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Old June 21st, 2010, 10:09 PM   #101
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Georgian International Energy Corporation is Implementing Ritseula HPP Rehabilitation Project
Monday, June 21, 2010
Georgian International Energy Corporation (GIEC) has been Implementing the HPP (6.1 megawatt) rehabilitation project The company acquired the HPP in 2010.
GIEC head Natia Turnava specifies the company will receive KfW and the municipal development fund financial resources of 2 192 000 EUR through TBC Bank.
The HPP rehabilitation project investment value makes up 3.4 million USD. The rehabilitation works are expected to end in November 2011 and the HPP projected generation will rise to 25 megawatts, Turnava noted.
The financial resources, which have been disbursed GIEC, is part of a grant of 5.11 million EUR KfW has disbursed to Georgia. The funds have been transferred to the Georgian Government and KfW-selected two Georgian commercial banks, namely, VTB Bank Georgia and TBC Bank.
TBC Bank will issue the loan with the 7-year maturity period and 1.5-year grace period. The loan annual interest rate makes up 8 percent.
GIEC is member of the Georgian Industrial Group (GIG) holding. At this stage, GIEC is operator of seven small and medium-sized HPPs. GIEC-generated electricity is supplied to both the retail market and the Electricity System Commercial Operator (ESCO). GIEC also exports electricity to Armenia and Azerbaijan. The company plans to construct several new hydro power plants in various regions of Georgia.
GIEC also owns the Gardabani steam power plant in the Kvemo Kartli Region. The station installed generation makes up 900 megawatts, including 300 megawatts in the operating regime. GIEC also plans to construct a coal fired power plant and the generated electricity will be sold on both the domestic market and export markets.
http://www.gbw.ge/news.aspx?sid=a527...6-b26cf3cb72ae
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 05:47 PM   #102
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Yves Delorme entered Georgian market

Linens and home accessories producer French brand Yves Delorme established in Georgian trade market. First store that opened on 2 Sanapiro Street is the official franchising of the brand. The representation opened on June 10 and Slava Zaytsev, Regional Manager of the Post Soviet and East European countries visited Tbilisi for a day. At the stage the store presents base collection which remains the main line in every new collection and is unchanged during 10 years.

Yves Delorme is a worldwide recognized European company. It is a representative of a French Fremaux Delorme, which produces high quality linens since 1845.

“I got introduced to the brand as a customer several years ago. Afterwards a brand representative invited me at the presentation in Moscow and there I came up to an idea to establish the brand in Tbilisi,” stated Nona Janashia, Director of Yves Delorme Tbilisi.’’

Yves Delorme production is dedicated for premium segment. Prices vary from 50 lari up to 3000 lari.

“Despite a short-term operation in the country, social interest is very high. People are familiar with the brand and they are glad to witness the store in the country,” added Janashia. “Prices are comparable to the quality of production. However the cost is cheaper than in Europe.”

The exclusive and natural production depicts art of house textile, which is combined with the newest technical innovations together with magnificent traditional materials. Yves Delorme is a symbol of elegance and perfection all around the world. Representations in Shanghai, Taiwan, Paris and Moscow are featured with the same concept. The brand operates 450 stores in 45 countries of the world. The brand collections are united around three main directions: classic, romantic, and deco.

Luxury of Yves Delorme amazes British Royal family and Arabian Sheikhs. Famous Hollywood stars Madonna, Kim Basinger, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, John Travolta, Kevin Costner and others admire the brand. Yves Delorme creates collections especially for house of Kenzo.

Yves Delorme as a plenipotentiary member of elite society became a member of Comite Colbert. The committee members are such brands as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Christofle, Baccarat, hotel Grillon and others. The committee is popularizing French high fashion throughout the world.

Story by Natalie Mchedlishvili
18.06.2010
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Old June 25th, 2010, 08:03 AM   #103
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Electricity Imports From Georgia c Iran Daily

Tehran ambassador to Tbilisi and Georgian energy minister agreed on expansion of Iran-Georgia ties in various energy sectors.

Iranian Ambassador Majid Saber and Georgian Energy Minister Alexandre Khetaguri discussed bilateral ties in energy fields emphasizing on further expansion of the ties, Moj News Agency wrote.

The two sides reviewed ways of expanding bilateral cooperation in establishment of hydro-electric power station and using green energies to produce electricity, as well as the bilateral ties in oil and gas sectors.

Georgian side asked for Iran's technical knowledge and know-how in the field of wind energy announcing readiness to import wind turbines from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Based on the agreements, Georgia will start electricity exports to Iran in near future.

Earlier in May at a forum hosted by the Embassy in the capital Tbilisi Majid Samazadeh Saber said Iran has planned to build a hydropower plant in Georgia and seeks to import electricity from the former Soviet republic.

"We're getting a good response from the Georgian government on improving ties in our region, and we're ready to do so."

"We want to import electricity from Georgia and use the country for power transit" in addition to the planned hydro plant, he said, adding that Iran is "interested in wind energy" investments in Georgia.
http://georgianjournal.ge/
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Old June 25th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #104
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USAID project to promote investment in energy sector

Georgia has started the implementation of a three-year Hydropower Investment Promotion Project (HIPP) with the financial aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project will help Georgia’s energy sector to attract local and foreign investments.

According to Jonathan M. Conly, USAID/Caucasus Mission director, Georgia has an important untapped hydro resources, which are very costly on the global markets.

“Investing in hydro power sector is very crucial not only for Georgia, but also for the neighboring countries,” Conly said at the presentation of the project’s on June 15. “Under the project they will finance feasibility study and investment climate,” he added.

USAID will earmark $8.9 million for the project. The project aims to add 400 megawatts of clean, green renewable power to the Georgia’s current potential this means financial resource will be available for those businessmen which are interested in Georgia’s energy market.

The additional advantages of the project are to help Georgia guarantee its energy independence, increase export to energy-hungry Turkey and Eastern Europe and generate new job places.

