EU4Business: Empowering Georgian hazelnut, dried fruit and tea companies to trade more and better
Between 18 and 30 May, consultants from the International Trade Centre carried out an expert mission in the Western Part of Georgia, visiting 16 project beneficiary companies from the hazelnut, dried fruit and tea sectors.
The visits were organised in the framework of the Ready to Trade project, funded by the EU under its EU4Business initiative.
The purpose of the mission was to determine and finalise individual strategies for hazelnut and dried fruit producer companies, as well as to conduct an assessment of the premises of a tea factory and manufacturing process. International experts also met with company management and manufacturing staff to discuss the issues they encounter.
The EU-funded Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade project helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access new markets with a focus on the EU, helping SMEs identify and comply with quality and standards to meet international requirements, linking them with buyers along the value chain, and providing cluster support.
EU4Business project helps set up business clusters for better access to EU market
Up to 100 Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now in a better position to take advantage of the benefits of the free trade agreement between the EU and Georgia.
The EU-supported project ‘SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia’ has helped to establish three business clusters in the country and to lay the groundwork for two more, reaching out to 100 SMEs specialising in furniture, interior design, film production and post-production, ICT, apparel and honey production.
As a result of the 4-year project, these SMEs have received access to leading international expertise to help them identify opportunities for capacity and product development, better competitiveness and integration with the European market.
Cluster member SMEs currently employ more than 1,400 staff members in Georgia.
EU supports Georgia in producing 40,000 medical gowns in response to COVID-19
A Georgian medical textile company produced 40,000 medical gowns in one week, after purchasing 12 additional sewing machines with support from the EU project ‘Clusters 4 Development’.
With a total of 18 sewing machines, the company can now meet the high demand for surgical gowns in Georgia, and actively support the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
‘Clusters 4 Development’ is funded by the EU and the German government. It supports the development of business clusters in three sectors: apparel, construction materials and tourism.
The project also collaborates with the Georgian government to improve the institutional framework for cluster and business development. The project is implemented under the ‘EU4Business’ initiative.
China International Education College to open in Tbilisi
China International Education College is founded by China International Education Group. Various educational institutions in China, Europe and Asia are successfully operating under the umbrella of this group.
Our institute is dedicated to teaching Chinese, organizing multifaceted cultural and cognitive events that will help Georgian society to better understand Chinese culture, as well as deepen multilateral relations and cooperation between China and Georgia.
Our Institute is the first fully independent private institute of its kind in Georgia. It is worth noticing that the China International Education group is the one of the important investors in Georgia in the field of education, currently investing approximately 3 million GEL, and plans to invest in vocational education in the future.
On January 11, 2020, at 15:00, at the headquarters of the China International Education College, Andrew and Meliton Balanchivadze Ave. # 43, the official opening ceremony of the China International Education College will be held.
Invited guests are Ambassador of China to Georgia - Ms. Lee Ian, guests from Ministry of Education, state and public figures, also specially for this day, for the first time senior statesmen will come from China : Mr. Wu Ni - Director of the Institute for Education Development and Reforms of the Chinese Academy of Education, Mr. Xu Zhengzhong - Director of the Institute for Education Development and Reforms and other guests.
The following people will give speeches at the ceremony : Mr. Kang Zheng – founder of the institute, Ms. Eli Elisashvili – Director, Mr. Wu Ni and Mr. Xu Zhengzhong.
This event will also include a presentation of the first Chinese-Georgian dictionary, translated by the director of the Institute - Eli Elisashvili, published in China, and second edition will be performed in Georgia.
Forced Conversion that Violates Human Rights Becomes an International Problem
On 29 November, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) from Italy and Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) from Belgium hosted a seminar on human rights entitled “Intolerance and Discrimination Against New Religious Movements: An International Problem”.
This seminar, held in Seoul, South Korea, was devoted to the protection of the rights of religious minorities targeted by the majority groups, particularly in the context of anti-human rights situations such as the forced conversion that occurred in Korea.
Forced conversion, also known as “Deprogramming”, is a social issue that causes human rights violations by kidnapping and detaining the members of religious groups labeled as “cults” by their opponents in order to compel them to abandon their faith.
More than 80 participants including legal experts, journalists, and civil society representatives reviewed the current situation of forced conversion and discussed solutions to defend the freedom of faith and human rights that have become the norm of the international community.
Massimo Introvigne, Managing Director of CESNUR as well as an Italian sociologist, stressed that forced conversion is conducted through the mainstream by saying, “Korean deprogrammers are specialized pastors from the mainline churches, most of them Presbyterian."
"The protests that commemorate the victims from forced conversion were mentioned in the 2019 U.S. State Department Report on Religious Freedom, including violations of religious freedom in the year 2018. However, there were new cases of deprogramming even after their death," he criticized.
Regarding the multi-dimensional strategy to solve such phenomenon, Willy Fautré, Founder and Director of HRWF stated several suggestions; pointing at the responsibility of the leadership of the Presbyterian Church which tolerates, endorses, and maybe encourages such a practice; developing advocacy at the UN and in organs defending freedom of religion or belief; prosecuting those who encourage people to perpetrate an act of abduction and confinement.
In an open letter, signed by 15 international NGOs including CAP-LC and HRWF, to the South Korean President Moon Jae In on July 24th, it said, “South Korea may well be the last democratic country in the world where deprogramming is still tolerated” and asked the President to “investigate in-depth accusations of forcible deprogramming, put a stop to this obnoxious practice, and hold those responsible fully accountable.”
Meanwhile, South Korea was elected to serve the 5th term on the United Nations Human Rights Council on October 17th. South Korea’s mission to the UN said that it plans “to participate in the international efforts to respond to human rights crises around the world.” Participants urged the Korean government to respond to the issue of forced conversion which is still threatening the human rights of its people.
Turkmenistan is hosting the International Conference “Rational use of water resources - key for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”
On November 5-6, 2019, the International Conference “Rational use of water resources – key for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” was held in the hotel “Yildiz” of Ashgabat which gathered more than 60 experts from 10 countries of the world. The representatives of nine international and regional organizations which are implementing the projects in the field of water resources management took part in the work of the conference.
The State Committee for Water Management of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan initiated the hosting of the given Conference. The Global Water Partnership provided assistance and practical support in the arrangement of this international meeting.
The participants of the Conference reported on the attainments and achievements of their respective countries, shared experience gathered and determined the most pertinent vectors of expanding and deepening regional cooperation in the scope of reaching the Sustainable Development Goal 6 - ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. A number of reports of the Conference were dedicated to the measures realized by the countries of the region on reaching the target 6.5 which aims to implement the integrated water resources management at all levels by 2030, including the trans- boundary cooperation whenever applicable.
The discussions on the role of the water partnership at the national and regional levels in assessing the progress of resolving this issue took place. In the result of the discussions held, the participants formulated the ideas on strengthening regional cooperation, as well as enriched their understanding of the role and opportunities of each party engaged in the process of implementing the principles of integrated water resources management.
Upon completion of the main programme of the Conference, the participants visited the objects equipped with water saving technologies. The hosting country also prepared a cultural programme for the esteemed guests, during which they found an opportunity to visit the Turkmen “Alabay” dog breed nursery-garden in Ak-Bugday region where they witnessed how carefully and passionately the Turkmen people preserve their traditions and national cultural heritage.