Georgia-Korea (B2B) Business Meeting

Published in Economics
Monday, 28 November 2016 17:10

The KOTRA – state-funded trade and investment promotion organization operated by the Government of South Korea will hold a Georgia-Korea (B2B) Business Meeting on December 1st, 2016, from 9:00 to 18:00, at “Marriott Hotel” in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Business Meeting will involve about 20 Korean Business Sectors, as well as Georgian companies and it will be held within the framework of bilateral (B2B) meetings. The Business meeting will be attended by 70 companies and aims the development of economic relations between the Republic of Korea and Georgia.
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea (Tbilisi Office) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Media of Georgia the assurance of its highest consideration.

Foreign Relations, Diaspora and Caucasus Issues and the EU Integration Committees' sitting

Published in Politics
Friday, 25 November 2016 12:30

The Committees voted confidence to the candidates for Ministry of Foreign Affaris, Mikheil Janelidze and for State Ministry of EU and NATO Integration, Victor Dolidze. The PM candidate introduced the Governmental Program “Freedom, Rapid Development, Welfare” for 2016-2020 and the composition of the Government.
Mikheil Janelidze spoke about main priorities of foreign policy. Enhancement of security and sovereignty, de-occupation and restoration of territorial integrity, peaceful resolution of conflict with Russia, EU and NATO integration, facilitation to economic development, promotion of the positive image of Georgia worldwide and close links with Georgian Diaspora were named as the main priorities. He stated that the only format recognized and developed with participation of international partnership society is Geneva Talks for peaceful resolution of conflict, de-occupation and territorial integrity. “In this direction we managed to regulate the process and to put it in dialogue mode”. “Consolidation of international efforts is one of the main directions on all Geneva Talks rounds in view of provision of security and human rights protection in the occupied regions of Georgia and we actively discuss this issue in international organizations”.
M. Janelidze spoke about non-recognition of independence of the occupied regions. “As a result of our policy, sundry states have recalled recognition in 2013-2014”. He emphasized the decisions made recently to underline relevancy and active consideration of occupation and Georgia-Russia conflict on international agenda. One of the vital priorities of foreign agenda will be mobilization of international efforts to facilitate dignified and safe return of IDPs.
He also spoke about EU and NATO integration and named full-fledged integration to NATO as the priority task of foreign and security policy and pre-condition for enhancement of security and stable development of the country. He touched upon the decisions made at NATO Warsaw Summit in 2016. “The initiatives were adopted at NATO Warsaw Summit in July, 2016 in the priority directions such are: air defense capacity, joint trainings, Black Sea security cooperation, crisis management development and improvement of strategic communication”. Dignified return of IDPs will be further supported.
He also spoke about bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. “The Georgian Government will further continue strategic cooperation with USA as the main ally of Georgia. It also will be important to enhance cooperation with EU member states and orientation to strategic partnership. Within the rational and de-escalation policy, we will further facilitate to trade-economic and cultural contacts with Russia”.
M. Janelidze touched upon enhancement of cooperation with neighboring countries – Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. He overviewed the future plans and implemented projects. “I, as the Head of the Foreign Ministry, consider institutional reforms as priority to enhance our diplomacy and to provide diplomats with due conditions”.
Mr. Victor Dolidze stated that one of the priority tasks for Georgia is EU and NATO integration. He noted that the political dialogue on EU integration will further continue with EU member states. “We attach particular attention to expectation management to ensure awareness of our citizens about the expectations. They shall well understand why NATO and EU instead of Eurasia. We shall provide them with information. Public awareness always was and will further be one of the most important spheres for cooperation”. The important link will be the Strategic Communication Department at the Ministry. Similar departments are set up in Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministries. “So-called media campaign is also important for public awareness, which implies communication with society. Our citizens shall have comprehensive information about NATO and EU integration and benefits for Georgia leading to full-fledged membership of European family. Coordination only is not enough. The State shall make real steps especially in the spheres, such are: economy, tourism, education, healthcare, social protection etc”.
He underlined importance of the Parliament in strategic communication. “Involvement of the Parliament in strategic communication will be important. We can jointly or severally visit the regions, especially the settlements with minorities and highlands to provide the habitants with the information about the benefits of EU and NATO integration”. 
After the reports, the Committees held the secret ballot resulting in:

  • Foreign Relations Committee – 9 votes against 1;
  • Diaspora and Caucasus Issues Committee – 10 votes unanimously;
  • EU Integration Committee – 10 votes against 2

According to the Decree of the President of Georgia, the extraordinary plenary session will be held on Saturday, November 26 at 12h00 following the Faction sittings on November 25.

 

 

Mikheil Janelidze: “Georgia may be the best platform in the region for Britain’s business”

Published in Politics
Thursday, 24 November 2016 16:13

Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze made this statement at the joint press conference with Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Sir Alan Duncan, who visited Georgia in the frames of the third round of the Wardrop Strategic Dialogue.   
The Georgian Foreign Minister thanked the Minister of State for visiting Georgia and for the positive assessment of the parliamentary elections held in Georgia.  
Mikheil Janelidze noted that economy is one of the main priorities of the co-operation with the United Kingdom and underlined that the country is one of the biggest investors in Georgia and that it is important to present Georgia as a country that has much to offer to British investors.    
“Georgia being an open democracy is ready to enhance free trade and economic ties and to support business relations. Georgia may be the best platform in the region for Great Britain to do business. Economy is the main direction of our strategic co-operation. Our co-operation lasts for many years. Great Britain is one of the biggest investors in Georgia’s economy. It should be noted that this year the 20th anniversary of British Petroleum (BP) successful operations in Georgia was celebrated.  This was the first important strategic project, which was developed and on the basis of which we have developed other projects. BP continues to invest and to develop projects, which support the energy security in Europe,” Mikheil Janelidze said.  
Particular emphasis was put on the existing close relations between the two countries in the spheres of education, culture and science, the most notable examples of which are the British Government’s exchange study programmes and the special project to mark the anniversaries of William Shakespeare and Shota Rustaveli.
The bilateral political dialogue – Wardrop Dialogue – founded in 2014, is dedicated to the discussions of British-Georgian bilateral, regional and multilateral co-operation in the spheres of policy, security, defence, economy, culture and education.
 

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

GEORGIA TO BE VISITED BY US SME INVESTORS

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.

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