The Meeting of Tedo Japaridze with the President of Dutch Senate
T. Japaridze thanked the guest for the visit and noted that support by the Netherlands is important for Georgia. The Netherlands, in democracy development, financial system construction with the WB, Monetary Fund and donor countries, contributed a lot. According to G. Tsereteli, the Netherlands is a partner for Georgia and one of the decision-making countries in Europe.
T. Japaridze spoke about the role of the Parliament in democratic institution building and inter-Parliamentary cooperation. Sharing Dutch experience in EU integration process is necessary for Georgia. “We build democratic country where the rule of law, justice principles will be protected. We may make mistakes but we also learn and will not deviate from this course. Development of Georgia in this direction is an irreversible process”.
One of the main priorities for Georgia is democracy capacity building, which is necessary for security and fast realization of EUAA and visa liberalization serve for this purpose. “Georgian people shall see that Europe is not indifferent to them”.
According to Anke-Brokers Knoll, Georgia has achieved significant process. EU integration of Georgia is important for the Netherlands as well as Georgia is the hub for democracy in the region.
As T. Japaridze stated, Georgia can become the bridge between the region and Europe. The parties spoke about EU integration and Russia-Georgia relations. As Georgian MPs noted, Georgian citizens, the Government and the opposition are loyal to European values.
According to Anke-Brokers Knoll, the Netherlands gives high evaluation to progress of Georgia. “My country will remain the devoted friend of Georgia”. The parties agreed on cooperation.
PRESIDENTS OF TURKMENISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN TOOK PART IN THE COMMISSIONING OF A NUMBER OF JOINT INFRASTRUCTURES
Today, on the 14th of January 2021, the opening ceremony of 30 km long railway between Aqina and Andkhoy stations and the commissioning of the international fiber-optic communication system and transit flows from Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) to Aqina (Afghanistan) and from Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) to Torghundi (Afghanistan), as well as the power transmission line from Turkmen city of Kerki to Afghan city of Sheberghan was held in participation of the Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
After announcing the ceremony opened, the moderator of the event asked the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to make a speech. For this, a teleconference was established.
First, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov addressed to the audience. His speech was listened by the participants of the event present in the “Rukhiyet” Palace of the Lebap region. The participants of the ceremony in Afghanistan, as well as in the Mary region observed the event via teleconference.
In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan said that “all three projects that have been completed in short time are united by a common meaning and goal – to give strong impulse and ensure long-term development of our countries, well-being and prosperity of Turkmen and Afghan people, assist expanded international cooperation, mutual understanding, political and social stability.” He also noted that the implementation of given projects was the result of multiyear close and constrictive Turkmen-Afghan cooperation.
Then, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani who was watching the ceremony in the Presidential Palace of Kabul addressed the audience. Warmly welcoming the participants, he noted that these events have special meaning for Afghanistan and his people. Speaking about the origins of the given projects, the head of Afghanistan highlighted their importance not only from the perspective of socio-economic reestablishment of the country, but also from the prospect of regional economic integration. The head of Afghanistan expressed gratitude to the leadership of Turkmenistan for fraternal support and care about the close neighbor. He noted that Turkmenistan unites not only the countries of the region, but also of the whole world. The participants of the event listened to the address of the President Ashraf Ghani through a teleconference.
Then, the heads of railway transport, energy and communication sectors of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan made speeches. They told about the outstanding work done on the part of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan for the implementation of current infrastructures and informed about the readiness to the commissioning of railway between Aqina and Andkhoy stations, international fiber-optic communication system and transit flows from Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) to Aqina (Afghanistan) and from Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) to Torghundi (Afghanistan), as well as the power transmission line from Turkmen city of Kerki to Afghan city of Sheberghan.
Upon the completion of these speeches, the moderators of the ceremony asked the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to give their blessings for the commissioning of the given facilities.
Thus, the participants of the ceremony saw through a teleconference how the railway carriage consisting of 20 loaded cars left from the Aqina station to Andkhoy city in festive setting.
Besides, the commissioning of the power transmission line from Kerki to Sheberghan took place through the use of special equipment. The participants of the event observed the transmission of electricity through the line that was shown on the screen by a technological imitation model.
Also, the participants of the ceremony watched the video presentation of the commissioning of the international fiber-optic communication system and transit flows from Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) to Aqina (Afghanistan) and Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) to Torghundi (Afghanistan).
Upon the completion of the ceremony, gratitude was expressed to the Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for participation in the event.
Van Gogh and Pirosmani at the Creatorium: EU4Youth supporting creative entrepreneurs in Georgia
When you browse the Facebook page of the ‘Creatorium’ salon, you will find this little note – “We are creative artists who will paint everything your eye can see!”
Van Gogh and Pirosmani are the Creatorium’s best friends, and blue – the colour of calmness – is their main colour. The creative process is backgrounded by Pink Floyd’s Goodbye Blue Sky, and Vincent van Gogh and Niko Pirosmani provide the conceptual line of their creativity. Their story also fits in a cosmic box.
Intrigued? The Creatorium is an innovative platform for creative business, founded in Gori by Mariam Tsikaridze and Nino Mazmishvili. The young friends have successfully used the knowledge they received at the EU4Youth Entrepreneurial School, and are now trying to expand their business. Turning ideas into reality has already become a business for them.
