Anne LIDGARD: “We are interested in attracting talent and can offer a very vivid startup scene”

30.06.2021 (Caucasian Journal). Caucasian Journal’s guest today is Anne LIDGARD, Director, Ecosystems for Innovative Companies at Vinnova – the Sweden’s innovation agency.

Read the Georgian version here.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Welcome to Caucasian Journal! Let me explain first, that one of our aims is to spread some of the world’s most advanced reforms experiences in our region, and to assist in using those best practices here. As Sweden is often called the Silicon Valley of Europe, it is no wonder we’ve got interested in your country’s achievements in the field of startups and other innovations. Is it true, that it all started with Stockholm City Government’s decision to subsidize people’s home computers in the 1980s? Quite a far-sighted and exceptional decision, wasn’t it?  

Anne LIDGARD: Yes, indeed, that was one of the key contributors, but I also want to mention the very early mobile adoption thanks to Ericsson – the world leader in the field then – and its collaboration with state-owned Telia. Also the early and wide-reaching broadband deployment, another important policy decision, has played a huge role. Thanks to our proficiency in English, people started interacting very early on the web, not least the younger generation of gamers that later turned innovators.

Senator Rob PORTMAN on NATO membership for Georgia: "It is time to fulfill promise made in 2008"

U.S. Senator Rob PORTMAN: 
I strongly support full NATO membership for Georgia... and it is time to fulfill the promise made in the 2008 Bucharest Agreement

23.06.2021 (Caucasian Journal). Caucasian Journal has asked U.S. Senator Rob PORTMAN to share his comments on the recent visit of American Congressional Delegation to Georgia. The Senator's press secretary provided the following statement by Rob Portman:

"I strongly support full NATO membership for Georgia – their commitment to free and democratic values are in line with NATO’s and it is time to fulfill the promise made in the 2008 Bucharest Agreement.”

The NATO's "promise made  in the 2008 Bucharest Agreement", to which Senator Portman was referring, is the decision adopted at NATO Summit in Bucharest, Romania. 

It reads: "NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO.  We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO... Therefore we will now begin a period of intensive engagement with both at a high political level to address the questions still outstanding pertaining to their MAP [Membership Action Plan] applications" (Bucharest Summit Declaration issued by the heads of state and government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest on 3 April 2008, paragraph 23)

Ambassador Helene SAND ANDRESEN: “No doubt that Georgia is part of the European family”

18.06.2021 (Caucasian Journal). We are honoured to interview Her Excellency Helene SAND ANDRESEN, Ambassador of Norway to Georgia and Ambassador-Designate of Norway to Armenia.

Read the Georgian version here.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Your Excellency, welcome to Caucasian Journal, I wish to thank you for attention to our readers. Let me start with something basic. You are the first head of the first Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tbilisi. Before you arrived here, Norway did not have an embassy in this country. How does it feel to find oneself in such a situation, when you did not have even an embassy building and had literally to create everything from scratch?

Helene SAND ANDRESEN: To be in such a situation is a wonderful challenge – sometimes a little daunting. The opportunity to create a new embassy from scratch is rare, so it is an honour to be entrusted with such a task.  Building a whole new team is a great privilege. Setting up a new mission, you need vision, drive, and not least flexibility and a good dose of patience. It’s a great learning process. Perhaps the hardest thing has been striking the right balance between practical tasks and administrative issues on the one hand, and building our network on the other. It’s tempting to meet as many people as possible and make the right contacts, but at times, administration and logistics have had to take priority. And of course, we have had a lot of support along the way from Oslo, as well as from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, for which I am most grateful.