“This is the very urgent project for the development of Georgia’s economy,” Deputy Minister of Energy Mariam Valishvili said.

HIPP is part of the U.S. Government’s $125 million post-conflict investment in Georgia’s energy sector, and an important part of the U.S. Government’s $1 billion pledge to Georgian people.

Water and water resources are Georgia’s primary riches. From 26, 000 rivers, 300 are significant in terms of energy production and their total annual potential capacity is 15,000 megawatts. The electricity generated by Georgia’s stations is enough for its population and the country needs electricity imports only seasonally. Last year, electricity export was among the five top export commodities of Georgia and the government’s agenda is to make it the number one in several years.

Story by Nino Edilashvili
25.06.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8100
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Old June 26th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #105
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Currently, 1.5 million bottles of wine is exported to the United States annually

George MargvelashvilI - President of Tbilgvino

Q: What is the current environment on the wine market in terms of sales and has the average segment activated?

A: This year the market revived compared to the previous one. Last year, we faced a pretty tough period with significant drops and now the realization index is higher. We have a nine percent growth on the Georgian market and basic wines are sold to the average and higher price segments.

Q: What is the current situation in  terms of exports?

A: Export markets witnessed important positive actions because the Georgian wine export has significantly increased. In our company we have approximately 35 percent growth compared to last year. Georgian wine has obvious chances to get established on the American market. Currently, 1.5 million bottles of wine is exported to the United States annually. This is a drop while the growth potential is immense.

Q: What about the Russian market? Did any other market replace Russia or does Georgian wine still reach Russia through Belarus and other countries?

A: Of course, Georgian wine appears in Russia illegally because demand is still high. That is why losing Russia was a great loss for companies operating in the sector because the Russian market sold about 90 percent of Georgian-produced wine. Statistics are very sensitive. If Georgia exported 60 million bottles, currently it manages to export 15-16 million bottles. Unfortunately, the sector couldn’t replace the market but we have some great examples how we replaced Russian market back in 2008 and raised realization index in 2009 without Russia.

Q: How important are such types of meetings Wine Congress and how will it benefit Georgian companies?

A: It will benefit in a way that Georgia will be identified with wine. Georgian wine still needs to be introduced in a number of countries.

Q: How many types of production does Tbilgvino have and will Georgian wine be exported to a new country?

A: We export in approximately 20 countries and produce 40 different types of wines under three labels. Georgian customers are basically familiar with Tbilgvino, but we also have a no less successful label, so-called “Georgian Valleys.”

As for innovations, we are planning to expand in several new markets such as China. We are having negotiations with India and the Great Britain.
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8098
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Old June 29th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #106
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Donald Trump plans Georgia investments
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TBILISI -- A Georgian-based international company says U.S. businessman Donald Trump is planning to invest in Georgia, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.
Maia Lomadze, public relations manager of the Silk Road Group, told RFE/RL on June 25 that the Trump Organization will jointly work with the Silk Road Group to invest in business projects in Tbilisi and the Georgian port city of Batumi.
Lomadze added that Trump Organization Vice President Michael Cohen will visit Georgia on June 29. She said Cohen will be in Georgia for two weeks during which large-scale joint business projects will be unveiled.

Lomadze did not say what type of projects the Trump Organization and Silk Road Group are working on.

Trump reportedly discussed the possibility of investing in Georgia in April during a meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in New York City, where the Trump Organization is headquartered.

In December, Trump's ex-wife Ivana visited Georgia. The Georgian President's Office said Ivana Trump is also planning to invest in Georgia, namely, to set up a multifunctional entertainment center in Batumi.
http://www.rferl.org/content/US_Busi...a/2083424.html
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Old June 29th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #107
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Beeline contributes to Georgia’s energy balance

The mobile operator Beeline used a solar energy battery as a source of energy for the first time in Georgia. Special equipment was installed in the company's base station last winter, in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region next to the Tbilisi-Gudauri highway. According to Beeline, the experiment was a success and the ecological and economic results are a proof. Representatives of mass media and the nongovernmental sector working on the protection of natural resources were able to witness it on the spot.

The battery, a solar photo-electro-converter, was spotted by Georgian media in the village of Akhatan. The equipment, installed on a small area with power of up to 1400 watts, was not cheap. The exploitation period of the solar battery is minimum 15 years. After that its effectiveness decreases and it needs updates. The durability of this equipment depends mostly on the quality of silicium crystals.

It is proved that the solar converter is not only economically efficient but totally environmentally benign and meets all accepted standards of environment protection.

“Using sun as a source of energy is the technology of the future for the entire world and it certainly is very important for our country. It is a welcoming fact that Beeline was the first to implement a commercial project of similar kind. It will bring the company big economic benefits by averting the costs of burnt diesel. At the same time beautiful micro-environment will be protected as no burnt gases will be emitted,” Giorgi Abulashvili, head of the Electro Effectiveness Center, told Georgia Today.

According to him, in Georgia electricity obtained normally has the following parameters: for consuming a mwh every consumer emits the equivalent of 400 kg carbons in the atmosphere. It is the thermo gas that causes global warming. If we use the solar energy sources installed by the Beeline Company the ecological risk approaches zero.

It is known that the earth's population will be doubled in several years. By that time, energy authorities will have to ensure that 10 billion people receive energy meeting all environment security measures. This is why large-scale work is underway all over the world to develop renewable energy sources. Georgia is rich in such renewable energy sources as thermal waters, solar and wind energy, small hydro and biomass potential, exploration and usage of which will significantly improve Georgia’s energy balance.

“As you can see, our station is located on quite a remote place, which created obstacles in terms of supplying fuel to it. However, since December we serve this base station more rarely. Advantage of such equipment is that it requires minimal time and costs of maintenance. It is also important that solar batteries are anti-vandal – it is almost impossible to break them and even if they are broken, no one can use it for anything. As our experiment proved right, we will continue working in this direction in the future. We plan to optimize up to 20 sites,” Andrei Pyatakhin, general manager of Beeline in Georgia, said.

