Georgian diaspora can make a valuable contribution to establishing strong ties with Europe - Ilia Darchiashvili
On 12 August 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) hosted the awarding ceremony for the winners of the Diaspora Grant Competition.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ilia Darchiashvili, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimer Konstantinidi, the First Vice Speaker of the Parliament, Giorgi Volski, the Chairman of the Diaspora and Caucasus Affairs Committee of the Parliament, Beka Odisharia and the Head of the ICMPD office in Georgia, Zurab Korghanashvili spoke before the attending audience.
Ilia Darchiashvili thanked the winners of the grant competition for their interesting ideas and initiatives. According to him, grant programmes aimed at supporting the diaspora are getting increasingly popular.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs implemented three grant programs: “Be a Young Ambassador of Your Country”, “Supporting the Diaspora Initiatives”, and “Supporting the Georgian Folk Dance and Song Ensembles Abroad”. During the coronavirus pandemic and the post-crisis period, the main goal of the grant programmes was to solve the problems faced by the emigrants. At the subsequent stage, however, the focus of the grant programmes was shifted to the role of the Georgian diaspora in the context of Georgia’s European future.
The Foreign Minister thanked all Diaspora representatives involved in the 2022 grant programmes for their interest and participation and highlighted that the Georgian government will continue to maintain close ties with the Georgian diaspora abroad and, through the implementation of projects developed by the State, will support its active role in Georgia’s European integration process.
"Prominent representatives of our diaspora make a special contribution to the establishment of sustainable relations between Georgia and Turkey" - Ilia Darchiashvili
"The scale of the Turkish-Georgian Business Forum clearly reflects the very special, friendly and strategic relations between the two countries - Georgia and the Republic of Turkey," Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili told participants of the Turkish-Georgian Business Forum "Chveneburebi".
The forum was held for the first time with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia at the initiative of the Georgian Historical Diaspora living in the Republic of Turkey and the Association with Georgian and Turkish Businessmen. It should be noted that the Turkey-Georgia Business Forum, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, is the fourth large-scale event organized by Diaspora representatives to ensure their involvement in the country's economic reconstruction process.
According to Ilia Darchiashvili, this year, when the 30th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries is celebrated, the holding of a business forum gains special weight and somehow summarizes the achievements of Georgia and Turkey in developing mutually beneficial cooperation in a number of areas. According to Darchiashvili, it is important to hold this large-scale event with the country, which was one of the first to recognize Georgia's independence and today is one of the active supporters of our country in the international arena.
As the Minister emphasized, "the prominent representatives of our diaspora make a special contribution to the establishment of this wide range and sustainable relationship, because they are the ones who contribute to the establishment of strategic cooperation and the development of economic ties." In addition to being interested in economic projects, they, according to Darchiashvili, are carriers of the culture of the two countries, the values of the two countries and fulfill a special mission in terms of strengthening inter-people ties and popularizing our country.
"Georgian art houses, cultural-educational foundations, societies, creative unions operating in Turkey are a kind of bridge of relations with compatriots. "Chveneburebi interested in Georgia, Georgian language, alphabet, culture gather in Georgian cultural centers, celebrate holidays, celebrate the friendship and joint achievements of two brotherly nations!" - the Minister added.
According to him, the interest of Georgian businessmen working in Turkey in the investment environment and economic opportunities of Georgia is growing day by day. Therefore, it is important to regularly inform them about the current processes, reforms and economic trends in Georgia, which will allow them not only to implement interesting business projects, but also to act as a kind of "investment representatives" in relations with foreign partners.
"We are interested and will support the regular holding of such meetings, which will help our compatriots to discover new spaces, new opportunities and use the country for the better," Ilia Darchiashvili said.
The Turkish-Georgian Business Forum "Chveneburebi" was held in Georgia for the first time with the involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the initiative of the Georgian Diaspora living in the Republic of Turkey. The purpose of the business forum is to inform the representatives of the Turkish business community about the investment environment and economic opportunities in Georgia and to attract investments to Georgia with the support of the Georgian Diaspora living in Turkey. Representatives of the economic bloc, relevant state agencies and entrepreneurial spheres are participating in the forum from the Georgian side.
MFA of Georgia
THE DIASPORA AND CAUCASUS ISSUES COMMITTEE HEARD INFORMATION ON THE IMPLEMENTED AND SCHEDULED PROJECTS
The Committee heard information on the implemented and scheduled projects by Shota Rustaveli National Science Fund of Georgia, introduced by the CEO of the Fund, Jaba Samushia.
The projects of the Fund include the scientific grant competition for the joint researchers with the compatriots abroad – 9 projects have been already funded within this project.
“The key aspect of this project is that our researchers working in the leading Universities abroad keep being connected with the homeland and even share their experience with the Georgian specialists”, - the reporter noted.
Yet another important project is the scientific research competition for the Georgian material and spiritual heritage in Georgia and abroad envisaging the study of the Fereydani dialect. This year, the Fund finances also the study of the Ingiloy dialect. The Fund also works on mobility and conference grants to enhance the links with the Diasporas, it develops a new direction and finances the international conferences, which means that the Georgian subject will be widely discussed at an international level.
The reporter noted that the Fund is engaged in Horizon Europe’s international program allowing the Georgian scientists to gain European financing.
The Chair of the Committee, Beka Odisharia positively estimated the information and offered the financing of some more projects connected to the Diasporas.
“It would be important for the Fund to also finance some projects for certain Diasporas. The Committee will provide any possible aid in this process and your new endeavor shall be extended over Diasporas and thus, be successful”, - he stated.
The Diaspora Business Forum is held on 10, 11 and 12 December, through the financial support of the European Union, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
The forum aims to promote the involvement of the diaspora in the economic development of the country, to stimulate cooperation between compatriots living abroad and local businesses, to establish business contacts and to increase access to new markets for local businesses. The participants of the event - compatriots living abroad and foreign guests - have the opportunity to get acquainted with the investment and entrepreneurial environment of Georgia, state programs and initiatives to support business.
The opening part of the Diaspora Business Forum took place on 10 December at the Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi. EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel greeted the participants with a video address. The forum was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Vladimer Konstantinidi and the IOM Georgia Chief of Mission, Sanja Celebic-Lokovac. The event was attended by state agencies ("Produce in Georgia", Georgian Agency for Innovation and Technology), representatives of the private sector and up to 15 diaspora communities from Germany, France, Canada, U.S. and foreign guests.
Georgia’s development cannot be complete or successful without the engagement of our diaspora – D. Zalkaliani
The Minister expressed gratitude towards the representatives of the Georgian diaspora, whose efforts, according to the statement of the Minister, are directed towards ensuring tighter contact with our homeland, retaining their national identity.
The Minister also noted the support of the Georgian PM, Irakli Gharibashvili, in terms of our relations with our diaspora.
Within the framework of the forum two thematic meetings were also held: 1) “Economy and Business – Georgian Diaspora for the Development of our Country”, and 2) “Education and Culture”.