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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:36 AM   #121
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Georgia Plans to Offer Tax-Free IT Zones
July 27, 2010, by Nino Patsuria

They’ve tried wine and they’ve tried tourism. Now the Georgian government is banking on tax-free IT zones to draw foreign investment and boost local businesses.

Parliament will vote in September on draft legislation that would set up “several” zones in which Georgian and foreign IT companies could operate without paying income, excise, sales, customs or profit taxes. Other privileges are still under discussion; the government says that it expects to hammer out the details by September.

“What is known for sure is that the exports of both resident and non-resident IT companies operating in Georgia and producing their products locally will be exempted from taxes,” Deputy Finance Minister Natia Mikeladze told EurasiaNet.org.

The government estimates that companies operating in the zones could reduce their business expenses by roughly 70 to 80 percent. But altruism does not figure into this calculation; the plan is for Georgia’s underdeveloped IT sector to benefit from the tax break, too.

The legislation would require that local staff make up 70 percent of the employees working at each non-Georgian company operating in the zone. Given Georgia’s 16.9-percent national unemployment rate, that condition could make interest in acquiring IT know-how grow exponentially, bill supporters believe.

“The aim of the bill is to develop this sector by creating a demand for highly skilled professionals,” elaborated Vazha Goginashvili, head of the Ministry of Finances’ Financial Analysis Service’s Systems Administration Department and one of the bill’s authors. “Demand [in its turn] can give an impetus to developing education and it all will result in business development, ultimately.”

No official statistics exist about the current size of Georgia’s IT sector or its yield in tax revenues, but Goginashvili and IT community members concede that the sector is miniscule.

The employment requirement for zone participants, however, faces one key drawback that Goginashvili and others recognize exists – the lack of highly skilled IT professionals and IT-focused education programs within Georgia.

Instead of touting the country’s scores of whizbang IT geeks, the government is promoting lower costs to bring technology firms into Georgia.

“An IT company spends about 80 percent [of its budget] on human resources, and if we cut down these expenses, plus give tax preferences, our idea will be competitive,” affirmed Goginashvili. “For example, if we offer Microsoft a specialist for $15 per hour in Georgia, while it pays $100 per hour for an American specialist, plus offer an income tax exemption, salaries will be its single expense and the company can sell its product at a similar price and enjoy a big profit margin.”

Davit Nadaraia, the head of iTex International, a Tbilisi-based software development company that works on software outsourcing projects, terms the draft bill a breakthrough for Georgia’s IT sector, but cautions that without an IT-specific education program to prepare specialists, the zones will only show results in 10 to 15 years.

“Big international companies like Microsoft are not going to rush into Georgia immediately if you do not guarantee that they will have skilled personnel, “ noted Nadaria. Such a skill base could develop gradually as the zones “lay the groundwork for the development of small IT companies, which will create demand for specialists . . . [b]ut it needs a unified approach, involving tax preferences, education and promotion of the IT sector,” he said.

One other Georgian IT executive argues, though, that the real problem for the IT sector lies elsewhere. Georgian IT specialists do not lag far behind their international peers from an intellectual point of view, but IT company management skills are lacking, asserted Irakli Tushishvili, executive director of Alta Software, a Tbilisi-based software company that develops software services for local banks.

Management skills could also play a role in preparation of the bill itself. Mirian Nadaraia, the head of another local IT company, Saatec, called for tight definitions of what IT technologies would be applicable for the tax benefits. “When a foreign company is looking for a cheaper and high-quality IT product, it focuses on India because it has never heard of Georgia,” Nadaraia said. “This bill can solve this problem, but there should be a clear definition of . . . what activities are covered because it can lead to confusion [and loopholes] about what product is exempted from taxes and what not.”

Tushishvili, nonetheless, expressed confidence that foreign firms will ultimately take the tax-free bait and come to Georgia’s IT zones. He claimed that some of Alta Software’s Ukrainian and Serbian partners have already expressed interest in the zones, but did not provide their names.