In the European Union and other countries of the world there are various mechanisms, which the state uses to conduct direct or indirect subsidization of similar types of technologies by setting privileged taxes. The German “Million Roofs" program is a good example. Specialists also call the program pensioners’ business. According to the program, each resident can install a similar technology on the roof of his/her house and become an official micro-energy company and sell the energy it generates to the state network for a good price.

In Georgia, noncommercial projects are implemented with the help of the nongovernmental sector and foreign donors. For example, with the help of the councils of the Czech Republic and Great Britain similar modules were installed in Georgia's Tusheti region.

Story by Irma Kakhurashvili
25.06.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8099
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Old July 6th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #108
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06 JULY 2010
Vera Kobalia opened the KNAUF cardboard pile manufacturing factory

A special ceremony due to the opening of KNAUF high quality cardboard manufacturing factory was held on July 6. The factory was opened by the Minister of Economy and Steady Development Vera Kobalia.

Vera Kobalia noted that the opening of each factory is very important for the whole country. “160 people will be employed in this factory and its production will not only be sold in our country but will also be exported to many countries around the world. The opening of this factory should be another example for the investors. I am sure that there will be a bigger flow of investments to Georgia,” – Kobalia said.

“KNAUF” is the biggest investor of the construction sector in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and former Soviet Union. “KNAUF” factories manufacture in the CIS, Mongolia and Georgia and they take this production to the market in forms of complex systems: KNAUF piles, KNAUF super piles, super floor, plaster, dry construction mixtures,ready-made mixtures of insulation materials, plaster tiles slabs of metal profiles etc.

The KNAUF production manufactured and realized in these countries corresponds to the world’s construction standards and gives the opportunity to do the facing job with fewer expenses, secure the favorable microclimate in the rooms for better working or living environments.

KNAUF purchased a cardboard pile manufacturing factory in Tbilisi on December 29, 2008 and reconstructed it. More than 20 million Euros were invested for the purchase and the reconstruction of the factory. Another 9 mln. Euro gypsum manufacturing factory is under construction.

Specialists from Germany and Ukraine together with the Georgian personnel worked in the reconstruction of the line since 2009. Dry and liquid components of the main section, Mixer section of the carton installation have been completely changed during the reconstruction. Modern air cleaning devices have also been installed. Compressor station has also been installed. The drying sector had also undergone serious changes.

After modernization, the line will be managed on the basis of the micro processing technologies. A device for marking has also been installed with the correspondence to “KNAUF” group standards.

The factory can produce up to 6 million square meters of “KNAUF” paper. The main country supplied will be Georgia. 4 million square meters of “KNAUF” paper will be produced this year.
http://economy.gov.ge/?category=4&lang=eng&item=268

Quote:
KNAUF opens cardboard plant in Tbilisi

Europe’s leading building materials manufacturer has entered Georgia. KNAUF, a German brand, opened a cardboard processing plant in Tbilisi on July 6, saying the plant will produce 6 million square meters of paper a year.

The total investment for the Georgian venture equals $25 million. According to senior officials of the new plant, they will supply both domestic and foreign markets with KNAUF piles, super piles, super floor, plaster, dry construction mixtures, and ready-made mixtures of insulation materials and plaster tiles slabs of metal profiles.  

“If the Georgian market keeps expanding, we will focus on the local market but if this is not so our major goal will be the export destinations,” Regional Director of KNAUF Gerd Lengam said.

Vera Kobalia, the newly appointed minister of economy and sustainable development, attended the opening ceremony. She underlined the plant’s importance in creating new jobs. Namely, KNAUF’s Tbilisi plant will employ 160 locals.

KNAUF purchased Tbilisi’s outdated cardboard manufacturing factory two years ago to reconstruct it and equip it with modern techniques. The acquisition cost $20 million.

Later, KNAUF earmarked five million euro to expand its business in Georgia. This additional investment goes to finance the construction of a new gypsum plant.   

According to official statistics, German investments have been increasing in the last several years. Deutsche Lufthansa, ProCredit Bank, Siemens, Volkswagen, Caparol and HeidelbergCement are operating their Georgian branches already.

While Germany’s political support for Georgia’s transatlantic goals are very modest, the bilateral trade and economic ties are quite strong. The trade turnover between Georgia and Germany amounted to $128 million (5.3 percent of total export) during the period of January-May, 2010.

Germany has been generous in allocating humanitarian assistance as well. Since the August war with Russia, Germany has provided over 14 million euro to Georgia in humanitarian aid. Under the bilateral agreement, Georgia received a total of $59 million in 2009.

Story by Nino Edilashvili
8.07.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8135

Last edited by Kokoity; July 9th, 2010 at 02:37 PM.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #109
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IFC joins Bank of Georgia in expanding access to finance in Belarus

Minsk, Belarus, July 8, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is joining Bank of Georgia in its effort to develop business in new markets and expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises in Belarus.

Bank of Georgia holds 99.96 percent equity interest in Belarusky Narodny Bank, a midsize Belarusian bank with strong focus on small and medium business finance. IFC will buy 19.9 percent of equity and provide a $5 million loan to Belarusky Narodny Bank, partnering with Bank of Georgia to expand business in the promising Belarus market.

“It is IFC’s role to promote cross-border investments and thus contribute to development of regional economic tires and support local markets and companies,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus. “We look forward to this project’s success, which will benefit the banking sectors of both Belarus and Georgia.”

Irakli Gilauri, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Georgia, said, “I am delighted that together with IFC we have completed these milestone transactions for BNB. IFC’s participation as a shareholder and lender will undoubtedly increase BNB’s competitiveness and provide invaluable support in the bank’s development.”

