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Issue #638

09.11.12 - 15.11.12

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Georgians, start your engines!

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Author:  By Robert Linkous

Could there be anywhere in the wide, wide world of sports riper for the thrills and spills of motor racing than the Republic of Georgia?

According to racing driver and businessman Shota Abkhazava, whose company is the moving force behind the Rustavi International Motorpark, site of the Rustavi International Challenge over the weekend of November 3-4, “the only effective tool for reducing road traffic accidents is the development of motorsport.” At racing tracks “lovers of cars spend adrenaline” in competition, and thus “do not constitute a danger to surroundings by competing in the streets.”

If Abkhazava is right, then rising popularity of motorsport in Georgia would make life safer and longer for Georgian drivers and pedestrians, though it could pose a grave threat to job security for some in the medical profession.

The Motorpark is a fine place for an outing, with a choice of viewing tribunes which can accommodate three thousand or more spectators; one is pleasantly shaded, another offers grandstands facing in opposite directions, offering a choice of where to best take in the action on the track or, when the weather is fair, the warmth of the sun.

The track itself is 4122 meters in length, and twists and turns around the tribunes in a manner sinuous enough to remind you why that adjective begins and ends with an “s.”

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Europe’s Top Properties Scoop Prestigious Industry Awards

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The best developments, architecture and interior design from across the length and breadth of Europe were celebrated at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square. The leading property professionals behind these outstanding projects were invited to attend the European Property Awards in association with Yamaha and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Five Star Award was handed to Lisi Green Town by Georgian Lisi Development for the best Development Multiple Units in Georgia.

The main concept of Lisi Development is based on the creation of calm, healthy and ecological area. In the City, created in nature, your calmness and splendid views will always be preserved. In Lisi Green Town you will always feel the comfort of the modern life and the cosiness of the nature.

Lisi Green Town development is uniting various unique projects: residential complex Lisi Veranda, Lisi lake recreational and sports area, Guivi Zaldastanishvili American Academy new and modern building, new thermal spa centre, bridge house artistic studio complex and others.

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Bank Republic offers new business loans

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Author:  By Baia Dzagnidze

Bank Republic is now offering an extraordinary campaign for micro and small businesses and will provide its clients the lowest interest rates on loans on the market.

According to the bank’s management, all clients who transfer their current loans or take out new loans at any branch of Bank Republic will receive an interest rate reduction of up to 3 to 6 percent, while those who do not have a business loan can receive the minimum interest rate.

In addition, the bank will present a pre-approved business loan to all those who require financial support for the next season or the New Year and do not have the time required for the tedious loan approval procedures that can be common place in such instances.

This Bank Republic business loan enables the client to undergo an assessment and the analysis process in advance free of charge. Upon approval, the loans start from $100 and can be as much as $100, 000. The client will be able to use the money immediately or at any time until the end of December. More importantly, the client will pay the interest rate only if the client uses the money.

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 Zviad Akhvlediani of Russell Bedford’s Georgian firm Akhvlediani Business Consulting comments on World Bank Paying Taxes survey

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Georgia now one of the world’s top ten countries for business

The annual World Bank Doing Business report this year ranks Georgia the 10th most conducive business environment worldwide, up three places from last year’s ranking of 12th.  The report also cites Georgia as “the top improver since 2005 both in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”, an achievement it attributes to no fewer than 35 institutional and regulatory reforms since that date, including the implementation of “one-stop-shop” registration for new businesses.

In terms of reducing the tax compliance burden on entrepreneurs Georgia again showed considerable progress, moving up 12 places from 45th to 33rd.  Zviad Akhvlediani, of Russell Bedford correspondent firm Akhvlediani Business Consulting remains sceptical, however. 

“It is gratifying to see Georgia’s business framework lauded in this way.  But in terms of tax compliance, there is still much to be done.  Georgian businesses spend an average of 280 hours per year just on meeting their tax reporting obligations – compare this to our peers in OECD countries, who are spending an average of 176.”

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EBRD: Georgia’s economy remains strong

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According to the latest Regional Economic Prospects the Bank’s quarterly economic assessment - growth in the transition region is expected to drop from 4.6 percent in 2011 to 2.7 percent in 2012 before picking up modestly to 3.2 percent in 2013.

Emerging Europe is likely to live through another challenging year before any real recovery can start, EBRD economists say.

