Eka Lekashvili, Projec participant, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Associated Proffesor, Executive Director of Consultants’ Association of Economics and Management

Ongoing reforms at Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University servs to move education and research processes to western standards.

Foreng partners’ assistance, together with local efforts, plays a substantial role in supporting the aim. Among many projects implemented at Tbilisi State Univesity the one, realized at the faculty of Business – Entrepreneurship Courses at Tbilisi State University– is especially interesting. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece (as part of HELLENIC AID) and is introduced in collaboration with University of Piraeus Research Centre. The project statement shows that Greece considers Georgia to be its important partner for cooperation development, higher education is a priority.
The program has the following aims: systemization of cooperation in priority spheres between Tbilisi State University and University of Piraeus, contributing to the development of scientific field, Preparing and delivering modern entrepreneurship courses and material, creating suitable environment for stable cooperation, preparing basis for further cooperation action plan, strengthening academic and transnational relations (cultural, economic, academic);
Entrepreneurship courses include 3 phases. The project will be lead by five lectures from the Greek part. Georgian part is represented by 8 participants included in the project. Joseph Hassid, Professor of Industrial Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of Piraeus is a project coordinator from the Greek side. Tbilisi State University group is headed by Professor Avtandil Gagnidze.
Students participating in the study program had been selected on the basis of the competition by Tbilisi State University lectures. The main requirement is the sufficient knowledge of English as lectures are conduced in English. Piraeus University lectures deliver classes for selected students in three phases of a study. Phase A and Phase B have been realized till today. Following the study program thematic, TSU professors continue to work with students between phases. Web page for putting information and study materials has been prepared as part of the program (see www.europa-eac.com/tbilisi). Information and study materials put on the web site is available for students and teachers, for all interested people.
It is worth noting that Entrepreneurship Course prepared by the Greek side (in three parts) in English will soon be translated into Georgian by local professors. Georgian examples will be added to the course; it will be edited and published. By the end of the project, Georgian students will have a study guide on their native language.
On October 18-25, 2007 as part of the project: ‘ENTREPRENEURSHIP COURSES IN TBILISI STATE UNIVERSITY’, a group of TSU professors and teachers visited Athens, University of Piraeus. Meetings and workshops were arranged with Prof. Dimitris Despotis, Vice-Rector of the University of Piraeus, representatives of the Hellenic Centre for Investment (ELKE), Agricultural cooperative Union Confederation (PASECES) and Hellenic Competition Committee (HCC).
During the meeting held at the Hellenic Centre for Investment the following issued were discussed: investment environment supporting factors in Greece, investment climate, field and geographic courses of investment, successful international cooperation cases in the sphere of investment.
PASECES representatives warmly greeted the visitors and shared informed them about success in agriculture. They expressed readiness to exchange and share Greek experience in the above mentioned field.
During the meeting at Hellenic Competition Committee remarks were made on legal regulation and frames of competitiveness. Committee methodology issues in relation with the European Competition Network (ECN) were discussed among other important issues.
Future objectives for successful development of the project were outlined during workshops. Attention was paid to students’ activities, midterms and works between study phases. Offering the Entrepreneurship Course to the students having specialties other than Faculty of business and economics was initiated.
Quizzes will be prepared considering students’ points of views and interests from experiences of entrepreneurs working in Greece and in Georgia. Some organization issues of May 2008 conference were scheduled.
The Greek side expressed its determination and readiness to join productive initiatives from TSU and to work out common programs in the sphere of economics as well as other spheres.
The major outcome of the visit is that, there is a grounded interest of ‘Discovering Greece once again’
Survey on Microeconomic and Some Social-Economic Indicators of Modern Greece:
Population of Greece is 11,125,179 (the year of 2006). The highest age group is 15-64, that is the 67% of total. 65, 88 % of capable population is employed in the sphere service, 22,27– industry and 11, 85% – agriculture. Minimum salary is Euro 50, maximum – Euro 15 000.
According to real GDP growth rate in Euro zone (2006), Greece occupies the fourth position. The mentioned indicator is 4%, while the same indicator reached 2, 7 in Euro zone. According to the prognosis of the Ministry of Economics and Finance of Greece, the real GDP growth rate will exceed 4% by the year of 2009.
By the end of 2005 Foreign Direct Investment flows amounted to Euro 17 666 million in Euro Zone countries. Luxemburg had the biggest share (Euro 11 877 billion, 48% of Total Foreign Direct Investments). Foreign Direct Investments implemented by Euro zone countries in Greece exceeds 71% of total FDI. Total EU FDI in Greece – 77%. The same indicator for non EU -28,6% (other European countries – 10,7%, USA – 7,5%, other countries of America 3,6%).
Greek Imports (2006) totaled Euro 50,734,181,730. Major import goods included: Machinery and transport equipment (28,5%), Minerals, fuels, lubricants, etc. (19,15%), Manufactured goods classified mainly by raw material (14,12%) Chemicals(13,7%), Food and live animals(8,7%) etc.
Exports (2006) totaled Euro 16,651,657,735. Major export goods included: Manufactured goods classified mainly by raw material (20,49%), Chemicals (14,01%), Minerals, fuels, lubricants, etc. (13,03%), Machinery and transport equipment (12,57) % etc.
Greek import: 62, 13% – EU member states, 12,61% – other European States, 19,73% – Asia.
Greek export is implemented to the following geographic direction: EU member states – 70,56%, other European countries – 13%; Countries of Asia and America – 5,5%, Africa – 4,5%.
The present statistical data is based on ELKE material that is prepared by National Statistical Service of Greece, Eurostat, Hellenic Ministry of Economy and Finance, Bank of Greece, Economic Cooperation and Development Organization.