New Life of Tskaltubo – Presentation of Investment Project
New Life of Tskaltubo – a large-scale investment project, which provides for the sale of 14 sanatoriums to investors at privatization auctions within the framework of the conceptual plan for the restoration and development of the resort, was presented by the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili to the guests invited to Tskaltubo.
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, opened the event, which was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, international donor organizations and the business sector.
“Tskaltubo is our unique historical heritage. Unfortunately, in 1990s, the resort lost its glory, many things were destroyed during this period, but we still have a chance to preserve this unique cultural heritage and restore it in a way that will really bring new life to Tskaltubo,” – Levan Davitashvili ted noduring his speech at the presentation.
Within the framework of the general plan for the restoration of the resort, the state is putting up for sale 14 estates located in Tskaltubo including 5 premium class hotels, 5 middle class hotels and 4 different types of accommodation facilities. Total value of all the property is approximately 50 million GEL. In addition, private investment in the amount of 500 million GEL will be made in the resort. According to the project, the state undertakes obligation to invest in order to transform Tskaltubo into an international level spa resort.
The project envisages creation of a unique, modern spa-resort in Tskaltubo, establishment of medical tourism, diversification of tourist offers, rehabilitation of the city centre and public spaces, rehabilitation of the urban space of the city centre. Implementation of the project developed by the Government of Georgia will make Tskaltubo a high-class resort that will host international and local tourists in all four seasons. Tskaltubo will offer its guest not only unique thermal waters, but also highest quality of recreation, ecology and natural monuments.
• E-Catalogue of Investment Offers – https://bit.ly/3yFTQgf
Irakli Garibashvili: Ambassadori Batumi Island’s large-scale investment project is set to further bolster Batumi’s solid international reputation and Adjara’s economic progress
Yesterday we are launching a unique, global-standard project that is truly exceptional in our region. This project covers two artificial peninsulas, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated in his speech at Ambassadori Batumi Island’s time capsule burial ceremony today.According to the Head of Government, at least 100 million USD will be invested in this project, and 2,000 local residents will be employed.“I would like to greet all of you with enormous respect and congratulate you on this day, because today we are launching a unique, global-standard project that is truly exceptional in our region. This project covers two artificial peninsulas, and one island will be built to bring together recreation and wellness, sports, educational, residential, and tourism directions, and I am confident that this investment project, the largest in the region, will further bolster Batumi’s solid international reputation and Adjara’s economic progress. I would like to greet the project’s initiator and our investor, Ambassadori Group’s leader, Mister Keburia and his family. I would like to thank Ambassadori Group, because this company has already invested tens of millions of dollars and, without exaggeration, has created truly unique projects in various Georgian regions, including Tbilisi, Kakheti, and Adjara. And now we have a project that is unique for our country and the entire region. Thus, I would like to thank the investor. At least 100 million USD will be invested in this project-this is what has been announced at the initial stage-and 2,000 local residents, our citizens, will be employed.“Before obtaining a permit, the company and its founder completed all procedures, carried out the project’s assessment, engaged relevant research institutes, and this project has been developed by top-notch professionals. Generally, I would like to say that this project meets all relevant environmental and safety standards, which is very important to Batumi’s residents, to the residents of our Adjara.“Once again, I would like to thank Ambassadori Group, the project’s authors and initiators. This truly unique project is our pride and joy. On behalf of the Government, I would like to thank the group once again and pledge our full support.“Today we need such projects, such large-scale projects, to be implemented in the country. The fact that the group has decided to launch and carry out a project of this magnitude reiterates that unique conditions are put in place in Georgia today.“As you know, our economic growth is in double digits, while the whole world is facing enormous challenges. Recession is almost everywhere, but we have been able to maintain, above all else, peace, stability, and strong economic development. What our country needs today is precisely the implementation of projects of this kind, strong economic advancement and progress, and this, of course, will create more jobs, greater revenues, wealth, and will bring greater prosperity to our citizens. This is our common wish, task, and dream. Once again, thank you. I wish you success,” the Prime Minister stated.
