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The EU-GIZ project “SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia” presented Georgian Furniture Cluster – the first formally established (since August 2017) business cluster in the framework of the EU4Business Initiative in Georgia. The Georgian Furniture Cluster (GFC) now connects 25 local furniture producing companies (SMEs).
Mr. Genadi Arveladze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Mr. Vincent Rey, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation, and Ms. Katja Kammerer, Programme Director at GIZ, delivered opening remarks at the event that brought together representatives of governmental agencies, the EU Delegation, international donor community, business sector as well as other project partners and beneficiaries.
"Accelerating economic development is a priority for the EU in Georgia, and SMEs are a key focus in this effort. Since 2009 the EU has directly support over 63,000 Georgian SMEs, and the furniture cluster presented today is excellent and practical example of this. Our goal is for these and other similar efforts to ultimately result in more and better jobs for Georgians" - noted Mr. Rey.
Head of Georgian Furniture Cluster, Mr. Besik Verdzeuli, presented a brief overview of the state of furniture industry in Georgia and outlined future plans for quality improvement and internationalization.
His Bulgarian colleague, Ms. Genoveva Christova - an international expert and a Head of the Bulgarian Furniture Cluster who is closely involved in development of the Georgian cluster, commented:
“Furniture industry has all the right ingredients to become the new force in Georgian economy. Our goal is to turn the country’s human and natural resources into competitive advantage and internationalize it. To achieve this, we need to enhance synergy of furniture producers, creative and technical education institutions and those very talented designers I keep discovering with my every visit to Tbilisi. With all that in the basket and some encouragement of the policymakers, I believe Georgia will become the next European trendsetter for the region.”
The event also featured wine tasting - showcasing wine presentation furniture produced by the Georgian Furniture Cluster - and photo exhibition.
Georgian Furniture Cluster (GFC) members commit to joint production to take advantage of market opportunities in Georgia and in Europe by achieving economies of scale. Specifically, they commit to capacity building and organization development, establishment of a creative space through apprenticeship and competitions for young furniture designers and internationalization. The project will support GFC in all these directions.
“SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia” project is implemented in the framework of the EU4Business Initiative, which helps SMEs to benefit from DCFTA by improving business environment, increasing knowledge and skills of businesses, and by supporting SMEs to get better access to finance (More information available on www.eu4business.eu).