Tbilisi Hosted Business Forum
26 September, 2013
Tbilisi Hosted Business  Forum
The first International Business Development Forum took place in Tbilisi on 20 September, 2013.
The two-day Forum examined the issues related to economic development of the country with a focus on investment environment, attraction of capital and creation important instruments for business development.
The Forum gathered banks, investment, donor, international and micro-finance organizations and other types of consultation companies including London School of Business & Finance (LSBF), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), USAID’S Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) etc.
Participants had an opportunity to present their service – interesting proposals, new products, and ideas also make business contacts, prepare unique proposal for visitors and a chance to have direct contacts with the target audience.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector has a limited access to modern technologies, the service subject to the consultation and finance sector.
“Very interesting presentations were made dealing with attracting direct foreign investments. We welcome the fact that famous experts will share their experience regarding the small- and medium-sized business development in transient countries, change management and how to use modern technical achievements,” Kvirikashvili said. He informed that export development agency will be set up in Georgia next year with the focus on SME sector and predicted that economic growth of the country will be much more palatable after the Presidential election of this October. He also pointed out that the drop of economic speed from targeted 6% to 3% this year is now drawback in fact for the speed of economy slowed down due to the number of inevitable factors. “But economy is still growing, not shrinking as our opponents say. According to two quarters statistics, we achieved 1.9% growth and expect even higher rate in the last quarter,” Kvirikashvili underscored.
Giorgi Pertaia, Director of Georgian National Investment Agency, expects an investment boom starting the second half of 2014 as a result of ongoing negotiations with potential investors. Such negotiations result in flowing investments much later as the best practice shows. Pertaia also stressed that political stability is crucial to this end.
“If politicians are also helpful and the environment remains stable we will have the tangible results. We expect big investments in 2014, in particular the boom may fall on the second half,” he said adding that the recently reformed labor code is fine and it would be better not to make regulations stronger in this law [as planned].
Kakha Kokhreidze, Executive Director of Georgian Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Association, believes business is not under expectation regime in Georgia anymore. This is certainly true in reference to small and medium entrepreneurs, he said although admitted that some bigger businesses still remain pending that will do only harm if kept further. Kokhreidze also accentuated on the importance of internationalization of Georgian business as far as small local market cannot insure large-scale development to Georgian business.

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