Capacity Building Trainings in Telavi, Kakheti region

on 01 Jan : 00:00

On March 6 – 7, 2018, the first of ten capacity building trainings for regional civil society organizations took place in Telavi, Kakheti region. The training was led by one of the project implementers, the Association of Business Consulting Organizations (ABCO), whose representative, Konstantin Zhgenti, provided trainees with information about the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), including what DCFTA benefits are available for Georgia, what it offers for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and how the latter can engage into the European single market.
The training in Telavi was attended by 18 representatives of civil society organizations, among which were Farmers’ Associations, Community Union and Kakheti Regional Development Agency. The purpose of the training was to increase civil society representatives’ knowledge about the DCFTA and to involve them in the project by improving their capacities to inform the Georgian public about DCFTA/SME strategy implementation and to assist local small and medium entrepreneurs to allow them to use DCFTA-provided opportunities and prepare them to export to the European market.
Prior to the training, the participants indicated that they do not have enough information about general standards and quality requirements for exporting commodities to the EU common market. After the training session, it was clear that these trainings were beneficial in providing necessary information about general standards and quality requirements. In addition, the training was helpful in providing the participants with information about how to find a business partner in European Union, as many participants indicated prior to the trainings that they did not have such information.  
The next phase aimed at involving trained civil society organizations in the project activities will be announcing a call for sub-granting, which will allow regional organizations to apply for funds to carry out activities related to implementing the DCFTA/SME communication campaign and to advise regional small and medium entrepreneurs on the DCFTA.  
In addition to the training, an introductory session of the DCFTA Local Advisory Council (LAC) was conducted. Starting in May 2018, regular meetings of public officials, civil society and SME representatives will take place in Kakheti region. The aim of LAC is to provide a venue for the above-mentioned parties to discuss DCFTA implementation in Kakheti and to work together so that the region can take full advantage of DCFTA-provided opportunities. Eight public officials and a similar number of local small and medium businesses joined the introductory session and expressed interest to attend future LAC meetings.