Bank of Georgia, Georgia’s largest bank and an IFC client since 2000, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and also owns a bank in Ukraine.

Georgia became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1995. Since then IFC has committed $460 million in 33 projects across a variety of sectors. Since 2003, IFC has implemented comprehensive advisory services programs to improve corporate governance and the business climate, particularly for small and medium enterprises, as well as a food safety improvement project.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totalled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Bank of Georgia

Bank of Georgia is the leading Georgian bank offering a broad range of corporate and investment banking, retail banking, wealth management and insurance services to its customers in Georgia, Ukraine, and Belarus. It is the largest bank in Georgia by assets, loans, deposits, and equity, with 34.8 percent market share by total assets (all data according to the NBG as of 30 April 2010). The bank has 137 branches and approximately 1 million retail and more than 157,000 corporate current accounts. For more information, visit www.bog.ge/ir.

For more information about Belarusky Narodny Bank, visit www.bnb.by.

8.07.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/articles....ss&version=518
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Old July 13th, 2010, 08:02 AM   #110
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Georgian foreign trade up 22 percent

Despite the post-crisis period, Georgia has boosted up its foreign trade compared to the previous year. Government officials have claimed that Georgia’s export geography is becoming more diversified and that exports are increasing. However, recent figures show that the challenge of a trade deficit still remains a headache and in the list of top five trade partners has not seen any major changes.

Georgian foreign trade turnover amounted to $2, 434, 5 million in January-May this year, which is 22 percent more than the same period of the previous year. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, exports reached $607.5 million, while the import was $1. 827 billion. The trade deficit of - $1.219 billion has declined by 3 percent compared to the previous year.

The exports of ferroalloys, which are Georgia’s top export commodity, amounted to $102.9 million (16.9 percent of total export). The top five export items also include motor cars, ferrous waste and scrap, gold, mineral or chemical fertilizers. In addition, among the most-demanded export commodities were nitrogenous, copper ores and concentrates, ethyl alcohol, spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages and nuts.

In the same period the main import commodities were oil and oil products (13.2 percent of total import). Motor cars come second and are followed by medicaments, petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons. Additionally, wheat, electrical apparatus for fixed phones and structures of iron or steel were imported in big quantities.

The statistics show that Georgia’s foreign trade turnover with European Union countries reached $636 million (26.1 percent of total trade turnover), up 17 percent from a year earlier. In particular, export amounted to $121 million (19.9 percent of total export), while the import was $514 million (28.1 percent of total import).

CIS countries make one of the biggest trade partners of Georgia with approximately 32.2 percent of total trade turnover. The export amounted to $222 million (36.5 percent of total export), import was $562 million (30.8 percent of total import).

However, the top ten trade partner countries are Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, United States, Russia, Germany, China, Armenia, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates. The share of these countries in the total foreign trade turnover exceeded 65 percent.

With total amount of $401.8 million (16.5 percent of total turnover), Turkey has remained the number one trade partner for Georgia in the reported period. This a slight increase over the last year - 1.8 percent. Interestingly, Turkey is one of the few countries, with which Georgia has a full trade balance: export was 17 percent of total export, while the import totaled 16.3 percent.

Namely, Turkey hosts mostly exported scrap metals, ferroalloys and fish, while sending medicaments, paper and medicinal concrete to Georgia in large quantity.

The title of Georgia’s second biggest trade partner traditionally goes to Azerbaijan with 10.2 percent of total turnover. At the same time, the trade volume increased by 23.4, percent versus the previous year, reaching $247.5 million. The third biggest foreign trade partner is Ukraine with 9.8 percent of total turnover.

Story by Nino Edilashvili
8.07.2010
http://www.georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=8138
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Old July 13th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #111
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U.S. Firms to Participate in Trade Mission to Georgia
USAgNet - 07/12/2010

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service announced that 13 U.S. companies will meet with over 170 Georgian businesses in a Trade and Investment Mission to Tbilisi, Georgia, July 12-15.

The primary aim of the mission is to facilitate trade and investment particularly in agricultural processing equipment, inputs, livestock genetics, ready-to-eat products, meat and poultry, and grain and feed sectors.

"This mission provides an opportunity for U.S. companies to learn more about local investment opportunities and markets," said FAS Administrator John Brewer. "Past trade missions have had great success and we look forward to facilitating and strengthening investment partnerships in Georgia."

Gary Groves, FAS assistant deputy administrator, will lead the mission. The delegation will meet with U.S. Chargé d’Affairs to Georgia, Kent Logsdon, as well as Georgian companies and government officials.

Through presentations by key Georgian ministries and USDA, participating American companies will learn about the Georgian investment climate, markets and regulatory environment, as well as U.S. Government business assistance programs.

They will also have the opportunity to participate in round table discussions, form partnerships and joint ventures with local companies and entrepreneurs, and visit some production sites.

Two-way agricultural trade between the United States and Georgia totaled $79 million in 2009, nearly 20 percent of all trade between the two countries. U.S. exports to Georgia have increased every year since 2006 and are up 35 percent over last year to date.
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com...d=1375&yr=2010
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Old July 14th, 2010, 01:51 PM   #112
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Georgia eyes foreign wine markets
JULY 13, 2010
By Irakli Metreveli

ZEMO KHODASHENI, Georgia (AFP) — Sipping ruby-red Saperavi wine at his factory in eastern Georgia, Donato Lanati launched into a fervent ode to the ex-Soviet republic's ancient wine-making traditions.

"Georgia is the birthplace of wine. It has millennia-long tradition of wine-making, but its excellent wines are an absolutely new discovery," outside the former Soviet Union, Lanati, an Italian who is chief wine-maker at the Badagoni Wine Company, told wine experts gathered from around the world.

A mountainous republic on the Black Sea, Georgia is considered by many experts as the cradle of wine-making. Archaeological finds suggest viniculture may have begun here as early as 8,000 years ago, long before it reached western Europe.

