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The News in Brief

Tuesday, July 13
U.S. companies in mission to Georgia

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that 13 U.S. companies will meet over 170 Georgian businesses during a Trade and Investment Mission to Tbilisi, Georgia on July 12-15. The primary aim of the mission is to facilitate trade and investment, particularly in the agricultural processing equipment, inputs, livestock genetics, ready-to-eat products, meat and poultry and grain and feed sectors.

Gary Groves, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Assistant Deputy Administrator, will lead the mission. The delegation will meet Georgian companies and Government officials. Through presentations by key Georgian Ministries and the USDA, participating American companies will learn about the Georgian investment climate, markets and regulatory environment, as well as U.S. Government business assistance programmes. They will also have the opportunity to participate in round table discussions, form partnerships and joint ventures with local companies and entrepreneurs and visit some production sites.

Two-way agricultural trade between the United States and Georgia totalled $79 million in 2009, nearly 20 percent of all trade between the two countries. U.S. exports to Georgia have increased every year since 2006 and are up 35 percent over last year to date.

Georgia offers numerous opportunities to U.S. companies. The World Bank’s annual “Doing Business” report currently ranks Georgia 11th in the world for ease of doing business. Its educated labour force, strategic geographic location between Europe and Asia and investment-friendly atmosphere make Georgia an attractive investment site.
(US Embassy to Georgia)

Bernard Kouchner to pay two-day visit to Georgia

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner will pay a two-day visit to Georgia on 14 July, Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Davit Jalaghonia stated at the traditional Monday press briefing.

He said that Bernard Kouchner will hold high level meetings in Georgia.

Bilateral relations between the states, priority issues of cooperation, the situation in the region, the occupied territories of Georgia and Russia-Georgia relations will be discussed during the visit.

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton to visit Georgia on 15 July

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission, will visit Georgia on 15 July.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Geogia Davit Jalaghonia stated that the visit coincides with the opening of the first round of negotiations over EU Associate Membership status. "Catherine Ashton’s visit is of the utmost importance in this regard. Associate Membership is a new stage in Georgia-EU relations and it means deepening relations between Georgia and the EU on political, economic and other significant issues," Jalaghonia stated.

Teachers Certification Exams to begin July 13

Teachers’ certification exams will begin all over Georgia from July 13. These are designed to raise the level of teachers’ skills and improving the quality of teaching, Minister of Education and Science Dimitri Shashkin and Director of the National Examinations Centre Maia Miminoshvili state.

Around 14,000 teachers of Georgian language and literature, foreign languages and mathematics will participate in the first round. Teachers will also pass exams in General Abilities and speciality subjects. If the candidates achieve the minimal score of 60 they will receive the status of certified teachers.
(Prime News)

Ten people arrested for being members of a criminal network

The Imereti Regional Branch of the Ministry of the Interior has arrested ten people suspected of being members of a criminal network. It is alleged that Shota Chavchanidze, Teimuraz Gordadze, Kakha Kenchoshvili, Kakha Vacharadze, Koba Kurasbediani, Koba Kakauridze, Murman Tsivtsivadze, Zurab Tsivtsivadze, Dimitri Bughashvili and Giorgi Chankseliani threatened a businessman with murder unless they received a share of his business activities. They allegedly had contact with a 'thief-in-law' operating in Russia, Noe Tsulaia, and a convict in the Ksani colony, Revaz Chakvetadze, nicknamed Kochoia, who gave instructions to the suspects.

Police found pistols and machine guns during the search of the suspects' houses.
(Rustavi 1)

Probation Minister discusses action plans with NGOs

Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Khatuna Kalmakhelidze has hosted representatives of fifteen NGOs to discuss the ongoing reforms and action plan of the Ministry. Representatives of the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association, Civil Development Agency, Centre for Democratic Initiatives and Centre of Protection from Violence were among the 15 organisations which heard the report by the Minister.

Khatuna Kalmakhelidze spoke about the priority steps which will be taken to develop the penitentiary system and probation mechanisms in the country.
(Rustavi 1)