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The News in Brief

Friday, July 17
IFC helps improve food safety practice in Georgia

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping improve food safety practices in Georgia through a new programme which assesses the manufacturing practices of companies and organises training seminars on food safety issues.

Implementation of the IFC’s recommendations, provided as a result of the assessments and skills training received, will raise the level of knowledge of food producers about modern tools of food safety management. These tools include “good manufacturing practices”, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system (HACCP) and the introduction of modern food safety systems in companies to make them both more competitive on the local market and able to penetrate international markets.

“Many companies need to start by addressing simple standards of hygiene,” said Irina Kokaia, Project Manager for Georgia Investment Climate Advisory Services. “We help them bring their products closer to international standards, while preparing them for upcoming inspections.”

Currently food production companies in Georgia are not inspected or required to register because of the suspension until 2010 of the relevant articles of the Law on Food Safety and Quality. The capacity of local companies to meet food safety standards therefore needs to be strengthened, and the Georgia Investment Climate Advisory Services project of the World Bank Group is helping develop this capacity in the country’s private sector to bring it up to international standards. The project will also publish a special brochure on HACCP principles aimed at educating entrepreneurs about food safety.

IFC is working on this project in partnership with BP and its co-venturers in oil and gas projects, as well as the Canadian International Development Agency. (Interpressnews)

Burjanadze holds meetings in United States

The leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, is visiting the United States and meeting senior officials. Yesterday she was received in Congress. A visit to the White House was also on the agenda.

Later Burjanadze was due to visit the US International Development Agency and speak about the current political situation in Georgia, external threats and territorial integrity.

The opposition party leader participated in a round table held in the Department of State. 20 officials from that department attended this discussion. (Interpressnews)

Foundation stone of new hotel complex laid in Batumi

The foundation stone of a new hotel complex has been laid in the city of Batumi in the Adjara region. The project is being implemented with English investments and EUR 90 million has been allocated for it. Construction of the complex will finish in two years. Local people will be employed to build it and the Georgian President attended the laying of the foundation stone on Thursday.

The President said that as a German company was involved in the project Georgians will learn to work according to European standards and 300 Georgian citizens will be employed to do this. “We have moved on from the time, when we had a lot of unqualified, unemployed persons who had lost the joy of living and have entered a time when we will be short of manpower. We suppose that 10,000 people will be employed in the hotel sector alone in Batumi during the next three years. This means 20,000 more people will be employed in the long run,” Mikheil Saakashvili said. (Rustavi 2)

Joint manoeuvres conducted in Poti waters

Georgian and Turkish border guards are carrying out joint trainings off Poti. Yesterday these were conducted at the coast guard fleet base, where border guard officers were trained in firefighting and boarding operations.

A Turkish coast guard vessel entered Poti port yesterday under an agreement signed by the sides in January 2009. 25 Georgian and Turkish border guards participated in yesterday’s manoeuvres. The vessel will leave Georgia today. (Interpressnews)

Separatists set date of Presidential polls

Leader of the Abkhazian puppet regime Sergey Baghapsh has said that the ‘Presidential elections’ in Abkhazia will be held on December 21.

Georgian officials have already responded to the upcoming elections by saying serious political confrontation is expected prior to the polls. MP Paata Davitaia says the real competition will be between current leader Baghapsh and the Russian-backed former Vice President Raul Khajimba.

According to Davitaia, Russia may also nominate Russian MP Kolesnikov as Prime Minister of the proxy regime.

Experts do not rule out that the secessionists may be electing the last Abkhaz President this year. (Rustavi 2)