European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Process of Georgia is Irrevocable

Published in Politics
Thursday, 24 November 2016 13:45

Georgia-EU Association Objectives is the title of the annual conference launched today in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was envisaged by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concluded by and between the Government of Georgia and Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Georgian National Platform about the Implementation of EU-Georgia Association Agreement. Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Acting Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the participants of the Conference. In his opinion, Platform as is one of the largest union of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), plays a distinct role in the process of EU integration of Georgia. According to the Acting Prime Minister, shared efforts of the Government and NGO sectors is most important within the context of EU integration, thus leading to the public consolidation in the country and further boosting the EU integration process.
As noted by Mr. Kvirikashvili, one of the key directions of the Four Point Plan is the Inclusive Governance and cooperation with the NGO sectors is a clear priority within this context. NGOs are engaged in the implementation of the reforms in different directions and support the Government in building a democratic, modern and developed state.
"EU and Euro-Atlantic integration process of Georgia is irreversible! Association Agreement signed by EU and Georgia was fully enforced this year, though we have started to consistently adhere to it since the interim enactment on September 1, 2014. By the assessment of our European partners, Georgia is a vivid leader among the Eastern Partnership Countries in terms of the implementation of the Association Agreement" noted Mr. Kvirikashvili.
In his opinion, coordination mechanism for the effective implementation of the Association Agreement and Association Agenda will be further intensified in future. One of the key areas within the context is the introduction of an electronic monitoring system, which is planned with support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the nearest future.
"Association Agreement covers the entire spectrum of political, social and economic sectors. It is fully consistent with the Government Vision on the Political and Socio-Economic Development of the country. Success achieved in General Elections this October is yet another significant step made forward towards the democratic development and EU integration" added Mr. Kvirikashvili.
According to the Acting Prime Minister, full use of the current potential in the economic relations of Georgia and EU is a key direction of the Government Agenda. Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) is effectively implemented with all its requirements and commitments. Formation of a Free Trade Area will significantly facilitate the attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). It will incentivize the economic growth and economic development at large. Georgia is consistently progressing towards becoming an integral part of the EU market, which will lead to substantial positive benefits to the population of our country" stated Mr. Kvirikashvili.
In his opinion, national authorities of the country are expecting another significant milestone towards EU integration, which will manifest itself in visa-liberalization. "Georgia is in full compliance with the requirements laid out in the EU Visa-Liberalization Action Plan and it is now our European Partners' turn to respond accordingly to our adhered commitments. We sincerely hope that EU will complete the respective procedures and population of Georgia will be able to enjoy the visa-free travel" stated the Acting Prime Minister.
According to Mr. Kvirikashvili, it would have been impossible to achieve the current success towards EU integration without the active engagement of the civil society. In his opinion, expertise knowledge and experience accumulated in the NGO sector is highly valued by the Government.
"Georgia is the first country among those who signed the EU Association Agreement, which actively engaged the NGO sector in the planning and monitoring of the implementation process. Also, Georgia was first to ensure the engagement of the civil society in the preliminary planning of the EU Association Agenda. We are actively cooperating with NGOs united under the National Platform of Georgia within the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and other representatives of the civil society" noted the Acting Prime Minister. Mr. Kvirikashvili expressed his gratitude to the EU Member States, international organizations and donor agencies actively engaged in boosting the civil sector of the country and development of cooperation mechanisms between the Government and NGO sectors.
"Irrespective of the progress achieved within the EU Association Agreement, we will implement a lot of reforms and will face a number of challenges. I am confident that our close cooperation and interaction will make it easy to overcome the difficulties. Today's conference is an excellent opportunity for seeking agreement on our positions and discuss the effective implementation of the Association Agreement. Government of Georgia deems it important to get exposed to the documents drafted by the civil society and take their findings and recommendations into consideration" noted Mr. Kvirikashvili. Acting Prime Minister of Georgia congratulated the audience with the launch of the first annual conference aimed at the planning and successful implementation of the reforms applicable to the EU integration. He also thanked the organizers of the conference - Office of the State Minister and Eastern PartnershipCivil Society Forum Georgian National Platform and supporters of the conference - UNDP and Government of Sweden. Acting Prime Minister also thanked Mr. David Bakradze for his very productive and successful performance during his term served as State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.
"Outstanding inter-agency coordination existed within the country on the implementation of an Action Plan for the EU Association Agreement under his leadership. Reform Agenda for 2017-2020 stemming from the EU Association Agenda was developed with his truly active participation. I wish to thank him sincerely for all his efforts and wish great success in his new position as an Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Georgia to USA. It is also important for the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia" concluded the Acting Prime Minister of Georgia.


