June 3-9. Newspaper "GEORGIA TODAY" publishes interviews with Victor Kipiani, Partner MKD By Nino Edilashvili
To get updated on Georgia’s investment environment, Ukraine hosted the Georgian Investment Forum on May 27. The forum was organized jointly by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, the Georgian National Investment Agency (GNIA), Georgia-Ukraine Business Club (GUBC), MKD Law Company, BG Capital and Rakia Georgia Free Industrial Zone.
Ukraine is among Georgia’s biggest business partners. According to official statistics, in January and February of 2010, the trade turnover between the two countries was $109.7 million, or 9.6 % of Georgia’s total foreign trade, making Ukraine the country’s third largest trading partner.
In order to learn the details on the forum and the GUBC’s plans, Georgia Today interviewed Victor Kipiani, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Georgia-Ukraine Business Club and Executive Partner of Mgaloblishvili-Kipiani-Dzidziguri, a Tbilisi-based law firm.
Q: You were one of the organizers of the forum, can you tell us about the importance of the event?
A: With the goal to further promote and develop business, economic and cultural relationship between Georgia and Ukraine, we organized this forum, where 60 leading Ukrainian companies participated. The welcome speech at the conference was given by Archil Kekelia, First Deputy Economy Minister and his presentation on Georgian business opportunities was met with great interest. Overall, the Ukrainian business elite seemed interested in investing in Georgia, in particular, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and real estate sectors. Participants hailed mostly from these industries.
Q: Were there any deals signed? What are the actual results of the forum?
A: Such decisions are not made immediately, so we don’t expect results today or tomorrow. The Ukrainian business groups are actively seeking potential countries to invest their capital, so I think Georgia can be the best country for them. This was the first forum organized by GUBC and we will continue holding meetings and such events to maintain the high interest in Georgia’s investment environment. The next step is hosting the Ukrainian 25-member delegation which will arrive in Georgia this month.
We help both local and Ukrainian companies to expand their business ties. However, we expect that the interest will come mainly from Ukrainians interested in investing in Georgia rather than Georgians interested in investing in Ukraine. Ukraine is a large country, starting a business there would be a bit difficult for our companies, so we have to be realistic.
Q: You established the Georgian-Ukrainian Business Club two month ago...
A: The goal of this organization is to promote bilateral business relations, provide cooperation meetings as well as strengthen cultural links between the two countries.
Having offices in both Tbilisi and Kiev, the organization will provide a wealth of information to interested individuals and companies. It will provide businesses an opportunity to find out about the legal regulations in both countries, including tax privileges, local industries and potentially interesting sectors.
Ukraine is among Georgia’s closest business partners. Considering current bilateral relations, I hope the club will make a unique and significant contribution to all sectors by deepening business, cultural and human relationships.
The organization unites approximately 15 companies including: BG Capital, the Mgaloblishvili-Kipiani-Dzidziguri law firm, travel agency HRG Georgia, McDonald’s Georgia, PSP pharmaceuticals, and Rakia Georgia which manages the Poti Free Industrial Zone.