Though its wine is largely unknown in the West, Georgia is keen to conquer world markets and last month played host to experts from 44 countries at the prestigious annual World Vine and Wine Congress.

It is also anxious to make up for the loss of its once-dominant market, Russia, which imposed a ban on Georgian wine imports in 2006 amid spiralling tensions that eventually erupted into the 2008 Georgia-Russia war.

Wine production dropped 80 percent immediately after the loss of the Russian market, which was soaking up 87 percent of Georgian exports, according to the agriculture ministry.

In Georgia for the wine congress, the president of the International Vine and Wine Organisation (OIV), Yves Benard, said that, ironically, the embargo had a positive impact on the quality of Georgian wine and may have boosted its chances on international markets.

When Russia was its dominant market, Georgia focused on sweet wines preferred there instead of the dry wines more to the liking of Western palates.

While the embargo was a "huge problem in the short-term, in the long-term it enabled strategic thinking that the future of Georgian wines is not in volume, but in quality," Benard said.

"Ultimately, Georgia got very good results, both in white and red wines."

The Georgian government has sought to help exporters by registering 18 appellations of origin with the World Intellectual Property Organisation and is introducing a marketing strategy allowing Georgian producers to export wines under a common, unified label.

The efforts appear to be having some effect and in 2009 Georgia exported wine to 45 countries, up from only 22 the year before, according to government figures.

But with fierce competition on the international market, experts said little-known Georgia is facing an uphill battle.

"The major problem is that Georgian wines lack awareness abroad," Benard said, though he added that it would be a "strategic miscalculation" if Georgia moved away from its own grape varieties towards planting well-known varieties like Chardonnay, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon.

"It is essential that Georgia keeps its native varieties," he said.

Badagoni's general director Giorgi Salakaia said Badagoni has already scored some success abroad with wines from two local varieties, amber-coloured Rkatsiteli wine with a hint of citrus flavour and robust red Saperavi, rich with tannin.

Salakaia said that after "encouraging success" in eastern markets like the Baltics, Kazakhstan, Poland and Ukraine, the company is looking to expand into Italy, Britain and Germany.

"Our qvevri wines created a furore in Italy, especially in restaurant chains," he said, referring to Georgia's tradition of making wine in cone-shaped ceramic vases called qvevri.

Salakaia said Georgia's ancient wine-making traditions -- and its continuing use of millennia-old techniques -- could give the country an edge on international markets by appealing to consumers looking for a unique experience.

Georgia's practice of fermenting wine in qvevri, with seeds and skins left in juice after pressing, has no analogue in the world and produces wines with unique tastes.

Lanati, a passionate advocate of Georgian wine, said the country's long wine-making heritage has shaped its grapes, creating unique flavours that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

"A single grape berry contains information about soil, climate, history, traditions, human knowledge, intelligence, and even intuition," he said. "To me, the whole universe is in one single Georgian grape."
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #113
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Puma Factories Moving from Turkey to Adjara
Written by Koka Kalandadze
12/07/2010

The FINANCIAL -- Puma is going to bring its factories from Turkey to Adjara, the Black Sea region of Georgia. The management of Adjara Textile Ltd running the Puma plant in Bobokvati says in 3-4 months Turkish partners are going to move to Bobokvati. The low cost labour in Georgia is regarded one of the main reasons for such a decision.

Currently the manufactured production in Bobokvati, with a Made in Georgia label, is sent all over the world. The plant is 100% owned by Turkish investor Jemal Bilgingulluoglu with 3 million USD investment in the textile industry in Adjara.

“Our aim is to manufacture the textile that comes as semi-fabricates from Turkey and then finally gets exported to Asian, European, African, US, and other global markets,” said Lasha Khalvashi, Manager of Adjara Textile Ltd, to The FINANCIAL.

“Currently Puma in Adjara employs 620 people, out of which 99% are Georgian, mostly women, and the rest are Turkish. Salaries range between 200-250 GEL, in addition transportation, insurance, medical treatment and lunch are free of charge. We also work on a bonus system meaning whoever works more, gets more,” said Khalvashi.

“We ourselves are not eligible for distributing Puma products to stores, as Batumi Textile is only making the final products to be sold on the global market. The Puma products made in Adjara go through the headquarters in Turkey, on to Germany’s Puma stocks, and then get allocated to relevant stores all across the world. The prices are also set by Puma international,” Khalvashi told The FINANCIAL.

“98% of the labour wasn’t skilled when they started working at Adjara Textile but we provided them with 1 month of free training without any pay. The practice of Puma as well as other large-scale international companies is to find low cost labour, therefore countries like Malaysia and China are the largest manufacturers of Puma. Georgians do lack a high productivity rate (as most of them haven’t worked for the last 20 years) compared to other countries. Even now we don’t work at full capacity, only 30-40%, what needs to be done, but once we retrain them we hope them to become more productive,” said Khalvashi.

“For sewing the semi-fabricates we are paid 30-50 cents per unit. On a daily basis we sew 5,000-8,000 units. Normally, at full capacity 12,000-15,000 works should be completed. This Puma group has 2 similar factories in Turkey,” Khalvashi said.

“On average we get 150,000-200,000 orders from different clients. Our last, outstanding client in January 2010 was Newcastle United which signed up sports kit brand Puma as its official shirt maker for the next 2010/11 season. Puma has agreed a two year deal to supply all of the club’s team kit and training equipment as well replica shirts. The sponsorship will be worth between 1.5-10 million GBP, depending on how successful the club is. All the necessary equipment will be exported with the Made in Georgia label,” said Khalvashi.

“The salary budget amounts 130-140,000 USD and we still can’t earn huge profits due to labour non-productivity but will be working our best in September and reaching higher margins as Puma in Turkey is planning to move Turkish plants to Georgia.

The first official Puma store was opened in Tbilisi in March 2007, notwithstanding Batumi Textile factory, which is another division and doesn’t sell Made in Georgia labelled Puma sportswear in Tbilisi stores at all.

