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Business Roundup

Prepared by Christina Tashkevich
Friday, January 11
Ukraine is one of Georgia’s largest trade partners

Ukraine was the third biggest trade partner for Georgia in 2007. Trade turnover between Georgia and Ukraine from January–November 2007 reached USD 549.6 million (a 62.3 percent increase over the same period in 2006), according to the Statistics Department.

Georgian exports to Ukraine increased by 57.3 percent, reaching USD 78.4 million. Most of those exports were alcohol products and mineral water. Imports from Ukraine were worth USD 471.2 million, a 63.2 percent increase over the same period in the year before.

GBDC to offer business consulting in Samtskhe-Javakheti

The Georgian Business Development Center Caucasus (GBDC) opened a new office in Akhaltsikhe, Samtskhe-Javakheti province. The center will provide consultations to locals wishing to start small- or medium-sized businesses.

The aim is to support agricultural business and family tourism businesses. With the establishment of the new GBDC office, local students will have an opportunity to take part in professional preparation trainings and then get involved in consulting services.

New law to regulate Tbilisi–Dubai flights

Air traffic between Georgia and United Arab Emirates has new regulations.

Air carriers from both countries will have additional permission to operate passenger and cargo flights to any third country (Dubai–Tbilisi–Paris; Tbilisi–Dubai–Beijing). Before the agreement enters force, both sides can permit airlines to operate flights, with no limit on the number of air carriers and flights.

Currently, Georgian Airways runs twice weekly Tbilisi–Dubai flights.

bmi introduces new cabin baggage policy

bmi, London Heathrow’s second largest airline, introduced new cabin baggage rules with effect from January 7, easing the "one bag rule" for hand luggage taken on flights, following the removal of certain restrictions at a number of UK airports by the Department for Transport.

Under the new guidelines passengers travelling in business and premium economy cabins will be able to take two pieces of cabin baggage, while economy cabin passengers are able to take one piece. Individual pieces of cabin baggage must be no larger than 55 x 40 x 23cm and the passenger should be able to lift their bags unaided into the overhead lockers. Rules governing the carriage of liquids remain unchanged.

In addition, all passengers may also bring one personal item, such as a small handbag, purse, small briefcase, laptop or baby-change bag.

International financial center to be created in Tbilisi

Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said the government plans to complete the new free trade zone in Poti and then work on creating an international financial center in Tbilisi.

Gurgenidze said at a January 9 government session that the center would be unique in the CIS and Eastern Europe. The center would play a strategic role in accumulating financial resources for different projects, the prime minister explained.

The National Bank’s role in inflation issues and monetary stability would be increased, according to the government’s plans. A special supervisory service would be created, monitoring the financial sector and combating money laundering.