Entrepreneurial School for modern ideas
With EU support, ‘Art Salon Creatorium’ is engaged in small business activities. After graduating from the EU4Youth Entrepreneurial School course, its founders confidently started to implement their idea on a large scale. And this is the exact goal of the Entrepreneurial School – to support the self-employment of young people, and to help them develop entrepreneurial skills and establish their own place in the business environment. The project serves youth education and employment, and so far, has already helped a number of people in starting their own businesses.
In the last decade, the number of start-ups created for innovative, original ideas has been rapidly growing. Expert knowledge gained at the Entrepreneurial School helps young people to transform their ideas into business projects. As they go through their training, they see practical ways to turn a childhood dream or a hobby into a business opportunity. This is how Mariam and Nino, the two friends from the Entrepreneurial School, turned their idea into a business.
The right time and place...
“This project meets key business management criteria and is well-suited for the field, which has helped us a lot to raise awareness and take effective steps. The Entrepreneurial School taught us a lot and helped us navigate properly in business. At this stage, we only use bank loans, but we never stop looking for funding sources, and the Entrepreneurial School actively supports us in doing so.”
Mariam is a young mother of three, while Nino is from the border village of Ditsi. For a long time, they created handmade items and accessories that were popular only among friends. Today, they can welcome you at their own office and offer a range of creative products, including handmade souvenirs, painted bags, engraved pictures, gift boxes, albums, portraits, paintings on exterior walls and clothes, and clayware.
The Entrepreneurial School has played an important role in Nino’s and Mariam’s lives. The young entrepreneurs are looking to expand and develop their business in the future, and hope to achieve this with further help from the project. They have already used mentor’s services, and have received qualified consultations in relation to organisation of weddings and other celebrations from Ia Saginashvili, head of the ‘Kochinela’ design company.
The story of Nino and Mariam, independent and modern young Georgian women, is one out of many and is an example for others.
“You should never listen to negative assessments, but should pursue your aims. You should do your best. We literally started everything from scratch. The scepticism of those around us did not make us give up on our idea, and everything has turned out even better than we imagined and greater things are still ahead.
“Today at the Creatorium you find a creative and positive environment, and we can help you design your interior with our products, created exclusively for you. We can also help you organise beautiful parties and celebrate important dates. We can turn any of your fantasies into reality. Here we are, united by our aspiration for freedom and love of art. A startup for creative entrepreneurship, Creatorium not only offers creative services, but also conducts art therapy and applied arts classes, where anyone can create art without any age restrictions.”
All they now need is an end to the pandemic, and people’s trust, which they promise to repay by turning special days into unforgettable memories.
On their Facebook page, Creatorium’s posts are full of positivity.
- While Van Gogh is in quarantine, what is there in the cosmic box?
- A photo album with family or personal stories at different stages of life: let your best day be the best.
- If Van Gogh and Pirosmani visited your studio, what would you ask?
- We are creative artists who will paint everything your eye can see. How did you paint so fantastically? How did you paint?
The Entrepreneurial School is part of the EU4Youth project, ‘Enhancing Youth Education, Employment and Participation in Conflict-affected Areas in Georgia and Ukraine’.
The aim of the project is to enhance the means of subsistence of displaced and conflict-affected youth, to support their active participation in public life, and improve their access to education, employment and participation in entrepreneurial activities.
The article has been prepared and published by “Entrepreneur Georgia” in the Georgian language.
New Cabinet Led by Giorgi Gakharia Wins a Vote of Confidence in Parliament
The Government of Georgia led by Giorgi Gakharia wins a unanimous vote of confidence, with 85 votes in favor, in the Parliament.
The Cabinet features one new member, namely Gocha Lortkipanidze who will serve as Justice Minister.
The legislative body also voted in favor of the 2021-2024 Government Program: Toward Building a European State.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Young entrepreneurs bring innovation to rural development
EU and UNDP support business “bootcamps” for rural youth
The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have completed the fourth round of business bootcamps designed to help aspiring young entrepreneurs to create and expand rural businesses. Over 60 young people from all over Georgia submitted their applications and, after a virtual brainstorming session, 22 of them were selected to take part in an online bootcamp that took place on 12-13 December.
The EU and UNDP have already organized three similar business bootcamps for rural youth since November 2019, under their wider ENPARD-3 programme for rural development. These sessions are organized in partnership with the Rural Development Agency (RDA) that operates under the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA), and two business-support entities: the social enterprise “Tbilisi Start-up Bureau” and the Batumi Business Incubator.
The initiative was kicked off a year ago to support youth entrepreneurship in rural areas and promote innovative rural businesses outside of agriculture and agri-food. The EU and UNDP continued supporting young entrepreneurs through the pandemic lockdown, exploring online formats for organizing meetups and training sessions.
The first three bootcamps, held in November and December 2019 and October 2020, brought together some 110 young entrepreneurs for a packed schedule of motivational talks and training that guided them through all stages of business modelling – from hatching an idea, identifying a target market, assessing client needs and local opportunities, developing marketing and media plans and defining the resources and partners needed to get the idea off the ground.