“All companies are supposed to cut down costs; even a one-percent reduction for Microsoft means a profit of billions due to its huge turnover . . .of course, they will be interested,” he said.
http://www.eurasianet.org/node/61618
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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #122
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Olive cultivation in Kakheti

Step by step, Georgian agriculture is growing and changing to meet world market demands. The latest example of this trend is the introduction of olive production in the East of Georgia. It has transpired that Kakheti’s climate is ideal for the crop. Its export may even eventually become more profitable than the grapes the region is famed for.

This new direction for Georgian agro-business has been predicted to be a great success by local experts. As a result of Dutch-Turkish investment, the opening of the very first Kakhetian olive grove – planted by Geolive and containing 34,000 saplings over six hectares - was held in Sighnaghi to an enthusiastic reception.

The plot was seen as nothing special before the project. Due to its dry soil, nothing was able to flourish but withered bushes. Investors and locals hope that the soil will prove perfect for olive production. The first harvest is expected in six years, and by that time, the company will have built factories for the further development of the product.

The public opening, held by Geolive and Capital Partners of Georgia, was attended by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who planted the first olive sapling.

Geolive was founded in 2009, with Capital Partners of Georgia as its partner company. It is also implementing similar projects in Guria and Samegrelo. Geolive offers plants to regular farmers absolutely free of charge under one condition – that farmers will plant, take care of the plants and receive the yield under preliminary guarantee.

Capital Partners of Georgia (CPG) was established by an enthusiastic, young Georgian businessman, George Svanidze. Together with his partners, Mark Haynes Daniell, Tom Singh, and Robert Michael Vancko, CPG is investing millions of dollars in the hospitality and agriculture sectors.

The company has already invested 1.2 million GEL in the agriculture sector and owns 1,200 hectares of land in Kolkheti Valley, between the regions of Guria and Samegrelo.

“Turkish businessmen and Georgian entrepreneurs working in Turkey offered us the opportunity to establish olive production in Georgia,” stated Svanidze. “We have already invested several million lari and are developing one of the largest kiwi farms in the country. We are also planning to produce tomatoes, corn, and vegetables as well as palm trees and various other exotic trees and plants.”

The Turkish side arranged for research to be conducted and it transpired that the regions of Kakheti, Imereti, Marneuli and Guria have the perfect climate for olive production.

According to Svanidze, the company’s experts carefully studied Kakheti’s soil and climate, finding in them all the conditions for a successful project. Markets for export have already been identified.

Is the largest employer in the village of Mashnaari, which is located three kilometers from Signhnaghi. 30-40 people work there daily, with the village youngsters also engaged in the production.

20,000 saplings were imported from Turkey, and this number is expected to rise up to 100,000 by the end of the year. In 2009, Turkish government made a change in its legislation as a direct consequence of the project.

Merab Gogrichidze has a long-term experience in the business and owns some of the largest olive plantations in Turkey: “Around 500 saplings are planted on each hectare and the harvest reaches around 25 tons, with 15,000 dollars of profit. The plants need watering during the first few years but after five years it becomes incredibly simple to take care of the plantation,” he stated.

Olive culture in Georgia is still in its infancy, but the project’s heads see a lot of opportunities in the product. They plan to use 20 percent of the yield for fruit with the rest for producing oil.

“The business is dedicated to entrepreneurs, smallholders and large investors as well. The establishment of an olive culture in Georgia will improve the Georgian economy as well as the livelihoods of rural communities,” stated Svanidze.

Story by Natalie Mchedlishvili
29.07.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8187
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Old July 30th, 2010, 08:20 PM   #123
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SOCAR opens three more petrol stations in Georgia

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) continues developing a global network of petrol stations (AZS) under SOCAR brand.

SOCAR reports that yesterday its subsidiary Socar Georgia Petroleum opened two more filling stations in Tbilisi and another one in Kutaisi region. As a result, the network of such stations in Georgia has increased up to 40.

