the most effective way to counter Russian propaganda – David Zalkaliani
According to Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Russian propaganda is the challenge facing not only Georgia but also western states and the most effective way to counteract it is by means of concrete actions and to tangible results.
“We are faced with hybrid threats everywhere. It is a serious challenge not only for Georgia but also for Europe and other countries. However, counterpropaganda should not be a way to contradict propaganda because we believe that one of the most effective ways to fight against propaganda is by achieving concrete results on the European and Euro-Atlantic path. And indeed, Georgia has achieved tangible results in this regard” – David Zalkaliani told journalists following the government session.
According to David Zalkaliani, the Government of Georgia will closely co-operate with European and American partners in order to benefit from their experience and best practices.
Jens Stoltenberg’s visit gives yet another powerful impetus to Georgia’s integration with NATO – David Zalkaliani"Georgia’s being so high on the NATO agenda highlights how important Georgia is to NATO” – Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani told journalists at the airport where an official welcoming ceremony was organized for the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.Speaking about NATO-Georgia relations, Zalkaliani said that being held immediately prior to the NATO Ministerial Meeting Jens Stoltenberg’s visit takes on a particular importance. According to Zalkaliani, “next week will be eventful in terms of Georgia-NATO relations. NATO Military Committee will pay a visit to Georgia and I will have a meeting within the framework of the NATO-Georgia Commission in Brussels that will deal with Black Sea security-related issues”.
The Minister said that Jens Stoltenberg’s visit also coincides with NATO military exercises, in which an unprecedented number of NATO partners and members take part.
According to Zalkaliani Georgia has all practical instruments for integration with NATO and Georgia is recognized as a leader in terms of implementing these instruments.
The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Georgia on 24 March. At the Tbilisi International Airport he was met by Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Georgia’s Representative to NATO Aleksandre Maisuradze, Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia, Rosaria Puglisi, Poland’s Ambassador to Georgia Mariusz Maszkiewicz.
Within the framework of the visit, the NATO Secretary General will hold meetings with the Prime Minister of Georgia, President, Chairman and members of the Parliament.
Jens Stoltenberg will also visit the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) and will attend the joint exercises organized by the Centre.
EU and Georgian Government launch pilot green waste separation, collection and recycling project in Marneuli
A new waste separation, collection and recycling pilot project was launched in the Georgian city of Marneuli last week.
The aim of the project is to assist the Marneuli composting plant in improving the collection of green waste from local residents and municipal institutions.
This will be done by purchasing 30 containers, to be placed in different areas of the Marneuli, as well as 120 bins to be distributed among target residents and kindergartens for the collection of food waste.
The goal is to effectively utilise the green waste that currently goes into regional landfills – approximately 50% of total landfill – as compost, thereby also cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.
The project was launched by Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia, and Khatia Tsilosani, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, as well as local government representatives including the Deputy of the State Representative-Governor in Kvemo Kartli Region and the Mayor of Marneuli.
The pilot initiative was designed and is supported by the EU-funded "Technical assistance for the improvement of waste management systems in Georgia" project, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Marneuli Composting Plant and the local government.
European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström visits Georgia and highlights close trade ties
On 18-19 March, Cecilia Malmström, the European Commissioner for Trade, visited Georgia for a two day visit. She met with President Zourabishvili, Prime Minister Bakhtadze, Minister Kobulia as well as civil society organisations. Commissioner Malmström also met with the business community to hear about their views on the opportunities and challenges in doing business with the EU. Finally, she visited the Tiflistex sock factory in Tbilisi, one of over 37,000 firms that have benefitted from EU business support programmes in Georgia, and which is now successfully exporting to the EU.
"It is a pleasure to be back here in Georgia almost three years after my last visit, and I am happy to see the EU-Georgia relationship moving forward. In just a few months we will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the EU and Georgia. Today around a quarter of Georgian exports are now going to the EU, the EU is Georgia's biggest export market, and trade between us last year topped 2.8 billion euros – a 5% increase on the year before. I commend Georgia for the good work done to seize the opportunities of the DCFTA, but there is still potential to unlock the agreement's full opportunities, and this was something I raised in my meetings here. Companies like Tiflistex are excellent examples of how Georgian companies can export to the EU, creating jobs and income in Georgia and we want to see more success stories like this" noted Commissioner Malmstrom.
EU helps Georgian winemakers expand at home and abroad
For modern Georgia, wine is among the country’s top exports. Together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the EU helps Georgian winemakers invest in better equipment, standards and processes.
A new EBRD video talks about the meaning of wine production to the country and the opportunities that free trade with the EU can bring.
In 2018 alone, according to Georgia’s National Wine Agency, over 86 million bottles were exported to 53 countries worldwide, an increase of 13% compared to 2017.
The EU and EBRD, through the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line, support Georgian enterprises in their ambition to trade with their European counterparts with confidence by investing in better equipment, standards and processes.
The companies are assisted in their efforts to improve their environmental footprint, the working conditions for their employees and to offer their local customers services and products of better quality.
Beyond Georgia, the programme runs in the Republic of Moldova and is soon to be launched in Ukraine. All three countries are signatories of free trade agreements with the EU, the world's largest trading block.
EU4Business: The tiny Georgian toy company making a big difference
Dadari, in Tbilisi, is much more than just a toy company. Of the firm’s seven employees, three have learning disabilities. All of the firm's products comply with EU standards.
The toys are made from solid wood and painted in organic colours. Dadari was able to expand its business after obtaining 25,000 Georgian Lari – just over €8,000 – from one of the banks.
The microfinance was made possible thanks to credit provided by the EU. This company’s experience is a great example of how microfinance can foster entrepreneurship.
In Georgia, the EU, through the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EU4Business initiative, is working with local lenders to help very small businesses get the money they need to grow.
As part of its programme, the EIB made US$5 million (€4.4 million) available to one of the banks in Georgia.
Microfinance support to this Georgian toy producer was provided under the EU-funded Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Initiative East.
The loan guarantee programme is the centrepiece of the DCFTA Initiative East – funded by the EU under the EU4Business initiative – which aims to strengthen economic development in the countries which have signed an association agreement with the EU (Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) by providing targeted financial and technical support to SMEs in these three countries.