The event’s invited guests were also addressed by the Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili, the Chairman of the Government of Adjara, Tornike Rizhvadze, and the Cofounder of Ambassadori Batumi Island, Fridon Katamadze.Ambassadori Batumi Island’s large-scale project seeks to create two ultramodern artificial recreation and welfare peninsulas and one island and to put in place relevant infrastructure. Under the project, modern-standard commercial, entertainment, sports, educational, wellness and health, residential, and tourism and recreation infrastructure will be built. The project is fully implemented with private investments. To carry out the project’s initial phase, Ambassadori Group will invest 100 million USD, and construction work will employ 2,000 people.The event was attended by representatives of executive, legislative, and local authorities, and of Ambassadori Group.Press Service of the Government Administration
Under the initiative of Prime Minister of Georgia, a large-scale project will be launched to construct
Under the initiative of Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, a large-scale project will be launched to construct and rehabilitate 800 school buildings. Its first phase will be launched in September-October and tenders will be announced for the construction of 80 new school buildings and rehabilitation of 320 existing ones.A work group meeting was held and led by the Prime Minister of Georgia at the Government Administration in relation to the referred initiative. Details of the project were discussed by Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Minister of Education and Science of Georgia and Levan Sukhitashvili, Director of the Agency for Educational and Scientific Infrastructure Development with the Head of Government of Georgia.According to the project, rehabilitation of 400 school buildings will be tendered out in 2023-2024, while the construction and rehabilitation of 800 school buildings in total will be carried out by the end of 2026.Project ensures equal access to education resources and their advancement. Over 230 000 students will benefit as a result. Thus, all public education institutions will have state-of-the-art infrastructure by the end of 2026.It is worth noting that refurbishment to modern standards is envisaged during the rehabilitation of existing school buildings and construction of new ones. Namely, modern lab facilities will be created, sports infrastructure will be upgraded and – what is most important – a healthy lifestyle will be introduced. Every school building will be adapted to the special needs of persons with disabilities.As noted by the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia at the end of the meeting, focus on education is a strategic priority of the Government of Georgia.Cost of the project amounts to 1 BLN GEL.Press Service of the Government Administration
DETAILS RELEASED OF GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN TO STRANGLE ANAKLIA PORT PROJECT
Ruling Georgian Dream Party Reversed its Support for Vital Project,
Wiping Out Economic Benefits for Georgia
TBILISI, GEORGIA, 9 September, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), the company originally selected by the Government of Georgia to develop the strategic Anaklia Port Project, today shared additional details of the Government’s campaign, directed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, to undermine the project by dissuading potential project investors, lenders, contractors and suppliers from joining the project in order to kill it.
The following statement is issued on behalf of the ADC Supervisory Board:
“All infrastructure projects of such scale require government support; namely the encouragement of lenders and investors, the assistance in permitting, regulatory approvals and a favorable tax regime, and providing any ancillary support; in this instance, the provision of land and the construction of road and rail infrastructure. For a government to actually oppose an infrastructure project that it had itself approved is highly unusual in the global economy.
“The Georgian Government’s campaign to strangle ADC’s ability to develop the Anaklia Port Project represents a self-inflicted wound for itself and considerable injury to Georgia’s economy and its role in the region.
“Taken together, the Georgian Government's specific actions are part of a deliberate and well-orchestrated campaign to destroy a project which the Government itself originally sponsored and endorsed, but subsequently chose to destroy as a result of what appear to be the political and economic self-interests of the Georgian Dream Party and its principals.
“The Government manufactured all sorts of excuses for not wanting to see various investors, lenders and partners involved in the project, but the Government really only had one purpose: to choke the project to death by scaring away everybody who might have an interest in supporting it.
“Also, is it beyond coincidence that government ministers – including two Prime Ministers -- who voiced support for the project or otherwise expressed concern about the growing controversy with the project were tendering their resignations shortly after such comments were made?