At the end of each bootcamp, the best business ideas were selected for future support: 24 winning entrepreneurs have so far started work on new businesses with the potential to create 90 jobs in tourism, manufacturing and other sectors.
“Youth are key drivers of the economic and social transformation of rural areas in Georgia,” said Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia. “By empowering and proactively engaging young entrepreneurs we hope to enable them to unleash their innovative capabilities and realize their business ideas. Creating new economic opportunities and improving livelihoods of rural communities has always been at the center of the EU’s work here in Georgia. It gains particular importance now as we are joining hands to overcome the impact of the pandemic.”
“Youth entrepreneurship holds the promise of new jobs and new livelihoods for Georgia’s rural regions, and can give energetic young people a rewarding local alternative to leaving home,” said UNDP Head Louisa Vinton. “Moreover, as Georgia looks ahead beyond the pandemic shock, fresh and innovative business ideas can help drive a robust recovery.”
Georgia remains one of the most business-friendly countries globally, placing seventh out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 rankings. However, the pandemic is expected to reverse the growth trends, pushing the country into a six-percent recession in 2020 and increasing the poverty rate by up to 2.8 percentage points.
Recent research carried out by the EU and UNDP shows that almost half of Georgian companies have experienced a dramatic drop in revenues. But 70 percent of businesses are exploring new opportunities emerging amidst the crisis.
The EU and UNDP are Georgia’s long-term supporters in promoting rural development. EUR 179.5 million in EU assistance has been allocated to Georgia under the ENPARD programme between 2013 and 2022. This support aims to promote rural development policies and create economic opportunities for the rural population outside of agriculture. More information about ENPARD is available at www.enpard.ge
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The EU commits a further €55 million for the development of agriculture and rural areas in Georgia
The fourth phase of the EU’s ENPARD programme will provide extended assistance in the food safety and SPS sector to enhance consumer protection and promote EU exports of Georgian products. The programme will also continue to support rural development to further improve living conditions for a larger proportion of the rural population in Georgia.
TBILISI. December 17, 2020 – The EU Ambassador to Georgia H.E. Carl Hartzell and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mr. David Zalkaliani today signed an agreement to kick off the fourth phase of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD IV) worth €55 million (approximately GEL 215 million). The Acting Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia Mr. Levan Davitashvili also attended the signature event. The programme aims to enhance consumer protection, promote EU exports and improve livelihoods of rural population in Georgia. It is part of the wider assistance package mobilized by the EU and Team Europe to support Georgia’s COVID-19 recovery.
“We are happy to announce today our continued cooperation with the government of Georgia under the fourth phase of the ENPARD programme. Since 2013, with over GEL 500 million budget, the EU’s ENPARD programme has been providing extensive support to make Georgia’s agriculture more competitive and to improve living standards in rural areas. Looking forward, we would like to see more Georgian farmers, cooperatives and small and medium size enterprises better equipped to produce high quality products and export to the EU. We also support better infrastructure and services, growth of tourism, more effective local public-private partnerships and entrepreneurship in rural areas. This will help create new employment opportunities and will maximize the country’s economic growth,” stated Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia.
“ENPARD programme brings concrete results for our country and particularly for our rural population. As a result of this program, the quality of products, the employment opportunities for our citizens and the EU exports are significantly improving. Even more important is the implementation of this programme at in the pandemic context. The financial support provided to Georgia under the fourth phase of ENPARD is part of the wider EU assistance supporting Georgia’s COVID-19 recovery,” stated David Zalkaliani, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
“Georgia is one of the outstanding countries of the Eastern Partnership that has successfully carried out all three phases of ENPARD programme. We believe that the fourth phase will be implemented successfully as well. This is a remarkable volume of assistance, € 55 million, of which € 31 million is going to be the direct budget support. However, a very important and efficient part of the assistance is a € 24 million technical and grant component, which is going to have a complementary effect on the implementation of our policy also developed in close partnership with the EU,” stated Levan Davitashvili, Acting Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
ENPARD IV will provide extended assistance in the food safety and sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) sector to enhance consumer protection for citizens of Georgia and to promote exports of Georgian products to EU Member States. ENPARD IV will build on the achievements of the Comprehensive Institution Building (CIB) programme and of previous ENPARD phases. It will provide further support to the National Food Agency (NFA) for improved inspection and control systems and for continuation of the legal approximation process including enforcement of newly adopted regulations. It will also support food business operators in their efforts to adapt to the sectoral reforms.
In addition, ENPARD IV will further support rural development and will improve living conditions for a larger proportion of the rural population in Georgia, rendering the rural development sector more dynamic and effectively contributing to Georgia’s economic and social development. The fourth phase of ENPARD will improve the economic and social integration of vulnerable households in disadvantaged rural regions of Georgia, including eco-migrants, conflict affected people, ethnic minorities, Georgian returnees and migrants. The action will continue to enhance civic participation in the regions of Georgia through increased civil society involvement in local decision-making processes and will continue to actively promote and encourage participation of youth and women, noting the specific needs and constraints of these groups.
Press Release of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia