Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Georgia Highlights
29 March, 2012

Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Georgia held its 7th general assembly on March 23, 2012 to highlight its key achievements in 2011and unfold this year’s action plans. 

 

22 new members joined Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Georgia (CCIFG) past year. Initially CCIFG was founded as French Business Council in 2008 and was transformed into CCIFG in 2011. Meeting with Nicolas Sarcozy, President of France [having visiting the CCIFG during his official visit in Georgia in October

of 2011], tops the list of key meetings with officials.  A new web-site ccifg.ge and face-book page were put into operation.

Antoine Bardon, President of CCIFG, accentuated that the organization collaborated with other foreign and local business associations including Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, German Business Association in Georgia, Georgian-Swiss Business Association, Business Association of Georgia, and International Chamber of Commerce.

This year CCIFG plans to enhance interaction with other business associations and Georgian authority, develop local privilege program, attract new French and European investors, multiply its event and increase CCIFG members number to 100 by 2013.

In frames of enhanced interaction with Georgian government and business associations CCIFG plans setting an accounting and financial commission (for its members accountants and financier managers) to share about tax and accounting issues for Georgian tax officers still keep surprises in store and business needs to discuss tax-related things.

Newly appointed ambassador of France to Georgia, Renaud Salins, who came to Georgia just six weeks ago to replace his predecessor, attended the CCIFG general assembly among other VIP persons and accentuated that political relationship between Georgia and France should get deeper through economic relationships.

“To make this commercial and economic relationship between two countries deeper, more intense at the level of what should be relationship between two regions, that is my message tonight,” Ambassador stated out in his speech.

Carrefour, French-based international hypermarket chain headquartered in Courcouronnes, France and one of the largest hypermarket chains in the world (the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue and third largest in profit after Wal-Mart and Tesco) operating in 30 countries globe over, is also in the list of newly joined members of CCIFG. Georgia will be the first country in Caucasus region and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) where this famous hypermarket will get a foothold. Actually Carrefour entered Russia in 2009 but it quit just four months after opening its first store in the country under the pretext that it would be difficult to become one of the country's top two retailers.

Georgia seems attractive to Carrefour now for its low corruption level and foreign-investors encouraging policy, Jean Louis Clary, Georgia District General Manager of Carrefour, said in the interview with Georgian Journal. Company opens up its hypermarket encompassing 9 thousand square meters in Tbilisi uptown in this coming summer and GEL 25 million will be invested in the venture.

CCIFG members acknowledge that the organization helps them to solve problems and promote good ideas under united umbrella, also build contacts and set up new business partnership ultimately.

“We joined French Business Council when it included just 10 members and enjoy its benefits since then,” Marina Giorgobiani, General Manger of Sanofi-Aventis Group [the first pharmaceutical company in Europe and the 3rd in the world] in Georgia and Armenia, said. “We feel support and are under one umbrella when solve problems through joint efforts or promote any good idea. Before this organization was created we used to contact embassy of France in Georgia but you cannot always trouble the embassy and such business amalgamation is very comfortable to this end.”

According to Giorgi Margvelashvili, Director General, of Tbilvino winery, CCIFG helps to build partnership in France where Tbilvino has long-term business relationship for imports wine-producing related items like oak barrels as well as exports small quantities of wine for 6 years already to one French supermarket network.

“CCIFG is a member of the Union of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry Abroad (UCCIFE) that is very helpful to me in France.  Besides CCIFG membership is a good mean to meet other business companies to have our say on current economic events in Georgia and express one united opinion to the society,” he said.

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