On November 22, the Austrian Foreign Trade Representation Advantage Austria and the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a business forum, bringing Austrian business companies to Georgia for B2B meetings. The forum included a symposium organized by Advantage Austria and the Austrian embassy to Georgia on the topic - What Does Sustainability Mean in Practice? Austrian and Georgian Experiences.
Georgian-Austrian Business Forum Held in Georgia
By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, November 25
“The best way [to overcome the economic consequences of Covid-19] is connecting businesses and at the same time addressing the even bigger challenge for all of us: climate change. It is time to reconnect, re-engage and re-focus our efforts! Austria and Georgia can do a lot together!” reads the statement published by the Austrian embassy to Georgia.
The symposium was opened by the Austrian Ambassador to Georgia, Thomas Muehlmann, the Austrian Consul for Trade in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, Georg Karabajek, and Vice President of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nino Suknidze.
Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natia Turnava also participated in the event and delivered a speech on Sustainability and Greening the Economy as well as Georgia’s Strategies in the Context of Post-COVID Economic Recovery.
According to the minister, the forum was a good example of business and government working on new projects that aim at the development of environmental principles and the introduction of more eco-friendly technologies in Georgia. As Turnava stressed at the forum, despite the COVID pandemic, several new legislative acts have been adopted in Georgia, including the Law on Energy Efficiency, the Law on Energy Efficiency of Buildings, the Law on Energy Labeling, the Law on Renewable Energy, the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan. Turnava stated that such laws create the basic legal ground for sustainable development and a greener economy. In this context, the minister highlighted that Georgia will become the first country in the region to carry out green hydrogen projects. She also focused on implementing greener projects in the transport system and tourism field.
According to the Austrian Embassy, the Minister’s speech was followed by a high-level panel discussion with Nino Tandilashvili, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; Nino Zambakhidze of the Georgian Farmers' Association; Dietmar Preinstorfer of e-control Austria; and Alexander Karner of the Austrian Development Agency.
The highlight of the event was the Energy Globe Award received by Nodar Kevkhishvili for his project — Zero Emission Fluidized Bed Combustion Device. According to the embassy, the award is intended for successful sustainable projects and demonstrates that practical solutions are already available for most of our environmental problems.
The Austrian companies that participated in the business Forum are — Axess AG, Ennsfellner Consulting E.U, Eppendorf Austria GmbH, fabco GmbH, and PANOMAX.