Besides Georgia, SOCAR has three petrol stations in Azerbaijan and 30 ones in Ukraine.

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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:14 PM   #124
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Georgia to sell more wine to Canada
01.08.10
Georgia will start selling much more wine to Canada than before. Delegation of the Georgian Agriculture Ministry visited Toronto in purpose to discuss details for the new deal. It has been agreed that the Canadian government will assign a quota to the Georgian product.
Furthermore, a joint Canadian-Georgian company which will be working on selling wine has been created. Representatives of teh Georgian Agriculture Ministry say the Canadian market is one of the most prospective for the Georgian wine.
http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.p...main&ct=0&wth=
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 08:50 PM   #125
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New nuts works opens in Zugdidi town in Western Georgia
03.08.10
New nuts works opened in the town of Zugdidi in Western Georgia on Tuesday. The enterprise has been constructed by Georgian-Canadian investments and about 200 people have been employed there. Most of them are internally displaced people.
The works has been equipped with contemporary modernized machinery. Its production will be mainly exported to Canada and Egypt.
Georgian Minister for Economy and Sustainable Development opened the works on Tuesday. Vera Kobalia also met with small entrepreneurs and listened to their ideas and view on development of the nut business in the region.
http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.p...1&prior=2&ct=0

Last edited by Kokoity; August 3rd, 2010 at 10:23 PM.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 10:07 PM   #126
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Georgia's industrial zones
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, August 3
The Georgian government established free industrial zones in different locations around the country to revive industry. There are currently six free industrial zones - 2 in Kutaisi, while Tbilisi, Rustavi, Batumi and Poti have 1 industrial zone each. It is envisaged that the Poti free industrial zone will be open by this September. So far only a couple of dozen companies are registered in Poti industrial zone. There are delays in the start of operating of the Tbilisi free industrial zone, which will be launched by the Israeli company Tera 1, and there is a very similar situation with the Rustavi free industrial zone, where Estonian business group is active but has not done enough to start. The government promised that two industrial zones will function in Kutaisi, one Chinese and one Egyptian. The latter has been heavily promoted with the Georgian government claiming the Egyptians would invest around USD 2 billion and employ 2500 locals. However until recently little has been done in this direction – the Egyptian companies' activities appear to be decreasing and it seems it is folding; so far only 60 locals have been employed. There is a prospect of establishing an industrial zone in the Khevachauri district of Adjara, to date however no investors have come forward.
http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2..._econ_two.html
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Old August 6th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #127
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The Chairman of Government of Adjara to visit tea processing factory

The Chairman of Government of Adjara visited tea processing factory "Agro-Export" together with the Minister of Agriculture.

"In a few days another species of Georgian tea will come out on the market. On the first stage the realization of the green and black tea from Chaisubani will be implemented only in Georgia, but in the future the tea will be sold abroad. Promoting of small and medium business is a government priority", - the Chairman of Government of Adjara noted.

"Agro-Export" buys tea leafs from local farmers, after that begins the processing, sorting and packaging of the tea.
http://adjara.gov.ge/eng/index.php?page=show&id=1560
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Old August 7th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #128
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World Bank earmarks $ 50 million to Georgia

The World Bank has allocated $ 50 million under the Second Development Policy Operation (DPO-2) for Georgia. The loan is the second in a series of three operations designed to provide direct budgetary support for the country.

The money will go towards financing the government’s reform agenda. Specifically, its purpose is to assist “an orderly transition in the government’s focus from immediate mitigating measures toward facilitating recovery and preparing Georgia for post-crisis growth.”

According to Asad Alam, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, with this support Georgia’s economic recovery is “gaining strength.”

Asad Alam explained: “Tax, customs, and trade-related reforms are helping to strengthen competitiveness and bolster investor confidence, while the coverage of the social safety net is being enhanced to help support the incomes of the poor and vulnerable.”

Approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on July 29, this second operation follows the $ 85 million First DPO, which supported a countercyclical fiscal stimulus to allay the impact of the economic slowdown during 2009.  The DPO program is a key component of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for Georgia, which is based upon the twin pillars of “meeting vulnerability needs related to the downturn and strengthening competitiveness for growth and job creation.”

“As economic recovery takes hold, fiscal adjustment is being implemented in a manner that protects important social and infrastructure investment expenditures,” Faruk Khan, Task Team Leader of the DPO program said in the press statement.

Along with the macroeconomic and fiscal framework, the new loan will back measures designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public finances, increase the effectiveness of the social safety net, and enhance external competitiveness.

The Second DPO includes credit of $ 40 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and a loan equaling $ 10 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The maturity period for IDA credit is 20 years including a grace period of 10 years, while the IBRD loan carries a maturity of 27 years including an 8 year grace period.

The World Bank is one of Georgia’s leading donors. In recent years the bank has provided huge levels of financing for the country’s infrastructure development projects, including the East-West Highway reconstruction and rehabilitation project. The works for the highway - an internationally significant project which links the western part of Georgia with the east - are still underway. The World Banks current total commitment to Georgia amounts to approximately $ 1.4 billion for 49 projects.

Story by Nino Edilashvili
5.08.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8202
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #129
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Free Industrial Zone to be created in Georgia`s capital Tbilisi
10.08.10
Free Industrial Zone will be created in Georgia`s capital Tbilisi. The issues was discussed Tuesday at the government`s sitting in State Chancellery. The Free Industrial Zone will be created in the vicinity of the airport. Construction materials, electrotechnics will be produced in the zone. The Free Industrial Zone will be brought into force from June 1, 2012 for 99 years and 1500 will be employed there.
`Creating the Free Industrial Zone is very important for Georgia`s economy. It will be the place where about 1500 people will be employed. We will be able to diversify and increase export. Several projects will be implemented in the zone, including production of electrical appliances and construction materials`, Georgian Minister for Economy and Sustainable Development Vera Kobalia said.
http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.p...1&prior=2&ct=0

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Free Industrial Zone to be Created in Tbilisi
10-08-2010
Free industrial zone will be created in Tbilisi. The corresponding statement has been made by Vera Kobalia, Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development, before the governmental sitting .
According to her, free industrial zone will be created at the airport, where more than 1500 people will be employed. The zone will start functioning in about two years.
‘We will be able to diversify and increase the export by creating the free industrial zone. We will exercise several projects’, Vera Kobalia said.
http://new.interpressnews.ge/en/econ...n-tbilisi.html
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #130
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Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania and gas transportation
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, August 10
On September 14, a top level meeting will be held in Baku. Presidents of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, Georgia – Mikheil Saakashvili and Romania –Traian Basescu will meet to discuss the gas transportation project AGRI – Azerbaijan, Georgia Romania Interconnection. From September 6 working groups will prepare the so-called Baku declaration which will be signed at the summit. On September 13, ministers of energy will gather and it is understood that the Baku summit will be attended by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barosso and EU Commissioner on energy issues Gunther Oettinger.

A 3-party working group has already been working on the project and presumably in September an international tender will be announced for creating the feasibility study for the project. As previously reported, on April 13 Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania signed a memorandum of understanding on the transportation of liquid gas. Later in Tbilisi on May 12 the participants signed a joint protocol on establishing a joint venture for implementing the project. The project of transporting Azeri liquid gas to Romania for further distribution there and throughout Europe envisages a terminal in Georgia and another in Romania. According to preliminary data approximately Euro 4-6 billion will be spent on the successful implementation of the project. The project envisages transporting Azeri natural gas though the gas pipeline to the Georgian Black Sea coast where it will be compressed at a special terminal before being transported by tankers to the Romanian Black Sea port of Kontstantsa, where it will be expanded to the original gas form and further transported through the gas pipelines.
http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2..._econ_one.html
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Old August 13th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #131
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Frogs join the list of Georgia’s exports

Immediately after the Ministry of Economy announced last week that it was looking into the possibility of exporting Georgian frogs, Georgians on social networks started a heated debate on the issue. Some on Facebook even proposed that Georgia should create and export its own national delicacies made from frog rather than just depend on exporting the meat.

