Georgia’s Prime Minister on Visits to Spain and Davos

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 15:00

At today's Government meeting, the Prime Minister assessed his working visits to Spain and Davos.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili commended the unveiling of a commemorative plate honoring Georgia at the World Tourism Organization Headquarters in Madrid.
According to the Prime Minister, it is a great honor and recognition of the country's significant achievements and the Government's efforts in this direction.
"Quite interesting were our meetings with Spain's Prime Minister and Monarch, the sovereign head of state. We discussed numerous exciting directions in the relations between the two countries. We have nominated to the Office WTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, our Ambassador to Spain and Representative at the World Tourism Organization, who needs support, so we held a number of meetings to this end," Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
The visit to Davos was assessed by the Prime Minister as very interesting. According to him, Georgia is keeping its finger on the pulse of global events, maintaining contact with its friends and partners.
"We held several meetings with heads of states, including an interesting discussion with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti. Importantly, 2016 was a record-breaking years in terms of EBRD investments in Georgia-the largest amount of investments was made in Georgia, and plans for 2017 are even greater, heralding yet another record-breaking year. Their expectations are very positive," the Prime Minister said.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, very positive expectations were expressed by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in relation to global economic growth.
"We had very important meetings with representatives of the public sector and investors. Georgia is in the spotlight, being as one of the Eastern European countries considered by companies planning to expand in Europe, and we had a number of meetings in this direction as well. In this regard, especially important are Japanese companies taking interest in Georgia, which is commendable," the Prime Minister stated.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, meetings were also held with companies specializing in tourism, hospitality, and aviation and interested in the Georgian market.
"It has been a very important visit, and I am believe its multidimensional results will become tangible soon," the Prime Minister said.

Building bridges between Georgia and Armenia

Published in Politics
Friday, 13 January 2017 10:20
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan to Georgia to improve the cross-border bridge connecting Georgia with Armenia. The project is part of the EU’s Integrated Border Management regional initiative. It represents another step forward in the implementation of Georgia’s plans to modernise and upgrade its infrastructure to EU standards.
The Sadakhlo-Bagratashen bridge checkpoint is the main crossing between Georgia and Armenia. An upgrade of the existing infrastructure will improve the transit of people and goods across the border. The Northern Corridor Modernisation Project has a budget of EUR 10.3 million and is essential for supporting regional trade and cooperation between the two countries.
Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia, commented: “I hope that our successful partnership will continue and that significant projects will be implemented for the advancement of water supply and sewage systems, energy, transport, agriculture and tourism.”

EU4Business: EBRD holds competitive consulting conference in Tbilisi

Published in Economics
Friday, 21 October 2016 14:56

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with EU funding under the EU4Business Initiative is organising an international conference of consulting professionals in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on 3-4 November 2016. ‘Competitive Consulting 2016’ will bring together consultants from a wide range of markets, as well as a number of international consulting firms interested in engaging with local partners.
This event will help consultants to build their competences, exposure and network so that they can provide high quality services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
The conference will feature plenary sessions from leaders in the consulting industry and the business world. They will explore global trends in the sector and the new challenges in the industry and the region. The event will include detailed breakout sessions examining new techniques, models and approaches for agile consulting, combining experience with innovation. (EU Neighbours East Info).

10 New buses in Tbilisi

Published in Society
Friday, 30 September 2016 14:42

Presentation of MAN’s new blue buses was hold in Rose Square in Tbilisi. The buses will run on #61 line in the nearest future. According to the Tbilisi City Mayor Davit Narmania, new buses are consistent with European standards, are ecologically clean and working on CNG fuel.
“The new buses are safe for the environment and this is too important. They work on natural oil and they are the most high-class civic buses,”-Davit Narmania said.
According to Mayor, buses are provided by heat and conditioner systems. 27 ml euro was allocated by EBRD and 7 ml euro by – E5P Fund. 

EBRD and EU boost private sector growth in Georgia

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 16:55
The European Union,  the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  (EBRD) and Bank of Georgia have launched a new financial assistance scheme for SMEs, to help local businesses improve product quality and modernise their services in line with European standards. The EBRD-EU financing facility scheme was presented to 200 representatives of Georgia’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in Tbilisi on 21 September.
The conference highlighted the product scheme, how it works and how local businesses can access the financial package offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) EU-funded programme. The financing package will increase access to credit in local currency and specifically support businesses that are managed or owned by female entrepreneurs for better access to finance, know-how and advice. The facility will also help local SMEs create an environment that is beneficial to cross-border trade and economic growth in Georgia.
This is the first phase of the planned EBRD-EU programme under which the EBRD is working with local banks to help businesses further invest in improving product quality and service standards.
The EU has also provided funding to the EBRD’s Advice for Small Business to boost the know-how of entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses in the European Neighbourhood region. Both programmes are part of the EU4Business initiative, which supports EU projects to back SMEs in Eastern Partnership countries.

Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine get ready for free trade area

Published in Economics
Monday, 12 September 2016 17:16
Moldova and Ukraine have significantly improved, according to an article on the website of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). EU funding has provided support to help businesses in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, allowing them to take full advantage of unrestricted access to the world’s largest market, the EBRD says, adding that the €400 million funding has helped local entrepreneurs to grow their business, train local partner banks and improve the business environment through policy dialogue with relevant government authorities.
These efforts have resulted in significant improving of production, adaptation to EU standards and  opening new export markets for local enterprises.
The three countries signed Association Agreements with the EU that foresee the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between each country and the EU.
This development is expected to provide businesses and the economy - from farming to the IT sector - with a vital boost. The EBRD is providing finance to small and medium-sized enterprises in all three countries, supported by the EU with a risk-sharing model. The loans  provided by the EBRD and EU not only help to increase the share of exports, but support the local economy through creating new job opportunities and discovering new market opportunities.
The EBRD started in May 2016 to provide €380 million in loans and trade guarantees to local partner banks and other financial institutions for on-lending to businesses, while the EU is making available €19 million for technical assistance, investment incentives and risk-sharing.
The EU funds are part of the EU4Business initiative, which provides a comprehensive package of support to attract new investments and improve services and products to the benefits of all citizens and consumers across the Eastern partnership region.

New blue buses will operate in Tbilisi from September

Published in Society
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 16:02

New blue buses will operate in Tbilisi from September, 2016. The agreement was signed between the Man Truck and Bus AG Company and Georgian side. German company has been selected as a tender winner company. The tender is carried by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
European Bank has allocated a loan of 27 million EUR to Tbilisi Municipality for acquisition of buses, while the additional grant of 7 million has been allocated by fund E5P, under the management of EBRD.

The sitting of the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 14:40

The Committee considered with the I reading the draft by Guguli Magradze and Zviad Kvachantiradze on Philanthropy, Charity and Social Partnership and the draft on Tax Code, aiming at facilitation to philanthropy and charity, development of social partnership and definition of legal basis.
The draft on Philanthropy, Charity and Social Partnership defines the subjects of philanthropic and charity activity and the spheres of the hereof activity. The draft envisages tax remissions to stimulate hereof subjects – profit of the subjects other than from economic activity, shall be exempted from profit tax. Conveyance of the profits by the subjects to the natural persons: socially vulnerable families, disabled persons, single mothers and families with many children, orphan and gutter persons, refugee or humanitarian status persons, IDPs, affected with natural disasters, accidents, catastrophes, epidemic, war and armed conflicts, injured in the struggle for territorial integrity, families of deceased in the struggle, persons with chronic diseases shall be exempted from income tax. The draft envisages other preferences – exemption from double taxation.
As the Chair, Zurab Tkemaladze stated, it is not clearly defined in the draft. The law shall be approximated to EU legislation and the businessman shall have the impetus and opportunity to do charity. So, the draft is very important but the Committee will support it if it is in harmony with the Constitution, Tax Code and approved by the Government.
The Committee considered the Loan Agreement between Georgia and EBRD (Tbilisi Bus project). As the Deputy-Finance Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze stated, the agreement was signed on May 11, 2016, envisaging provision of Tbilisi City Hall with new, ecologically effective, compressed natural gas powered 175 buses. EBRD has allocated 27 ml EURO loan and ESP has allocated 7 ml EURO grant. Consideration was participated by the Deputy-Mayor, Irakli Lekvinadze. The Committee supported the document.
The Committee considered with the III reading the drafts on: Innovations; Grants; Tax Code; Science, Technologies and Development thereof; Energy and Natural Gas; Public Register; Food/Forage Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection Code; Entrepreneurs; Labor Migration; Public Health; Control on Entrepreneurship; Code of Administrative Offenses; Official Statistics. The Committee supported the drafts.

Developing industry and agriculture

Published in Politics
Friday, 27 May 2016 17:17

Prime Minister discussed the importance of the European Neighbourhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia (ENPARD Georgia II). 50 million Euro Financing Agreement on the second stage of the program has already been signed. The program aims at fostering agriculture, relevant policy and reforms as well as improvement of the quality of the applicable services.
"This is a crucial program in terms of development of the agriculture industry. 50 million Euro Financing Agreement has been signed. The funds has been allocated for the purpose of fostering agriculture, relevant policy and reforms as well as improvement of the quality of the applicable services." - Prime Minister stated.
Pursuant to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has already approved the 50 million USD credit line for Georgian enterprises that will attempt to bring their production standards with those of the EU.
"This is a substantial motivation for developing the enterprises, particularly SMEs that are compliant with the EU standards. We urge the business sector to exploit this opportunity to the fullest. This is the first phase of the program and the EBRD will cooperate with the representatives of the Georgian banking sector to make this credit line available for our entrepreneurs," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted.

EU and EBRD support to business sector

Published in Economics
Monday, 23 May 2016 15:39
Thousands of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are to benefit directly from the new assistance programme from the EU and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which will strengthen their competitiveness in domestic and international markets through in-depth advisory services, training courses and awareness-raising activities. The agreement to provide up to EUR 28 million was signed between the two institutions last week, the EU Delegation to Ukraine said. The assistance, part of the wider EU4Business initiative, will include the creation of a network of business support centres across Ukraine.
“The EU4Business initiative aims to support job-creating Ukrainian businesses by equipping small and medium-sized companies with new skills and supporting their ambitions to export to the largest neighbouring market – the EU Single Market of more than 500 million consumers,” said the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Ambassador Jan Tombinski. “We are determined to help local businesses become drivers of economic growth in the Ukrainian regions and compete successfully in global markets,” he added.
In addition to unlocking access to finance for Ukrainian SMEs, the EU4Business initiative will also provide significant technical assistance to the Ukrainian government to support deregulation and the implementation of sound policies to support the private sector. Under this initiative, Georgian, Moldovan and Ukrainian SMEs will receive EUR 200 million of grants – a contribution that is expected to unlock at least EUR 2 billion of new investments by SMEs in the three countries. These investments will be financed largely by new loans supported by the initiative.
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