The German sportswear maker Puma is a well-known brand with an East Asia head office in Romania from where products get imported to Tbilisi .

“Russia, Ukraine , Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Khazhakstan as well as Georgia are one division of Puma. Therefore Puma provides us with the ready-made products then we go twice a year to Germany and select what we want and bring it to the Georgian market,” said General Director of Puma stores Mamuka Makhatadze.

“An average price in Puma Tbilisi stores is between 25-300 GEL though we had 800 GEL brands like Rudolph Dasler and Mc.Quinn. Most t-shirts cost 35-45 GEL,” said Makhatadze.

“The idea of founding a Puma store chain in Georgia came about in 2006. We have Gagra football club which played in the Top League, thus we wanted appropriate sportswear for our team. We went to Ukraine and asked the Nike Ukraine office for our sportswear. Then suddenly we thought that Puma didn’t have an official representative in Georgia therefore we decided to contact the relevant dealers,” Makhatadze told The FINANCIAL.

“Beso Chikhradze, Giorgi Makharadze and I were the three people who founded Puma in Georgia. The start-up costs were quite high including the licensing, shop repairs, etc. Overall it cost more than 200,000 USD. We have stores on Pekini Avenue and on 6 July we opened another high-profile store on Rustaveli Avenue which cost more than 50,000 USD, although all of the costs have yet to be counted. Demand at the Pekini branch was quite high, every minute we had new customers, that’s why we decided to open a new store,” said Makhatadze.

“We aren’t planning to open a new store this year but next year we might. It all depends on market demand,” said Makhatadze.
http://finchannel.com/Main_News/Busi...key_to_Adjara/
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Old July 15th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #114
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Georgia to Launch Sixteen HPP Projects in 2011 following 2010’s Five Project
Monday, July 05, 2010
Electricity will become Georgia's major export item in four to five years, Georgian Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri promulgated in introducing the reshuffled cabinet of ministers and the government’s new action program to the Georgian parliament’s special plenary session on July 2.
Gilauri put forward the government's action program, which is still called as Georgia without Poverty, and answered questions of parliament members. The Prime Minister noted the hydro generation ratio in Georgia’s total electricity generation makes up 80 percent, while the country uses only 18 percent of total hydropower potential. Therefore, over 20 hydro power plants will be constructed in four to five years with total installed capacity of 1800 megawatts, so as the ratio of hydro resources rise to 100 percent in Georgia's total electricity generation. Contract agreements have been already concluded on construction of several hydro power plants, Gilauri pleased MPs.
Investors are showing hyperactivity in this sector, Gilauri added.
Investment proposals are coming from Canada, Turkey and even South Korea. The inauguration of the Georgia-Turkey 500-kilovolt transmission line construction has considerably increased the interest of Turkish companies in Georgian energy projects, Gilauri noted and continued the country will inaugurate construction of sixteen hydro power plants in 2011 along with other five ongoing projects.
The Prime Minister specified the construction of Bakhvi HPP (9 megawatts), Paravani HPP (78 megawatts) and Mtkvari HPP (43 megawatts) has already started, while the construction of Khobi 2 HPP and Lukhuni HPP will commence until 2011.
According to the official statistics, Georgia generated 8.3 billion kilowatt-hours in 2009. The country exported 747 million kilowatt-hours and imported 253 million kilowatt-hours in the reporting period.
In the meantime, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is expected to disburse a sovereign loan of 20 million EUR to finance the rehabilitation of the state-owned Enguri hydro power plant (HPP) as part of Georgia's efforts for improving the energy security and championing the renewable energy supply in the region.
The Enguri hydro power plant was built in the 1970s. Its arch dam is the tallest of this type in the world. With an installed capacity of 1,300 MW, the plant is capable for satisfying about 50 percent of Georgia's electricity demand.
The EBRD loan is considered to be an extension of 48.5 million USD loan, which was approved in 1998 for the initial phase of the HPP modernization.
The project will allow Enguri HPP to increase the energy output by at least 15 percent and export electricity to regional markets, including Turkey.
The EBRD's original loan, which was extended in 2006, financed urgent repair works, rehabilitation of the HPP two oldest units and reconstruction of Unit 3. The loan extension of 20 million EUR will finance the modernization of the remaining two facilities.
Nandita Parshad, EBRD Director for Power and Energy, said the modernization program will make Enguri HPP a secure, reliable and comparatively cheap renewable energy source and the whole region will make the benefit of it.
This project is expected to be co-financed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) too.
http://www.gbw.ge/news.aspx?sid=3ed6...3-6192be99157e
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Old July 16th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #115
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Poti FIZ hankers for operation

Nino Patsuria

Poti Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) is scheduled to be opened in July; however, the exact date is still unclear. Economic analysts suppose the launch of Poti FIZ is suspended due to the lack of investors who are scared by financial crisis and the August war of 2008.

In quest of foreign investments, Georgian government focused on FIZ development in Georgia, starting 2008 up to date. Government has already outlined free industrial zones in Poti [the Black Sea outlet of Georgia with Port infrastructure] and Kutaisi [a former industrial city in western part of Georgia with developed machinery and textile production during soviet times that stood still after the collapse of the soviet regime] and one is planned to be opened near Tbilisi. However, no economic effect of the already operational FIZ infrastructures is calculated as of yet.

According to Lali Ghoghoberidze, Head of Economic Analysis and Policy Department at the Ministry of Economic and Sustainable Development of Georgia (MESD), Georgian government's decision on establishing FIZ that is aimed at increasing competitive potential of Georgia [against the backdrop of the aggressive competition globe over] in order to create much more attractive climate for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) inflow.

"It [FDIs inflow] has a positive impact on many economic factors like employment via new jobs creation, gives an impetus to economic activity and inflow of foreign capital and state-of-the-art technologies that create a demand on modern knowledge and skilful work-force, boost export etc," Ghoghoberidze counted benefits of FIZ idea.