“The damage to Georgia caused by the Government goes well beyond the potential loss of the Anaklia Port and the associated Special Economic Zone. The conduct of the Government is scaring away investors at a time when Georgia cannot afford to lose any more foreign investment. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of foreign direct investment in Georgia has fallen from nearly US$ 2 billion in 2017 to just over US$ 1.3 billion in 2019, and in the first quarter of 2020, stood at only US$ 171.8 million - a catastrophic decrease even before the Covid crisis began to take effect. As Retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges of the Center for European Policy Analysis said, ‘the government only has itself to blame.’”
Some examples of the Government’s efforts to strangle ADC and the Anaklia Port Project include:
- Georgian Dream party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili requested to meet with ADC to discuss the Anaklia Port Project and asserted that the expansion of Poti Port could achieve the same objectives of the Anaklia Port at a far lower cost.
- During a June 12 meeting of the Georgian Dream party, attended by more than 100 party officials, Party Leader Bidzina Ivanishvili personally blamed Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his actions in support of the Anaklia project and for having close ties to ADC investor Mamuka Khazaradze. Mr. Kvirikashvili resigned the day after that meeting.
- In February 2019 ADC learned that during an October 2018 meeting with senior U.S. State Department officials in Tbilisi, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia (then Minister of Interior) advised the U.S. officials that the Anaklia Port project was not in Georgia’s interests.
- SSA Marine, which was selected as the Anaklia Port operator and was a potential investor, alerted ADC of its concerns about what seemed to be the Government’s support of an expansion of the Poti Port. (Following detailed studies sponsored by the Government back in 2013-14, it had been determined that Poti Port could never meet Georgia’s needs for a Deepwater Port, which is why the government itself selected Anaklia for development at that time. The Government’s subsequent expressions of support for expansion at Poti was a clear signal to the lending and investment community that the Government was no longer supportive of Anaklia.)
- A sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it had decided against supporting the project because of the negative actions of the Georgian Government, and the possible shift of support to the Poti Port.
- Another sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it was withdrawing its support because one of its counterparts had just done so (above) due to the state’s apparent shift of support from Anaklia to Poti.
- It has been reported that Infrastructure Minister Maya Tskitishvili, in ministerial hearings before Parliament, undermined SSA Marine as a potential investor and as the port operator, claiming the company lacked experience and financial capacity. These assertions were not true. In the process of her speech, the minister also breached legal obligations of confidentiality that were associated with the investment agreement.
- SSA Marine advised ADC that it was suspending its activities related to the Anaklia Port project.
- Mr. Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, told “Forbes Week” that the negative public discussions and media reports of the Anaklia project were having a negative impact on the business climate within Georgia. He subsequently resigned within days of the interview.
- A major U.S. private equity firm which was in advanced negotiations with ADC to join the project revealed to ADC that Government officials warned the firm to stay away from the project.
- Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, in a trade visit to the U.S., met separately with SSA Marine, the leadership of the U.S. private equity firm that were interested in investing in the project, and with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo expressed support for the Anaklia project with the prime minister standing next to him, saying it would “strengthen Georgia’s ties with free economies and not allow Georgia to be under the economic influence of Russia or China.” Upon his return to Georgia, Mr. Bakhtadze resigned, and this again put the project in unchartered waters.
- At a meeting in Tbilisi, a large Hong Kong-based private equity group with significant Central Asian transportation synergies that was considering joining the project was told bluntly by Infrastructure Minister Tskitishvili that the Government did not desire their participation in the project. At this same meeting Ms. Tskitishvili reaffirmed the Government’s seeming opposition to SSA Marine’s involvement in the project.
- Giorgi Volski, Vice Speaker of Parliament, falsely claimed that the Hong Kong private equity group mentioned above is a “Russian” company, with the intention either of disparaging it or sowing further confusion about the government's position in respect of the project.
- In a meeting between Prime Minister Gakharia and an Anaklia Supervisory Board member, Mr. Gakharia stated that “things had to get quiet” before he could reassure the major potential U.S. investor of the state’s support for the Anaklia Project, which the board member understood to be a condition that ADC and Mr. Khazaradze stop criticizing the government publicly on its opposition to the Anaklia Project, and the government would stop criticizing ADC.
