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Business Roundup

Prepared by Christina Tashkevich
Friday, March 21

NBG counts 18 MFIs in Georgia

The National Bank of Georgia said 18 microfinance institutions registered by January 1, 2008.

The joint capital of the MFIs equaled GEL 68 million by January 1, with the amount of loans at GEL 57 million.

MFIs finance a slim majority of small and medium businesses involved in trade and services. However, the central bank said the amount of loans to agriculture businesses is increasing in MFIs’ loan portfolios.

Government chooses Satakha to build regional gas network

The government chose the Satakha company to work on installing a gas distribution system in Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda.

The company will begin work in April and should finish the project in two years.

Minister of Energy Aleksandre Khetaguri said it will be possible to provide 8000 consumers in those regions with gas by the end of the year.

Germany company builds cement factory in Georgia

German HeidelbergCement will build a new factory thirty kilometers from Tbilisi.

Production volume of the factory would be two million tons annually, with the cement distributed in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

The company also has factories in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

“We want to use the potential of rapidly growing markets and create a solid market potential,” head of the company’s council of directors Bernd Scheifele said.

The company started operating in Georgia in 2006 after buying 51 percent of Georgian Cement.

AmCham gives out awards at 9th Anniversary Gala

Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze and the USAID-supported project Georgian Business Climate Reform (GBRC) were awarded for their contributions to the business community during the American Chamber of Commerce Georgia’s 9th annual anniversary celebration on March 15.

Other winners included Bob Wilson, chief of party for USAID, receiving the AmCham Appreciation Award, communications company UGT getting the Most Supportive Company award and PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Cliff Isaak for Outstanding Committee Work in AmCham.

National wine competition to be held in May

Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to organize a national wine competition in Sighnaghi on May 1–2.

The organization also created a Wine History Fund to support research on wine history in Georgia and popularize Georgian winemaking.

A special fan club for Georgian wine was also created. The club will host wine tastings as well as other events dedicated to winemaking.