Government hoped that favorable geographic location [being sited at the crossroad of Europe and Asia] enabling potential investors to transport cargos to European and Asian markets with minimal costs, developed transport infrastructure, as well as liberal trade regimes with many countries globe over would attract investors to Georgian FIZs. However Poti FIZ created in 2008 [ 300 hectare of land between Poti port and its adjacent territory given under 99-year lease management to Arabian-based Rak Georgia Holding] still twiddles fingers and its opening date is scheduled and re-scheduled for several times. It was scheduled to be opened even before the global financial crisis; however the opening date is still unclear. Georgian government assured the Poti FIZ was to be opened in this past June; the date was rescheduled by mid-July allegedly due to organizational and technical details. It's mid-July however the Poti FIZ operator still does not announce the launch.

Meantime it has to make 400 enterprises operational by the end of this year and create 25 thousand jobs. However the single enterprise registered within Poti FIZ is Tbilcement, a concrete producing enterprise that is under construction at the moment and will become operational after Poti FIZ starts operation, Ghoghoberidze said, adding that 400 enterprises most probably will come within several years. She stressed that FIZ economic effect laid ground to economic success of Hong-Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and other countries though did not elaborate economic effect of Georgian FIZ.

Georgian economic analysts were skeptical toward FIZ initiatives against the backdrop of territorial conflicts [it lays ground to smuggling within the uncontrolled regions], the lack of independent judiciary/arbitrage system, and absence of a big market.

By Soso Tsiskarishvili, an economic analyst, FIZs are created in countries with robust and sustainable economic development when all tools of liberalization of the economic climate expire. Lado Papava, an economic analyst, feared that FIZ creation might affect other region of Georgia, and be flourishing on the expense of the all remained part of Georgian territory. Papava explains that FIZ justifies itself either in countries of protectionist economic policy [not chasing after liberal economy like Georgia] or in countries abounding with investments inflow. But to countries suffering of investment hunger like Georgia FIZ is a no-no.

However Poti FIZ seems suffering of investment hunger at the moment as the global financial crisis and August war of 2008 scare investors off, some economic analysts believe.

"Poti FIZ in not so simple a project to have short-term results in1-2 years specifically after financial crisis and August war," Lekso Aleksishvili, Chairman of Board of Policy and Management Consulting told Georgian Journal. "These are objective reasons. Poti FIZ needs time for development. FIZ does not mean anything if business groups are not attracted there, FIZ is a platform for them but without their operation it cannot give results."


Norwegian market opens for Georgian wines

Norwegian market will open up for Georgian wines soon. The EU-Georgia Business Council (EUGBC) issued a special publication for Georgian winemakers to guide them to the Norwegian market.

EUGBC with the financial support of Arve Thorvik, EUGBC Honorary Member and Managing Partner of "Thorvik International Consulting" (TIC), has issued the publication 'Norwegian Market of Alcoholic Beverages - Specific Issues'.

The publication aims at raising Georgian wine producers' awareness of how to export Georgian alcoholic beverages to Norway. A special seminar will also be organized by EUGBC, to provide interested parties with an opportunity to better understand the requirements of the Norwegian Market for Alcoholic Beverages.

As Tamar Khuntsaria, a EUGBC country representative, explained to Georgian Journal, Georgian wines participated in wine exhibition in 2006-2007 as far as Association of Georgian Winemakers was a member of EUGBC then. Besides, a Norwegian-based Statoil, a Board member of EUGBC, is interested in Georgian wine export to Norway.

Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Bakur Kvezereli, welcomed the efforts of EUGBC in supporting the export of Georgian wine.

"We are very pleased to collaborate with the EUGBC in this direction, as this will help the implementation of one of the main priorities of the Ministry - facilitation of export of Georgian wine to new markets," He said.

The publication focuses on specific issues of the Norwegian market for alcoholic beverages, such as brief information about Norway; historical overview of Norway's alcohol market; specific issues for importers; role of state monopoly; statistical data and trends; taxation on alcoholic beverages etc.

While explaining the objectives of the project, Kote Zaldastanishvili, EUGBC Secretary General said: "This publication, containing information about the specifics of the Norwegian market for alcoholic beverages, including statistics, taxation system, import procedures etc., will help Georgian wine producers to plan their activities on exporting their products to Norway."

In his comments, Arve Thorvik, Honorary Member of EUGBC said: "we consider that the publication and the planned seminar will provide valuable information and serve as a practical guide to Georgian producers of alcoholic beverages oriented towards exploring new markets for their products".

As Zaldastanishvili is reported by Georgian media, Georgian wines are supposed to be sold in Norway by the end of this year. Norwegian state company Vinmonopolet has already taken Georgian wines in the list of alcoholic beverages slated for sale in the second part of the year. According to the tender terms, Norway will be importing only white wines bottled starting 2007 with the price less than 300 Norwegian Crowns.
http://georgianjournal.ge/
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #116
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The Chairman of Government of Adjara to visit the new stone processing company in Kobuleti

The company is functioning already two weeks in Khala village of Kobuleti area and producing eight types of stone ware. Today the company was sighted by the Chairman of Government of Adjara.

The stone mining for the company located in Khala is implemented on the place. The company is supplied from near located stone quarry. The stone ware produced in this company will be used for lining of the new boulevard and old site of Batumi.

50 locals are employed in the company created with Georgian and Turkish investments.
http://adjara.gov.ge/eng/index.php?page=show&id=1547
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 10:25 AM   #117
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Free virtual zones for IT development in Georgia

Virtual Zones freed from taxes and special regulations will be introduced in Georgia soon to give an impetus to sluggish Georgian Information Technology (IT) market.

