Who and how should protect businessmen’s interests in Georgia


There is a rather difficult business environment in Georgia from the viewpoint of transformation. The transformation concerns property and legislation problems as well as mental and foreign market’s ones.

It is difficult to come to know the particulars of modern business, especially for the small and medium business. The position of the large business on the world market is not comforting either. It was most affected by the issue of the market geography’s change and the problems of modern marketing and standardization. The mission of businessmen’s guide in Georgia was assumed by the Chamber of Commerce and long before the Russian embargo it started to advertise Georgian products both inside the country and outside it. It also invites western specialists for rendering assistance. Besides exhibitions and conferences, it renders legal assistance, economic and financial consulting and information provision. The role of the only professional magazine “Sakartvelos Ekonomika” in this matter was of constant character. But still, what has the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry done during the past two years?
On December 9 of the current year a report and election meeting of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held in Sheraton Metekhi Palace hotel, at which the Chamber’s work from 12 November 2002 to the present moment was presented. Analyzed in the report were all the problems that have made a considerable contribution to the establishment of market economy principles in Georgia, popularization of the national produce, opening of new markets by the Georgian business, consolidation of the positions won by the Georgian business on the market and attraction of investments. It is noteworthy that in the recent years the style of the Chamber’s work has considerably changed and become more effective. All these issues were briefly touched upon by the President of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Mr. Jemal Inaishvili. He said that its effective activity in favor of business interests can be considered as one of important phenomena in the work during the reporting period. The Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has become a member of the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI). On 27-28 October 2005 the 70th session of CACCI and the Asian business forum were held in Tbilisi for the first time, in which representatives of 17 countries took part. Several bilateral business forums were also held in Tbilisi. Special attention is attached to consolidation of Georgian export products’ positions on the international market. In this respect important presentations were held in Baku, Kiev, Warsaw, Shanghai, Riga and Donetsk. As a result of this kind of arrangements our produce gropes for the new paths to the new markets. The President of the Chamber said that all presentations held abroad were successful, since all Georgian companies represented there have achieved wishful results. All in all, the Chamber has held 28 arrangements inside the country and 38 ones outside it. The Chamber took an active part in consideration of the Customs Code and presented its views on the Tax Code to the corresponding bodies, which was made with the purpose of giving an incentive to the small and medium business. The Chamber’s comments have been partly taken into account, but, unfortunately, there are still such articles of the Code that put many obstacles in the way of business development in Georgia. Mr. Jemal Inaishvili said that his presence in Georgia’s parliament will by useful for Georgian businessmen, since he will try to eradicate all the obstacles that impede the activities of Georgian businessmen.
A lot of arrangements aimed at giving an incentive to Georgian small and medium business is being carried out. The competition among the firms working in the sphere of small and medium business was held for the third time and revealed many new and unknown companies. Important is the competition ”Georgia – the cradle of wine” jointly held by the Chamber and the National Museum of Georgia. The competition’s jury was staffed with foreign wine experts. This competition has also revealed many unknown companies. On the initiative of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry the statuette “Tamada” was set up in Charden street. It was made in accordance with the statuette found as a result of archeological excavations.
On 30 November 2006 a conference on the subject – “Georgian wine export. Possibilities, prospects” was arranged, at which foreign experts gave important suggestions to Georgian wine-makers concerning the ways of entering the European market.
With the purpose of rendering informational and methodological services to businessmen, the Chamber publishes a monthly magazine “Sakartvelos Ekonomika” and a quarterly bulletin.
Speaking of the future plans the President of the chamber pointed out that, in spite of formation of the corresponding council, the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has failed to become a full-fledged generator of ideas of the Georgian business community, and in this respect the Chamber should be more active. Mr. Jemal Inaishvili said that in future the Chamber will also pay special attention to the problems existing in the small and medium business so that this sector should make an important contribution to the Georgian GDP. He also touched upon the subject of export certificates that are currently issued by the Ministry of Economy and said that the work aimed at the recovery of the certificates issuance right is underway.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry will try to establish a closer union with the government. It is desirable that everybody should know the significance of the Chamber and business associations, and it is also desirable that the government should be business oriented and not fiscally oriented. The Chamber has carried out arrangements in the Baltic countries and an arrangement in Czechia is also planned. The Chamber is actively cooperating with the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is working on the project of Sarpi customs ties. The matter concerns modernization of the custom house that will be financed by the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry and distribution of incomes will be possible after covering of the debt.
Active negotiations are being held with the Japanese party. The Chamber is planning to open the Georgian-Japanese training center, which envisages technical assistance and probation in Japan. This kind of projects will contribute to raising of the level of Georgian businessmen’s knowledge. The Chamber is holding negotiations with “Arsi” company concerning the construction of the exhibition center.