Nordic Ministers: Human rights and democracy key to leaving no one behind in global fight against COVID-19


17.09.2020 (Caucasian Journal In the framework of our journal's  "BEST NORDIC AND BALTIC PRACTICE" Program we are glad to publish the following statement of the ministers of the Nordic countries:

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to accelerate the global trends of democratic backsliding and weakening respect for human rights. It is intensifying existing inequalities, hitting those who are already marginalised, subjected to discrimination and living in poverty the hardest.

ICC and Caucasian Journal inaugurate EURICA video channel at Board Meeting attended by ICC Secretary General

11.09.2020 (Caucasian Journal)  Today is a big  day for us, since Caucasian Journal is officially launching our EURICA video channel - with our three first videos. 
Since EURICA  (Eurasia Investment Channel and Analytics) is a joint project with ICC Georgia, our inauguration coincided with the visit of John W.H. DENTON, Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce. 

Today in Tbilisi the Secretary General of ICC attended the ICC Georgia's Consultative Board Meeting and met with the leaders of the major business organizations in the country. 

Fady ASLY, Chairman of ICC Georgia, presented EURICA with a special address:



To be the first to view all EURICA's exclusive videos, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.

At today's ICC event in Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi, EURICA also has demonstrated a video with series of exclusive interviews titled "Why Georgia?" In this video, the leading business representatives as well as heads of World Bank, EBRD, AmCham and other chambers of commerce answer why Georgia is attractive to investors:



The last EURICA's premiere today was a trailer of our new Series called "Movers and Shakers". EURICA’s “Movers and Shakers” Series cover people and companies who make a difference in Georgia and move things forward. In the focus of our first video is the Zedazeni Group, one of Georgia's leading diversified industrial groups:




In case you missed it: Interview with Gunda TIRE on school reform and PISA ratings of school children

01.09.2020 (Caucasian Journal).  As September 1st is first day of school in many countries, Caucasian Journal decided to re-post our article on education, which we consider quite important. So, in case you missed it in winter, below we talk not only about the best school reform experience, but also why South Caucasus is lagging behind. This type of articles do not lose their value with time, alas.

Education is basic for achieving progress in any other direction.  But how do South Caucasian students compare with peers? How well can they read?

It is our pleasure to introduce Ms. Gunda TIRE, PISA National Project Manager at Foundation Innove. PISA is the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment, and Innove is an education competence center in Estonia. The reason why we invited an expert from Estonia is simple: Because Estonian students are the best in Europe

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Indeed, according to recent PISA worldwide student assessment results, the Estonian 15-year olds have the Europe’s highest scores in all disciplines. First of all, please accept our sincere congratulations to Estonian friends with this excellent achievement! I know it was not unexpected, since Estonia’s results have been going up for some time, but anyway how was the top achievement perceived - by ordinary people and by professionals?

Gunda TIRE:  Thank you very much for the kind words, and we really appreciate your invitation to share the Estonian PISA experience with your readers!

Sebastian MOLINEUS (video): "Digital economy is key driver for growth and a critical aspect of response to COVID"

25.08.2020 (Caucasian Journal What is the main focus of World Bank's activities in the South Caucasus? What type of investment projects are in especial demand in our region? How did Georgia's COVID response influence the  business environment?

Our today's video discussion with Mr. Sebastian MOLINEUS centers around these questions. Mr. Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, is already well known to readers of Caucasian Journal

Today for the first time we are pleased to offer his interview in a video format.

Watch video interview with Sebastian MOLINEUS below.

To be first to view all our exclusive video interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.



Meni BENISH (video): "I never had in any country such a supportive government"

16.08.2020 (Caucasian Journal What factors make Georgia attractive to foreign investors, especially to the Israeli businesspeople? Which industry and agriculture sectors offer the most promising business opportunities? 

Mr. Meni BENISH is founder of Israel-Georgian Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), Honorary Consul of Georgia in Israel, and the head of several successful enterprises in Georgia, including the Archi Group. 

Last month he gave an interview to us focusing on establishment of IGCC. In his today's video talk Mr. Benish shares views on business environment in Georgia.

Watch video interview with Meni BENISH below.

To be first to view all our exclusive video interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.



Giorgi PERTAIA (video): "Ideal investor is the one who brings knowledge to this country"

03.08.2020 (Caucasian Journal How do we see Georgia in 10 years, and which investment projects does it welcome? Is Georgia a post-Soviet country? Who are "ideal investors"?

Mr. Giorgi PERTAIA, President of Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), is answering the questions of Caucasian Journal. 

With the today's interview, Caucasian Journal starts to publish video interviews, which is a new format for us. We hope you like it!

Watch video interview with Giorgi PERTAIA below.

To be first to view all our exclusive video interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.



Zaza BIBILASHVILI: "Democratic backsliding is evident"

27.07.2020 (Caucasian Journal)  How is the political and economic situation in Georgia seen from a viewpoint of one of the country's leading  professional lawyers?  

