TBILISI. 20 November 2019 – Over 100 representatives of private companies, business associations and international organizations took part in a stakeholder forum in Tbilisi today to discuss business development trends in Georgia and a competitive potential of the private sector at the national and EU markets. The forum was attended by the officials from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Parliamentary Committee on Diaspora and Caucasus Issues.
The event was organised by the European Union and the four UN agencies – the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), under their joint effort for strong and competitive private sector in Georgia.
The first stakeholder forum focused on the role of business clusters, or networks of connected businesses, suppliers and associates, in maximising potential of the private sector and making it more competitive. The forum participants agreed that clustering can derive benefits, such as cutting supply chain costs, stimulating new businesses in the field, and increasing innovation, collaboration and productivity.
Perspectives of business clustering in the packaging, seedling, manufacturing and agro-industrial sectors were reviewed at the working sessions. The forum participants discussed the emerging challenges and available opportunities, as well as the green solutions related to Georgia’s new Waste Management Code, a draft law on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and the regulations on energy efficiency. They also focused on the role of Georgian diaspora in making Georgian business more competitive at the European market.
The Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia is an EU-funded initiative implemented by the UN agencies in cooperation with private companies and business associations. Drawing on an overall budget of up to USD 6 million, the initiative will continue till the end of 2023.
The project is part of the wider EU4Business support to the private sector development in Georgia that aims to assist Georgian entrepreneurs, improve legal environment and access to finance, and strengthen the ties with the European Union.