Georgia conference increases access to justice

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 14:50
An international conference organised under the EU-UN Joint Programme “Justice for All” has opened in Tbilisi on 21 November. The Tbilisi Mediation Days conference aims to enhance mediation in Georgia as an alternative method of dispute resolution, and contribute to ongoing reforms in the justice system. The event brings together experts and practitioners in the field of mediation from six countries, including the US, UK, Poland, Slovenia and Georgia as well as representatives of the Georgian Government, civil society, educational institutions and international organisations.
“Mediation has great importance for the parties of a dispute for resolving their problems in a speedier and less costly way. On the other hand, mediation helps release the courts from excessive caseload and improves access to justice. Sharing the best international practice in mediation will assist Georgia to develop legal framework in this field,” said Aleksandre Baramidze, First Deputy of Minister of Justice of Georgia.  
Conference participants have addressed a draft law on mediation in Georgia, discussed a research document, “Mediation in Georgia – From Traditions to Modern Days”, and have provided a masterclass for students.
“Greater use of alternative dispute resolution processes, particularly mediation, is part of Georgia’s Association Agreement with the European Union. To achieve progress in this area, the European Union closely works with the main stakeholders in the national justice system and academia, as well as with our international partners,” said Kaido Sirel, Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.

America’s Vital Interests Are at Stake in Georgia-Donald Rumsfeld

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 12:32

The Republic of Georgia has again demonstrated its deep commitment to Western values. Through the ballot box and for the second time in four years, Georgians last month showcased their sound democracy, vibrant pluralistic society and deep commitment to the values of the trans-Atlantic community. Results of this year’s parliamentary elections repeated and deepened the positive outcomes of their previous election in 2012.
Nearly unique among the new states formed from the old U.S.S.R., Georgia’s main parties all subscribed to and campaigned on Georgia’s strong attachment to Europe and NATO, and all favor a strong strategic anchor with the United States. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili told me and stated publicly that this process is “irreversible,” a sentiment that resonates throughout Georgian society.
What can the U.S. do to support these solid achievements in Georgia and the aspirations behind them? Several reasonable options warrant close attention from the next administration. None requires significant expenditures and all directly advance American interests.
First, the barriers in Georgia’s pathway to NATO membership should be removed, and Georgia should receive a membership action plan without further delay. Georgians have paid their dues. Georgia volunteered its fighters to stand shoulder to shoulder with American and other NATO soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In per capita terms, Georgia’s contribution of manpower has been greater than all other NATO members except the U.S. This includes those European countries that have been somewhat cool toward Georgia’s membership in NATO. Germany, with a population of 81 million, lost 55 of its soldiers in NATO’s service in Afghanistan, while Georgia, with only 4.9 million inhabitants, lost 32 of its brave soldiers, a notable difference of scale.
NATO has recently extended its presence in Georgia by setting up a Joint Training and Evaluation Center. NATO should also tap Georgia’s unique perspective on its complex region. It has firsthand experience with Russian subversion; it borders restive Turkey; and it has an evolving relationship with its neighbor, Iran. These suggest several opportunities, including prospective intelligence sharing and counterintelligence operations.
Russia offers predictable complaints that for Georgia to join NATO would be a provocation. Concern about Russia’s probable reaction persuaded some NATO members that Georgia’s move toward NATO should be delayed. Yet recent NATO summits have repeatedly acknowledged Georgia’s contribution to the West’s security, while promising action on its application for full membership. The time to act is now. The West’s security interests should not be held hostage to Russian disapproval.
The Russian army continues to occupy more than 20% of Georgia’s territory, which it seized during its 2008 invasion of Georgia. Russia’s evolving imperial vision, which already includes parts of Ukraine and all of Crimea, is not compatible with the West’s values and security concerns.
Discussions aimed at the return of these Georgian territories have shown little progress. Meanwhile, Russian troops are stealthily moving the borders of the land they occupy deeper into Georgian territory. The U.S. must raise its profile in talks to resolve these matters and be prepared to take further measures to raise the cost to Russia of its occupation of Georgian territory.
It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge Georgia’s importance and help to make it an active participant in planning and strategy for the region. Georgia is a major energy transport route from the Caspian to America’s allies in Europe. It provides a barrier to the flow of jihadists from other parts of the former Soviet Union to the Middle East. And it will doubtless figure large in the strategies of any NATO consortium for securing the Black Sea and “New Europe” against Russian adventurism.
Beyond this, the U.S. should be more active in the development of the new East-West transport corridors, in which Georgia and the Caucasus play a central role. Its ports on the Black Sea will send and receive goods and raw materials from Asia and Europe, linking the entire Eurasian continent. An American company is currently constructing a deep-water port on Georgia’s Black Sea coast at Anaklia that will be able to accommodate the largest freighters. Georgia may be a small country but it is destined to become a linchpin connecting the economies of Europe and Asia.
For all these reasons the U.S. should act now to deepen its engagement with Georgia, not as an act of philanthropy but because America’s vital interests are at stake there. The people of Georgia have shown what good governance, strong democracy and an attachment to Western values can accomplish, even against daunting odds. Georgia is an ally we need and should welcome.

Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia hosted the students

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 16:21

Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia hosted the students. 90 students of different universities participated in the event, which was planned by the initiative of “Young Criminologists Group”. Deputy Head of the Department to  Investigate Offenses Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings  of Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia Koka Katsitadze talked to the students about the system of Prosecutor’s Office, prosecutor’s activity, projects of Prosecutor’s Office and internship system. They were also informed about the role and functions of prosecutor on the stage of investigation and trial.
Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia cooperates with “Young Criminologists Group” permanently and is actively involved in all the projects, which are focused on raising legal awareness of young generation.  

Mikheil Kavelashvli spoke about the activity and the priorities of the Committee

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 12:51

The Chair, Mikheil Kavelashvli spoke about the activity and the priorities of the CommitteeHe hoped that regardless of different views of the majority and minority, the constructive cooperation will result in the decisions beneficial for the country. The Committee shall do its best to make sports the field number one, to increase the volume of the sphere and ensure active involvement of adults therein. Committee members stated that sport can bring benefits for the country in terms of economic enhancement.
The Committee supported the Regulation and elected Shota Khabareli as the First Deputy Chair, Irakli Abuseridze from majority and Zaza Kedelashvili from minority as the Deputy Chairs. The Committee is composed of 13 members:

Mikheil Kavelashvili – Chair of the Committee 
Shota Khabareli – First Deputy Chair
Irakli Abuseridze - Deputy Chair
Zaza Kedelashvili - Deputy Chair
Leri Khabelovi

Levan Kobiashvili
Bidzina Gegidze
Giorgi Mosidze
Giorgi Totladze
Genadi Margvelashvili
Mukhran Vakhtangadze
Giorgi Kopadze
Koba Nakopia


Published in Politics
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 10:05

Georgia will be visited by a group of small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) from the United States of America (USA) according to the information conveyed to Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Acting Prime Minister of Georgia by Mr. Gabriel Schulze, Executive Chairman of Schulze Global Investments (US investment firm) at the meeting held at the Government Administration today.
Schulze Global Investments manages investments of hundreds of millions of USD at the largest markets of the world. It is now keenly interested in getting exposure to the construction of small and medium hydro power plants (HPPs) in Georgia.
Investment opportunities in Georgia have been discussed at the meeting. In the opinion of the Executive Chairman of Schulze Global Investments, Georgia is a very interesting market for investors and it has a great potential of growth.
Mr. Schulze congratulated Mr. Kvirikashvili with an overwhelming victory in the General Elections and expressed hopes about a fruitful cooperation with the Government of Georgia.
Schulze Global Investments is a US investment firm, with a Head Office in Singapore. Company has a track record of almost 10 years and its clients include large investors from all over the world, along with the international financial institutions (IFIs) and funds. Schulze Global Investments manages Caucasus Clean Energy Fund worth of 100 MLN USD in Georgia with a focuse on investments in the construction of small and medium HPPs.