“The crisis in the Eurozone is continuing to negatively affect economic performance in the EBRD’s region of operations,” EBRD said in its press release, “However, thanks to the recent actions by the European Central Bank as well as announced European measures toward bank resolution and banking union the downside risks to growth have reduced somewhat.”

According to EBRD’s economic forecast, the global economic instability and the eurozone crisis have had an impact on all regions. 

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Minicredit and UniPay implemented new project: credit in electronic wallet

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Author:  By Baia Dzagnidze

MiniCredit has now started a partnership with online portal UniPay. From October 18, users of the online loan company can easily get their credits placed on their UniPay accounts.

In order to receive money on UniPay’s online wallet, one should be registered at both portals. The application is filled out on the MiniCredit web-page and later on, the user chooses the most convenient form where to get the loan – on the UniPay account, personal bank account or in cash.

“This is very useful way as you receive money without leaving your home or work place,” says Tamuna Diasamidze, marketing manager at MiniCredit. As soon as one receives the credit, money can be used immediately to pay utility bills, Police and City Park fines, various parcels or simply whatever the customer desires, explained Diasamidze.

The reason behind MiniCredit’s collaboration with UniPay is due to the fact that UniPay provides the fastest and easiest method of paying bills via the internet. “We have many customers interested in this product. We do believe that it will be a successful project for both companies,” said Diasamidze.

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Renault’s new design strategy

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Author:  By Baia Dzagnidze

Renault Car Company has implemented a new direction in its design and is focused around the idea of the ‘cycle of life’.

This idea links the brand to its consumers by going along with their entire life: when they fall in love, take a trip, start a family, work, and reach wisdom. “This strategy carries the main idea of the company,” says Anton Shamenkov, one of Renault’s designers. “The new models released since 2010 focus around the human being. If BMW cars are designed around the engine, for Renault the human is the core element. This can be noticed by its light shapes and warm friendly designs,” he explains.

Renault constantly presents its customers cars with new designs. They range from classic to sporty and small to large– depending on the country and the market. The designers explained that the car in general is more global and should be sold everywhere. However, the interior and those details that communicate with the customer can be personalized according to the nationality and country the car is sold in.

At the 83rd International Motor Show held in Geneva, Renault will present its newest models. “In terms of aesthetics and style, Renault is trying to create the most stable style, including all models that are connected and that best expresses the message of our company,” says Andrey Basmabov, another designer at Renault.

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Samsung and Alta introduce mobile phone navigation system in Georgia

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Author:  By Ia Natsvlishvili

A mobile phone navigation system is now available in Georgia. This service is being offered by Samsung at Alta outlets, which deals with retail and the wholesale of computer and office equipment, accessories, network equipment and consumables. According to Samsung’s regional representative of Caucasus, Sang-Pil Chan, those who purchase Samsung’s Galaxy mobile will move easily and find their destination with the help the company’s comfortable navigation system.

“This is the first time in Georgia that you can use this system to get around easily in Tbilisi and Georgia even without knowing the directions,” said Irakli Kakabadze, Director of Alta, which is the official distributor of Samsung in Georgia.

Kakabadze told a press conference on November 7 that over 11 models of Samsung’s Smart mobile phones are equipped with this system.

With a mobile phone navigation system, one can find detailed information about Tbilisi’s streets, facilities, as well as important buildings, cultural and historical monuments. “This system works throughout Georgia. However, it is not as detailed outside Tbilisi as it is in the capital,” Alta’s Zaza Asatiani explained while presenting this system in 3D format.

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Wissol Group embarks on partnership with Vianor

“Georgia’s changing climate, with its high mountains and sea level is a challenge we are good at,” says Hannu Teininen, the Vice President of Nokian Tires INC.

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Author:  By Baia Dzagnidze

The Wissol Group signed a memorandum with the multinational Finish Company Vianor, which grants Wissol the right to develop its daughter company Auto Express services under the Vianor brand. The latter, represented by the Nokian Tires Company, will offer premium-class Nokian and Nordman tires and introduce high standards in its auto services.

According to Soso Pkhakadze, the President of Wissol Group, the existing 15 Auto Express services will be rebranded under the Vianor brand and will add 5 more by the end of 2013. “Nokian Tires is one of the largest companies in the world and we are happy that the Wissol Group became a representative of yet another multicultural company in Georgia,” he said.

“It’s a great pleasure and honor for me to be in Georgia,” says Hannu Teininen, the Vice President of Nokian Tires INC. “This is the first time that a Finish company has entered the Georgian market, which is very impressive for us,” he added.

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