Today Caucasian Journal is pleased to present the answers given by  Zaza BIBILASHVILI, Senior Partner at BGI Legal, Georgia’s leading independent law firm, and founder of the Chavchavadze Center for European Studies and Civic Education. 

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal: Dear Zaza, thank you for being with us, and for your attention to Caucasian Journal – we are privileged to have you among our Board members. Let me start with what I consider central. You possess a rare - if not ideal - combination of professional and personal qualities, which make you equal to political challenge of any caliber. Recently you left UNM - the party, which you joined in 2013, and where you held a senior position. You said you would not associate with any other political force or take part in the 2020 elections. I am sure you had important reasons, but what will remain on the plate for the voter, if all the very best professionals would decide to step away?

Zaza BIBILASHVILI: Alex, thank you for inviting me for this interview. The honor is all mine to be on CJ board along with such distinguished group of individuals. Let me start by wishing you and Caucasian Journal all the best. I know there are quite a few new ideas and plans for the immediate future. Look forward to seeing the Journal grow! On to your question: 

I joined UNM in 2013. Georgia’s former ruling party had already lost the 2012 parliamentary elections. It was widely demonized, its members were targeted politically and persecuted by all branches of government. Hundreds were jailed or forced to flee Georgia, and thousands were pressured in various ways. Against this background, many struggled to explain my move – in a country where people are quick to switch camps to join the winner, it is rare to see a successful citizen, who had never been part of the government and with no vested interest, to risk it all for no apparent gain. 

Seth CHAR: "It’s easy to start a business in Georgia but difficult to make it work"

23.07.2020 (Caucasian Journal)  Our guest today is Mr. Seth BLY-CHAR, CEO of ICONIA Capital, a real estate developer based in Tbilisi but owned by U.S. investors. (Read Georgian version here.)

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal:  Dear Seth, welcome to Caucasian Journal! Our guests often talk about the importance of foreign investments for Georgia, the”investment climate”, “ease of doing business”, and other pretty abstract notions.  But today we have a chance to touch the practical side of things:  The hands-on experience of an American investor in Georgia. The fact that your experience is “mixed” makes it even more valuable to readers. For a start, can you give a short answer: Do you regret about investing your money in Georgia? If you could go back to 2015, would you rather have taken your investment elsewhere?

Seth CHAR: Mr. Kaffka, firstly, thank you for this opportunity to interview with your prestigious publication.  You had mentioned that our investor experience in Georgia was “mixed,” but in reality, it is only “mixed” on the best of days: overall, our experience in Georgia over the past five years has been overwhelmingly negative. 

Dr. Andreas UMLAND on escalation of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and Russia's role

20.07.2020 Dr. Andreas UMLAND is Senior Expert at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future in Kyiv, Nonresident Fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague and Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm.  Speaking to Caucasus Watch, he shared his expert views on the escalation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and Russia's role in the territorial disputes of the Caucasus.

First of all, the obvious question, why is the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalating right now and why on the undisputed international border instead of the area of the actual territorial dispute?

Dr. Andreas UMLAND: This is indeed surprising since the official border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is not being questioned by either side. The actual territorial dispute has been only about Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas. Murad Muradov and Rusif Huseynov of the Topchubashov Center at Baku have published an article on the influential Ukrainian website Ukrainska Pravda where they speculate about reasons for the escalation. They argue that only Armenia can be assumed to be responsible for the escalation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border because of the high risks the conflict contains for Azerbaijan, in view of Armenia’s membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Armenia and the official Armenian territory are protected by the CSTO – and especially so by Russia. Therefore, Muradov and Huseynov believe that this provocation originated in Armenia, and they outline some possible scenarios. Among others, Muradov and Huseynov argue that the escalation could have been driven by the current government in Armenia. However, they also do not exclude the possibility that the clash could have been initiated by some old elites in Armenia, particularly by the former pro-Russian presidents Kocharyan and Sarkisyan, who may be trying to cause trouble for the current government.

Caucasian Journal and ICC Georgia to set up the first Eurasia Investment Channel, for worldwide promotion of best investment projects



14.07.2020. Below we republish an ICC Georgia's press release.

ICC Georgia to set up the first Eurasia Investment Channel, for worldwide promotion of best investment projects

EURICA (Eurasia Investment Channel and Analytics) is a joint project of ICC GeorgiaCaucasian Journal and Channel Georgia Consulting.

Through EURICA, ICC Georgia will select and promote Georgia and the region’s best investment projects internationally, via global ICC network, YouTube, LinkedIn, printed mass medias and television.

EURICA will select the best investment projects and produce its own videos for them, to offer maximum promotion through international news distribution channels.

“The world is different in post -Covid era, and the winners will be those who are the first to adapt to new reality. Competition is increasing as many more companies are now seeking investments. At the same time, investors are also in dire need of lucrative new opportunities, after months of slowdown. Online and remote work is our new standard, resulting in faster communication and decision-making. We are introducing EURICA to offer unique investment promotion toolset not just to ICC members, but to all companies with sound, well-prepared investment projects,” – said Fady ASLY, Chairman of ICC Georgia.