The FINANCIAL -- Georgian Chamber of commerce and industry (GCCI) continues to be the leading actor in supporting and defending the rights of Georgian business entities within and beyond Georgian borders.
GCCI has organized various international and local events, forums and B2B meetings to further strengthen established partnerships and offer local businesses an international perspective and acquired experience. Furthermore, for years, the chamber has been the main partner of the most prestigious business award ceremony “Golden Brand”.
Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry states that two main problems that are prevalent currently on the Georgian labor market are the lack of professional staff and the scarcity of financial resources. Bearing these problems in mind, GCCI is actively involved in the process of supporting the development of professional education within the country.
A coordination council at Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry shall be established, which will include the representatives from public and private sector as well as representatives of international organizations and the experts of the field. Mentioned platform will connect students, private sector and vocational institutions.
In this interview President of the Chamber, Nino Chikovani talked about the activities of GCCI.
Q. A part from the creation of the coordination platform, what other activities the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry carries out to promote the vocational education reform?
A. Apart from the coordination platform chamber is actively involved in raising awareness regarding the professional education, in Tbilisi and in regions. Notably, GCCI hosts meetings in regions for local business representatives and aspiring future professional education graduates, where all their questions are being addressed. Within the framework of the event presentations are being done regarding the involvement of the Chamber in vocational education reform and work-based learning. Afterwards, meeting moves on to the Q&A format, which allows attendants to receive answers to their questions immediately. As a rule, a representative of the Georgian ministry of education and local and international experts are present at these events. Mentioned meetings have been carried out in Gori, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Batumi, Ozurgeti, Rustavi and in Akhaltsikhe. As a result of these discussions, precise results have been achieved in terms of cooperation between business and vocational institutions. Also, as you might know, the Chamber is actively organizing public-private format dialogue meetings; similar event has been carried out in Tbilisi by GCCI regarding the vocational education, business sector has expressed considerable interest in these dialogues.
Q. You have mentioned the Public-Private dialogue, what role does the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry play in this direction?
A. One of the primary roles of the Chamber is to be a liaison between public and private sector. We always try to keep business entities informed regarding public services and changes which are important for their success. Last year the Chamber has been actively working on informing the business sector about the changes regarding accounting report reform. Additionally, we have signed the memorandum of understanding with a business ombudsman; based on which and with the support of our regional Chambers we held the informative meetings with regional business representatives to inform them about the services that business ombudsman offers. The last public-private dialogue organized by the Chamber, was dedicated to the government initiative “Step to a Better Future”. Initiative concerns Georgian occupied territories, therefore we involved businessmen with IDP backgrounds. Abkhazia A/R Chamber of Commerce and Industry aided us in organization of the meeting, who are legally part of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Q. Concerning the export markets, what are the news in the Chamber about giving the consultations to the business-sector about the export markets?
A. Within the framework of the EU project, and with the support of German federal enterprise for international cooperation (GIZ) GCCI has established a DCTA Information Center. In the scope of the program four DCFTA information centers have been established in 4 Georgian cities, where experts in the field provide guidance to the business representatives regarding the export and related regulations. It is worth noting that entrepreneurs are also provided consultations regarding the association agreement regulations which step by step are also been required on the local market. Chinese market also is gaining popularity within the Georgian entrepreneurs after the free trade agreement between the two countries has been signed. Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also actively working in this direction as well, we have recently opened our representative branch in Guangzhou, China, which aids Georgian business entities to export their goods on Chinese market and helps them to establish partnership with Chinese companies.
Q. The Chamber is introducing an excellence model of the European Foundation for Quality Management. What activities are planned within the programme?
A. The Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is carrying out the second stage of implementation of the EFQM excellence model. Within the programme, Euro quality consultation systems in DCFTA information centres and regional chambers are going to be installed.
The EFQM model is based on European values, which is aimed to help international and local organisations, including public and private institutions, to develop their activities using the EFQM model, in which there is an integrated ISO international standards quality component. Over 30,000 European organisations from 50 different sectors are united by the European Foundation for Quality Management, which are successfully using this model in their activities.