According to the Ministry’s statement, the highest demand for frog meat comes from France, which is renowned for its love of “cuisses de grenouille” (legs of frog). However, the government has expressed hope that it will soon be able to reach other foreign markets as well. In particular, the US, Austria and a number of South American countries have looked into as potential markets for export.

“The meat of Georgian frogs is very delicious and special,” said Bakur Kvezereli, the Minister of Agriculture, examining the potential for export of the product.

According to official figures, last year Georgia exported more than 250,000 lake frogs with a total volume of 4, 175 kg of meat and a value of around $14,612.

Having white meat and tasting like chicken or fried fish, frogs are not considered edible in Georgia. No restaurants serve frog food and no one has ever thought of launching a business in this field despite the fact that Georgian lakes and rivers are fairly rich in the animal.

As last years due to the bird flu epidemic, the demand for frog meat increased dramatically on the global market, the idea of exporting this valuable product impressed some locals. Consequently, frog farms have opened in Adjara and Guria, in West Georgia which has a wet climate and abundant water resources making it ideal for raising the product. The government has now stepped in to support the initiative.

The Ministry says that in 2009, the initiative to export frogs was experimental but proved highly successful. “Businessmen, mostly from EU countries are quite interested in investing in this business,” Kvezereli said.

Georgia is exporting lake fogs, which are green approximately 17 cm in length. Currently, the price of one kilo of frog meat on the world market ranges between $ 4 and $ 6.

Story by Nino Edilashvili
12.08.2010
http://georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8207
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Old August 20th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #132
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“Rompetrol Georgia” Oil-base exploitation has been restored after complete modernization

“Rompetrol Georgia’s” modernized oil-base has resumed the full operation from today. Today, near the Tbilisi International Airport, namely in the Lochini Gorge the festive opening of the modernized oil-base has been arranged.

The event was attended by Saduokha Meraliev, General Director of the Rompetrol Group. He arrived in Georgia specially to attend the opening ceremony. He festively cut the red band together with Aleksander Khetaguri, Minister of Energy of Georgia and Archil Kekelia, Deputy Minister of Economy, and spoke about implemented wide-scale works and investment plans.

The oil-base which used 2 million investment of the company – is designed to receive and store fuel and deliver it to transport vehicles, and provide its own net of petrol stations, as well as corporate and wholesale clients.

The complete reconstruction of the base has been conducted by local certified leading specialists during 6 months. Presently, ecological and anti-fire norms completely correspond to existing demands and international standards. The technical equipment of the base enables its exploitation to reach maximum efficiency; in addition to it, the base is equipped with machines imported from Ukraine, Turkey and France. The reservoir park of the base was perfected by SAYBOLT specialists.

“As a result of the works conducted in frames of modernization, the fuel storage reservoirs’ capacity has been increased from 6000 to 9500 cubic meters, and the fuel off-loading time has decreased from 10 to 2 hours. Now it is possible to unload 10 instead of 8 tanks simultaneously. Special attention was paid to observance and strengthening of security and ecological norms. Now it is possible to conduct preventive and constructive works without terminating the base operation process,” – stated Aleksander Albin, General Director of “Rompetrol Georgia”.

As for company plans, as Saduokha Meraliev underlined, by 2012 the company envisages construction of another oil-base near Tbilisi which spending additional 4 million dollars.

