The FINANCIAL — The Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) continues to further the interests of local businesses, deepen ties with international business communities and contribute to the development of the Georgian economy by fostering entrepreneurial spirit A number of business forums will be held throughout 2017 in Georgia as well as abroad organized by GCCI in a bid to help Georgian business society find proper partners abroad and establish business relationships with them.
This year president of GCCI Nino Chikovani has been elected as a member of general board of the World Chamber’s Federation (WCF) in Paris. The World Chamber’s Federation is part of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that unites 1200 chambers from various countries.
In 2016, the president of GCCI, Nino Chikovani for the second term was elected as a member of the board of directors in Eurochambres. At the Same time, President of GCCI Mrs. Nino Chikovani is a Vice-President of SRCIC (International Silk Road Chamber of commerce). Meanwhile, last year GCCI signed 17 memorandums with foreigner partners, of which one of the most important was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC). The deal means Georgia’s business society is now able to develop partnerships with other international commercial networks involved in SRCIC. Furthermore, head of GCCI Nino Chikovani became Vice President of SRCIC. This year SRCIC and GCCI have already started implementing joint projects within the MoU.
One of the main directions of GCCI’s activities is to support Georgia’s small businesses to ensure they enjoy benefits from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement, which is part of the Georgia-European Union Association Agreement (AA) fully entered into force on July,1, 2016. In this regard GCCI has opened DCFTA Information Centres in five regions of Georgia, including the capital Tbilisi. Furthermore, GCCI organises meetings in the regions and arranges discussions to provide an opportunity to address the opportunities and challenges constraining Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), including business development costs and availability of finance.“Free trade with the EU is a long-term project and step by step we try to help Georgian companies to prepare their products to the EU market.
We mainly focus on SMEs. By opening the DCFTA Information Centre we enabled entrepreneurs to get all the information they needed about how to export their products to the EU. In particular, how to produce the products, how to package, etc,” said Chikovani.GCCI has been arranging a number of business forums and B2B (business to business) meetings, giving the opportunity to Georgian business society to deepen cooperation with foreign partners, or establish new communications.
So far this year, through the support of GCCI, business forums were held between Georgia and the following countries: Turkey-Azerbaijan; Iran; Moldova; countries of the organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC); Austria; Slovenia; and the Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, GUAM- member countries. Meanwhile on 29 June the Georgia-Armenial Business Forum will be held.Besides organising business forums, the GCCI also hosted a number of official visits from different countries. For example, this year the Ambassador of Ukraine after getting credentials made his first official visit to GCCI where the sides agreed to actively support future communication between the Georgian and Ukrainian business sectors and to plan joint activities in this direction.Last year chamber hosted and organized visits of business-delegations from Iraq, Turkey, Japan, Belgium, Iraq. The Chamber is active not only in the international arena. For the last one year the chamber has implemented the project “Open dialogue with Business” for the regional SME. The “Open Dialogue with Business” project was one of the main priorities of the GCCI in 2016. The issues raised at the regional meetings were analyzed by the team of GCCI for designing the ways of solution and proposals of solution to the government of Georgia. The Project was run with help of GIZ – the German international Fund of Co-operation and the National Agencies of Georgia. The meetings were held in regions of Mtkheta-mtianeti, Racha, Svaneti, Samegrelo, Adjara, Shida Kartli, Qvemo kartli and Imereti. Finally, Under the scope of the regional meeting held in Tbilisi, the business representatives arrived from all over Georgia. Meeting last for 4 hours. All participant had an opportunity to approach and ask question to the high rang Representatives of National Agencies of Georgia. The International Arbitration Center(GIAC) established by the Chamber is also active. This is the first non-profit arbitration institution in Georgia, which is created based on the best international arbitration practice. The GIAC represents the most efficient dispute resolution institution in the entire Caucasus – Black Sea – Caspian Region.
The GIAC arbitration Rules reflect the needs of the Parties combined with the recent developments in the field. Alternative Dispute Resolution as an effective tool for citizens, businesses and legal professionals will be in focus of an information campaign to kick off in June 2017 in eight cities of Georgia. The campaign is initiated by the Georgian International Arbitration Centre (GIAC) and will be supported by the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with contributions from the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). The campaign was announced on June 5, 2017, at the first workshop in Telavi, east Georgia. The event brought together representatives of local businesses and lawyers. GCCI continues to arrange many other business forums and meanwhile also supported the most influential business awards ceremony in Georgia – Golden Brand Awards.Chikovani said it was an honour for her to support the Golden Brand Awards and encourage Georgian businesses to continue their successful activities and win many other awards in the coming years.