Georgian government plans to create several tax-and-regulation free virtual zones in Georgia. Any local or foreign investor that will be operating in those zones and producing IT product will be free of income, excise, customs and gain taxes. Moreover, the preferences will be introduced in other business regulations but government has no detailed plan to this end; it is still under investigation; it is supposed to be outlined by the second hearing of the bill that was already approved by the first hearing at the extraordinary session on July 16, 2010.

What is known for sure is that irrespective of the fact whether the producer company is a local or foreign-based, the exported Georgian IT product will be exempted from taxes, Natia Mikeladze, Deputy Finance Minister of Georgia, told Georgian Journal. The governmental understanding is that IT technologies are underdeveloped in Georgia while it is the basis of modern world and economy. To boost the sector and produce computers and IT programs locally, the questioned field needs preferences.

"The aim of the bill for virtual zones is to create an attractive business climate for companies operating in IT sector in Georgia," Mikeladze said.

This is a bill that will support IT development [in Georgia] as much as possible, " Nika Gilauri, Prime Minister of Georgia, said at governmental sitting on June 18, 2010 prior the questioned bill was submitted to parliament. "We have created Free Industrial Zones where the export-oriented companies enjoy the biggest possible tax preferences; we want also to make Georgia as the tax free zone for companies that will be oriented on computer technology's development, i.e. at IT development."

According to him, a foreign-based company can establish a company in Georgia and pay minimal for that. Government expects that big companies like Microsoft will be attracted to enter Georgia as a result of creation of free virtual zones. According to Mikeladze, there is a great interest and after the Primer trumpeted the news on creation of free virtual zones and it was put on web sites of the State Chancellery and Ministry of Finances of Georgia, people [very likely potential investors] from Ukraine, Poland and other countries have been calling on hot-line to find out details of the initiative.

Government initiated a bill for so called Virtual Zones early in June of 2010 and slated it for the autumn parliamentary sessions, however due to unexpectedly big resonance government decided to accelerate the parliamentary procedures and approve the bill at the extraordinary sessions in summer so as to have the law by August to respond the demand and observe how it will work and what interest will ensue.

Mikeladze believes that big international IT companies will be interested in Georgia because tax-free export enables them to cut down prices at international market and be more competitive. As to budgetary impact that a tax-free initiative can inflict, Mikeladze expects no impact in fact, as far as there is no company operating in Georgia that produces local IT product and pays taxes at the moment. All IT-related businesses actually are importers and distributors of foreign product and pay all due taxes commensurately.

"The idea of virtual zones is that tax-preferences cover the locally produced goods, not a single imported IT product," Mikeladze said.

On the other hand government's expectation is that the foreign investors will improve professional skills of local personnel. To insure smooth operation of IT product producing in Georgia any company needs high skilled professionals and they are supposed to bring their top-class labor-force in Georgia as well as retrain local professionals that apparently are quite talented. At any rate Georgia is supposed to be at gain. There are many self-educated IT specialists in Georgia that have better skills and smarts than their foreign well-educated peers, Mikeladze said.

Irakli Kashibadze, head of Communication and Information Technology Department in Economic and Stable Development Ministry, says that Georgia should be not only consumer, but also producer of new information technologies and services.

"For that end, complex actions should be conducted, including legal amendments as well," Kashibadze reported to Sarke news agency on July 13, 2010. However, he shied to comment on the issue to GJ.
http://georgianjournal.ge/
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:41 PM   #118
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Georgia c.bank raises refi rate to 6.50 pct
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TBILISI, July 21 - Georgia's central bank said on Wednesday it was raising its main interest rate to 6.50 percent from 6.25 percent.

The central bank had raised the refinancing rate to 6.25 percent from 5.0 percent in June, the first move since December 2009.

Annual consumer prices in Georgia rose 3.7 percent year-on-year in June, within the range of the government's forecast of 6.0 percent for 2010. On a month-on-month basis prices fell by 0.3 percent.

The central bank issued a warning last month that consumer prices could exceed the government's forecast towards the end of the year.

It said the next meeting of the monetary policy committee will be held on Aug. 18.
http://ph.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/201007...e-7318940.html
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Old July 24th, 2010, 05:10 PM   #119
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Georgia to boost Caspian oil flow

Friday, July 23, 2010
TBILISI - Bloomberg
Georgia has begun construction of another Black Sea port at Supsa to handle increasing volumes of cargos such as crude oil from the Caspian Sea region.

The cost of building the port has grown to $700 million from an initial estimate of $500 million as the project has expanded, Shalva Tsakadze, head of developer Black Sea Product, said by telephone late last week. He declined to identify the financial backers of the project.

The Supsa port won’t compete with existing ports at Poti and Batumi because it’s designed to accommodate different sorts of tankers, Tsakadze said. The port will have an annual capacity of as much as 40 million metric tons of oil and other cargo once the 204-hectare facility is completed, he said.

The Georgian government earns transit fees from two BP Plc- led pipelines that carry Azeri crude to world markets. One is the Baku-Supsa link to the Black Sea and the other is the Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan route to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Up the coast from Supsa is Poti, the port owned by the Gulf emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.
http://georgiandaily.com/index.php?o...9449&Itemid=74
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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #120
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Georgia, Azerbaijan Sign Transit Corridor Pact to Boost Trade
JULY 27, 2010
By Helena Bedwell

July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Georgia and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on creating a transit corridor linking the Caspian and Black seas to increase flows of oil and natural gas to European customers.

The two former Soviet republics will create a commission to form policy on ports, transit and railway companies, Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said during a government meeting in the capital Tbilisi today. The agreement will lead to increased transit volumes of energy and other cargoes, as well as jobs for Georgians, he said.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili held talks on transit cooperation earlier this month with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, Gilauri said.

Georgia’s Black Sea ports will be the focus of increased transit, Gilauri said. Georgia and Azerbaijan, together with Romania, have agreed to build a liquefied natural-gas terminal for exports of the fuel to Europe.
http://georgiandaily.com/index.php?o...9510&Itemid=74
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