The company still plans to make multi-million investments in Georgia to develop its network in the country and will pay special attention to introduction of innovative projects, strengthening fuel quality control systems, developing its network, supporting social projects and different types of sports. “Rompetrol Georgia’s successful operation on the Georgian market can become a remarkable example of placement of funds for foreign investors,” – stated Aleksander Albin.

19.08.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8221
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Old August 21st, 2010, 03:09 PM   #133
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January-July 2010 Records 150 percent Year on Year Growth in Georgian Wine Exports
2010.08.19
Tbilisi (GBC) - The Georgian wine exports in January-July registered a 150 percent growth year on year.
Quote:
Ukraine Emerges as Leader in Georgian Brandy Exports with 81.6 percent Ratio
2010.08.20
Tbilisi (GBC) - Georgian brandy was exported to eleven countries in January-July 2010. The Georgian Agriculture Ministry says in the reporting period Georgia exported 1 132 047 bottles of brandy. A major part of the exports went to Ukraine.
http://gbc.ge/index.php?m=home&p=6
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 02:19 PM   #134
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Georgian, Russian Airlines to Share Tbilisi-Moscow Flights
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Georgian and Russian air carriers will start direct Moscow-Tbilisi flights this month with each conducting three flights per week.

Georgian Airways will start flights from August 20, the united transport administration at the Georgian ministry of economy said.

Russia's Sibir Airlines, operating under the brand name S7 Airlines, will start flights on August 23, the Russian air carrier said on August 18.

S7 Airlines said that resumption of flights was made possible after it had received permission from aviation authorities of the two countries.

The Georgian united transport administration described the planned flights as "multiple non-regular flights." It said that flight permissions were valid from August till the end of October.

Georgian Airways obtained permission to conduct direct Tbilisi-Moscow charter flights for number of times in the past; most recently such flights were conducted by the Georgian Airways in late May and June.

Russia cut regular direct air flights with Georgia in October, 2006, following spy row between the two countries. The flights were restored in late March, 2008, but were again suspended after the August war.

Before the cut of regular flights, S7 Airlines was also conducting flights between Moscow and Georgia's second largest city Kutaisi, as well as between Moscow and Georgia's Black Sea resort of Batumi.

"In case of full-scale resumption of flights between the two countries, S7 Airlines is ready to consider possibility of restarting flights to Kutaisi and Batumi," the company said.
http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=22609
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 04:59 PM   #135
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“Rompetrol Georgia” Oil-base exploitation has been restored after complete modernization

“Rompetrol Georgia’s” modernized oil-base has resumed the full operation from today. Today, near the Tbilisi International Airport, namely in the Lochini Gorge the festive opening of the modernized oil-base has been arranged.

The event was attended by Saduokha Meraliev, General Director of the Rompetrol Group. He arrived in Georgia specially to attend the opening ceremony. He festively cut the red band together with Aleksander Khetaguri, Minister of Energy of Georgia and Archil Kekelia, Deputy Minister of Economy, and spoke about implemented wide-scale works and investment plans.

The oil-base which used 2 million investment of the company – is designed to receive and store fuel and deliver it to transport vehicles, and provide its own net of petrol stations, as well as corporate and wholesale clients.

The complete reconstruction of the base has been conducted by local certified leading specialists during 6 months. Presently, ecological and anti-fire norms completely correspond to existing demands and international standards. The technical equipment of the base enables its exploitation to reach maximum efficiency; in addition to it, the base is equipped with machines imported from Ukraine, Turkey and France. The reservoir park of the base was perfected by SAYBOLT specialists.

“As a result of the works conducted in frames of modernization, the fuel storage reservoirs’ capacity has been increased from 6000 to 9500 cubic meters, and the fuel off-loading time has decreased from 10 to 2 hours. Now it is possible to unload 10 instead of 8 tanks simultaneously. Special attention was paid to observance and strengthening of security and ecological norms. Now it is possible to conduct preventive and constructive works without terminating the base operation process,” – stated Aleksander Albin, General Director of “Rompetrol Georgia”.

