DCFTA conference: Information centre achievement -Project Transition Ceremony

European agreement

DCFTA conference: Information centre achievement -Project Transition Ceremony

25 June 2016

 

On June 2016, a conference on the information centre achievement of the DCFTA was organised in order to sum up the steps undertaken and the futurs ones.

 

First Ms. Chikovani, president of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) began a short introduction about the involvement of the chamber in the Deep Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement information centre program.

Today there are five information centres in Georgia, in five different cities: Tbilisi, Zugdidi, Batumi, Gori and Kutaisi. They provide trainings for the SME (Small and Medium Enterprises). She mentioned that already 600 SMEs beneficiated of the program.

The establishment of the 5 centres and the trainings to SMEs represented the first phase of the program.

From now on, the goal is to increase the number of centres, to offer translations in Armenian and Azeri, and also to transition from contractors to GCCI employers.

 

Then the speakers underlined the prime role of the European Union in the DCFTA process.

Since the signature in 2014 of the free trade between the EU and Georgia, according to Mr. Hartzell (Representative of the European Union delegation of Georgia) the EU has become the largest trading partner of Georgia for goods with more than 600 million EUR exports to the EU. Furthermore, the EU provides a package of assistance, hence the financial support to the DCFTA information centre program.

 

Georgia is keen on deepening the relations with the EU, by strengthening private partnership and speeding the harmonisation process, to finally reach a high standard quality for the Georgian production. Indeed, there is still a need for Georgian companies to comply with the EU safety norms, and in the same time to be competitive for this market. 2027 is an important date, as Georgia will have to comply with the EU norms. Efforts must be realised, as Georgian production needs to achieve better quality. Georgian products can get opportunities on the European market, as wood or hazelnuts are already showing it. Levan Davitashvili (Minister of the Environment and Agriculture) stressed that agriculture is one of the major economic sectors in Georgia and has large opportunities for exportation. Since 2012 the portfolio of the Ministry increased from 50 million GEL to 2,5 billion GEL. Trade of agricultural products with the EU is increasing. Especially wine, which is exported by 538 companies to 25 countries.

Also, the DCFTA centres are trying to reach farmers in order to empower them, but only 800 are registered. The objective is to increase that number.

 

Then four directors of the following DCFTA centre conducted an assessment: Samegrelo-Svaneti region, Imereti region, Adjara region, Shida Kartli region.

Globally, they said that the DCFTA centre by providing trainings by international and local experts are empowering entrepreneurs. Trainings are centred on marketing, management and branding. Also, field meetings - or meetings in enterprise- are an important part of the DCFTA role, it consists in contacting mission, consulting mission and also it identifies needs for enterprises.

 

In terms of achievement, 120 trainings were provided, 416 fields meetings and 3680 consultancies took place. As well since the start of the project, there was a general report that mentalities towards business are evolving positively, that people are better informed and prepared before turning themselves to DFCTA centres.

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