The Parliamentary Delegation to participate in NATO PA Session

Published in Politics
Friday, 18 November 2016 11:45

On November 18-21, Istanbul will host the 62th Annual Session of NATO PA. 27 delegates of NATO member states and MPs of the NATO associated countries will participate in the international forum.
The delegates, at the Committee and plenary sessions, will discuss world security, peace-keeping missions, terrorism, political and economic issues. It is noteworthy that the spring session, 2017 of NATO PA will be held in Tbilisi on May 26-29. Georgia is the 5th non-member state hosting the NATO PA.
Thus, the Georgian Delegation will represent the video image of Georgia and hold the wine tasting during the sessions in Istanbul. The Georgian Delegation is headed by the Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili.

McDonald's Georgia launches innovative self-ordering kiosks

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 17:15

McDonald's Georgia, is offering the innovative solution to its customers: In partnership with VISA and Bank of Georgia , McDonald’s introduces innovative self-ordering kiosks in Georgia. The Presentation of Self-Ordering Kiosk was organized in McDonald’s Dighomi Restaurant.

“Each costumer is really important and unique for us. Innovative self-ordering Kiosk is designed to make the restaurant service easier, faster, more comfortable and precise for McDonald’s customers. Kiosk is also adapted for persons with disabilities thanks to its flexible layout”. – said Tengiz Kapanadze, Director of McDonalds Georgia.

Dmytro Krepak, country manager for Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia: “McDonald’s has been a reliable partner for Visa in many markets. Visa teamed with McDonald’s to introduce cashless payment option at McDonalds restaurants in many countries across CISSEE. Moreover, together we piloted Visa payWave contactless payments, including mobile Visa payWave, in partnership in Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia and Georgia. When we launched first commercial Visa payWave program in Georgia our expectations were that contactless will help us drive cashless payments in Georgia more efficiently. And today we actually see this happening:
• Georgia enters TOP3 countries in CEMEA on contactless;
• McDonald’s is one of the biggest driver of contactless payments in Georgia with 53% share of contactless payments in total number of transactions made at McDonald’s in September 2016;
By launching the first automatic self-service kiosks in Georgia we make another step to enhance consumer experience”.

Implementation of modern technologies is strategic priority for McDonald's. The Georgian representation is the pioneer in implementation Brands Global innovations among the European countries. —McDonald’s Georgia is one of the first market offering its customers such unique experience.The implementation of the self-ordering Kiosk is a new stage in the service Industry. It gives possibilities for further innovations, which is promised by McDonald’s Georgia to be introduced in nearest future.

McDonald'sGeorgia is one of the first markets to offer local customers all kind of innovations invented globally. For example- new type of service platform integration, which was implemented in 2015 in Georgia, was only active only in several leading countries of Europe.This year McDonald’s Georgia as successful market in adapting brands innovations, hosted the representatives of European countries and shared successful experience with them.



Producer Price Index for Industrial Products in Georgia (October 2016)

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 14:53

In October 2016 the Producer Price Index (PPI) for Industrial Products increased 1.3 percent over September 2016. The index declined 1.9 percent compared to October 2015 and rose 23.7 percent over the 2010 average.
In October prices were 1.3 percent higher compared to previous month for the section of manufacturing, resulting in a 1.06 percentage point contribution to the overall monthly PPI growth. Within the section prices were up for manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco products (1.5 percent) and manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products (3.2 percent).
Prices for supply of electricity, gas and water showed a 1.4-percent price increase with a contribution of 0.19 percentage points to the overall index change.
The annual PPI rate was mainly affected by price changes for the following sections:
Manufacturing: prices for the section decreased 2.7 percent, contributing -2.21 percentage points to the overall annual index decline. Price decreases were recorded for manufacture of chemical products (-20.9 percent) and manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products (-6.6 percent);
Supply of electricity, gas and water: prices for the section increased 4.6 percent and contributed 0.56 percentage points to the overall PPI change.

Head of State Security Service of Georgia Held meeting with British Ambassador to Georgia

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 11:15

Vakhtang Gomelauri, Head of State Security Service of Georgia held an official meeting with Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Georgia, Justin McKenzie Smith.
At the meeting, the importance of existing cooperation between Georgia and the UK was emphasized. The parties discussed current developments taking place in the region and worldwide, as well as spoke on the outlined tendencies. The parties also discussed existing threats and challenges that Georgia and the UK face and underlined the importance of strengthening and enhancing cooperation between relevant security services of the countries. Vakhtang Gomelauri and Justin McKenzie Smith spoke on the future plans and discussed the perspectives of further collaboration.

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