As for company plans, as Saduokha Meraliev underlined, by 2012 the company envisages construction of another oil-base near Tbilisi which spending additional 4 million dollars.

The company still plans to make multi-million investments in Georgia to develop its network in the country and will pay special attention to introduction of innovative projects, strengthening fuel quality control systems, developing its network, supporting social projects and different types of sports. “Rompetrol Georgia’s successful operation on the Georgian market can become a remarkable example of placement of funds for foreign investors,” – stated Aleksander Albin.
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8221
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Old August 31st, 2010, 06:34 PM   #136
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Ryanair May Start Flying to Georgia in 2011, Economy Minister Kobalia Says
AUGUST 30, 2010
By Helena Bedwell

Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest discount airline, may start flying to Georgia next summer, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Vera Kobalia said today.

Ryanair is willing to introduce services to the former Soviet republic after Georgia completes building several new airports, Kobalia said in televised comments broadcast today on Rustavi 2. Ryanair may sell tickets for as little as 1 euro, with standard prices reaching about 50 euros, she said.

President Mikheil Saakashvili said today that the government is willing to spend millions of lari to revamp airports and build new ones nationwide.

“Ryanair has a policy of never commenting on rumor or speculation as Ryanair is in discussion with over 50 airports on an ongoing basis in relation to potential route development,” the Dublin-based carrier’s said in an e-mail statement via its public relations firm.

Ryanair rose 1.3 percent to 3.90 euros at 1:33 p.m. in Dublin, valuing the airline at 5.8 billion euros ($7.4 billion).
http://georgiandaily.com/index.php?o...9806&Itemid=73
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Old September 5th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #137
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Barambo to join chocolate exporters

After seven months of capturing a quarter of the domestic market, Barambo, a Georgian chocolate manufacturer, plans to reach out to foreign markets starting with neighboring countries.

The company’s main targets for export are Azerbaijan and Armenia, where the management is in negotiations with distribution companies.

“After an agreement is reached, we will begin to export our product at first starting with caramel,” Salome Tsakadze, PR representative for Barambo told Georgia Today. “Later, we will export all of the varieties of our product.”

According to Tsakadze, it is expected that Azeri and Armenian children will already get an opportunity to taste Barambo caramel this fall.

Located in Natakhtari in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, the factory was opened in February this year. Spanning nine hectares, the Barambo plant belongs to Barambo Ltd, a Georgian-Belgian consortium. The construction of the plant started in 2009 with a total of 15m euro invested in the venture.

The enterprise produces 30 types of confectionary, including chocolate, caramel, and waffle products under the trademark of Barambo. In summer, an additional sum was invested and by the end of September the company will begin to manufacture new products, including vegetable chocolate.

Currently, the company employees around 160 locals, mostly Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) from the war-affected Shida Kartli region settled near the plant; the company gives its employees an average salary of 500 lari a month. With its expansion, the company plans to create more jobs employing up to 300 people in total.

The plans for growth suggest that the company is are happy with its sales.

Locals also confirm that Barambo enjoys their attention, the company’s produce appears at local supermarkets and customers seem to be showing preference for the Georgian chocolate over imports saying they trust the local ingredients and quality.

“I have two kids and they love Barambo caramels,” Nino, a 26-year old housewife said. “I can find Barambo chocolates in almost all my friends’ homes.”

Eying foreign markets, Barambo expects success: even though it’s still a small operation, there is a demand for Georgian-produced chocolate in the Caucasus region and even in Europe.

According to official statistics, in 2009 Georgia exported approximately 42 tones of chocolate, worth around $388,000.

Recent figures show that more than 12 tons of chocolate, worth over $ 205,000 was exported in the first quarter of 2010.

This year chocolate has been exported to three countries: Slovakia and Azerbaijan which received five tons of chocolate each and Armenia, which imported two tons of Georgian-made sweets.