- Also, the Supervisory Board was promised a letter of support to a U.S. investor from the highest levels of the Government, but this never materialized, even though ADC did comply with the Government’s request.
- A delegation from the U.S. (in Tbilisi to participate in the 5th annual Tbilisi International Conference sponsored by the McCain Institute) met with new Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and subsequently with Mamuka Khazaradze. Representatives of the delegation told Mr. Khazaradze that Prime Minister Gakharia told them the Anaklia project was not commercially viable when this was patently not the case.
- Fadi Asly, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, is quoted in the media saying, “No one will invest in Anaklia project as long as Bidzina Ivanishvili wants to destroy it.”
Taken together, these are only a selection of the instances where the Government of Georgia actively undermined the project in an effort to prevent ADC from developing the project. ADC intends to present evidence during the upcoming arbitration proceedings to demonstrate the degree to which the Government took such steps.
Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com
EU4Business project helps set up business clusters for better access to EU market
Up to 100 Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now in a better position to take advantage of the benefits of the free trade agreement between the EU and Georgia.
The EU-supported project ‘SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia’ has helped to establish three business clusters in the country and to lay the groundwork for two more, reaching out to 100 SMEs specialising in furniture, interior design, film production and post-production, ICT, apparel and honey production.
As a result of the 4-year project, these SMEs have received access to leading international expertise to help them identify opportunities for capacity and product development, better competitiveness and integration with the European market.
Cluster member SMEs currently employ more than 1,400 staff members in Georgia.
The Project to Foster Peace Citizens, Implemented by HWPL Peace Education
Kotebe Metropolitan University implements the peace education to train peace-building citizens in Ethiopia
In December, the professors and students at Kotebe Metropolitan University participated at the ‘Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Peace Education’ sessions which are also joined by 214 schools in 36 countries. The sessions provided platforms for students and professors to express the significance of peace education and discuss the process of implementing peace education with the visions laid out by HWPL.
Ethiopia is the melting pot country, enriched with the diverse cultures, peoples, and religions. However, such diversity sparked many conflicts in the past, some of which are still ongoing. These conflicts have stripped the country and people apart emotionally, and the Ethiopian government is actively working to peacefully resolve them for the better future of the country.
To bring the peaceful reconciliation in the country, the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia and 9 other states had previously signed MOA with HWPL to implement the HWPL Peace Education. The curriculum is designed to empower citizens to properly recognize the value of peace and take the pioneering role of spreading the culture of peace. Implementing Peace Education is also the practical step toward implementing visions laid out by the Article 10-Spreading a culture of peace, out of 10 Articles and 38 Clauses of the ‘Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)’. Citizens are carrying out the popular peace movement to present DPCW to the United Nations to make it into the international law of peace in the form of a legally binding document. This global movement aims to fundamentally cut off vicious cycles of war and support citizens to promote the value of peace as the universal culture for humanity.
A student who participated at the peace education said, “I learned why peace education is important for resolving conflicts in Ethiopia. It taught me to act as a messenger of peace. It is also important to present 10 Articles and 38 Clauses of the DPCW to the UN to fundamentally eradicate war and conflicts. To this end, we must continue to participate in peace education,” emphasizing the need of peace education in order to peacefully resolve the conflicts in Ethiopia.
After signing MOA with HWPL, the Ministry of Higher Education in Ethiopia is currently reviewing the ‘HWPL Peace Education’ to incorporate and implement it as formal curriculums in all the universities. Addis Ababa School of Science and Technology (AASTU) also held the peace education sessions right after the Kotebe Metropolitan University.
After an initiative to pursue HWPL Peace Education was publicly announced in September 2017, HWPL began signing MOA with every Ministry of Education in need of peace education.
So far, HWPL has signed MOA with the corresponding ministries of 10 countries, as well as MOU with 214 schools in 36 countries, most of which are officially implementing peace education curriculums.