Story by Nino Edilashvili
2.09.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8256
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Old September 7th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #138
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Indian company to invest 1 mln dollar in Guria
07.09.10 16:56
An Indian Company will invest one million dollar in the Ozurgeti district of Guria Region. The company authorities and the governor of the Guria Region visited the Ozurgeti car-building factory today. The governor, Valeri Chitaishvili said it was very important that the investors would maintain the profile of the enterprise. but would add new directions to it.
The factory will produce and refine plastic products. At present, fifty people are employed at the factory, but the number will increase after the company will enlarge its work.
http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.p...main&ct=0&wth=
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #139
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President Mikheil Saakashvili Observes Constructive Works in Georgian-Swiss JV
09-09-2010
President Mikheil Saakashvili has observed constructive works in Georgian-Swiss joint-venture ‘Berta’ in the vicinity of Tserovani .
The enterprise will be the first manufacturer of hygiene products in South Caucasus.
‘Occupants, who still continue to live in poor conditions, can see how houses have been built here and how the enterprise is being built now. It really is a very important political signal’, the President said.
According to the Mtskheta-Mtianeti Governor Tsesar Chocheli, nine factories have been built in the region. IDPs are employed in these factories, he added.
The opening of the Georgian-Swiss join-venture ‘Berta’ is planned by November. 200 people, including IDPs, are employed in the factory.
25 million US Dollars have already been invested and additional 6 million US Dollars will be invested in the project.
http://new.interpressnews.ge/en/poli...-swiss-jv.html

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Georgian President views new works in compact settlement of IDPs
09.09.10
Georgian President visited a Household and Hygiene Products factory in the village of Tserovani, where IDPs are living in compact settlements on Thursday.
Georgian-Swedish investments was put into the enterprise being under construction now in 2008. The works had to be constructed in Lilo district in Tbilisi suburbs, although, after the Russia-Georgia war, its construction started close to the compact settlement of IDPs in order to have them employed there.
200 people are working for the company now. Moderate salary there varies from GEL 600 to Gel 1000.
Mikheil Saakashvili got familiarized with the specific of the enterprise`s work and viewed its technical equipments. He also talked to the staff.
`The first thing we promised to the people affected by the war, was to construct homes for them, provide them with agricultural lands and most of them have agricultural lands now. Last year we promised them to create jobs and opened the works... Now our task is to create additional 400 jobs in order to have all the IDPs living here employed.
`The occupants represent a country of huge resources. They have large incomes, but are leading a beggarly life and they will keep on in this way. I am talking about officers and soldiers. They saw how the homes in Tserovani were constructed, while they are still living n tents; they saw how we cultivated lands with assistance of Americans, how we grew grains and how the families of IDPs gained their own incomes.
`Now they will see that we will construct the new works on this mount. In a word, what they received and what they won and how Georgia is developing, - this is the difference we are making`, the president said.
http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.p...1&prior=2&ct=0

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Saakashvili visits leather works in Rustavi city
08.09.10
Georgian-Italian Leather Works was launched in the city of Rustavi in about 30 km from Tbilisi on Wednesday.
Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili visited the works today and viewed its technical equipments together with heads of the works.
Saakashvili talked about importance of employment in the country to employees of the enterprise.
http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.p...main&ct=0&wth=
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Old September 10th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #140
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Iron-Concrete Beam Factory Opens in Gori

On September 9, a new factory producing iron-concrete beams was opened in Gori.

The manufactured product meets European standards and is used for the construction of vehicle bridges. The Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Ramaz Nikolaishvil and the attorney of the President of Georgia in Shida Kartli region Zurab Arsoshvili visited Gori to view the new factory.

The factory is able to produce 4 beams with a length of 60m within 24 hours. These beams were being delivered from Turkey. Due to an increasing demand for the goods, a third factory producing the iron-concrete beams was opened in Georgia. 70 people are employed at the factory, the majority of them local citizens.
http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2..._in_brief.html
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