Capacity Building Trainings in Rustavi, Kvemo Kartli region

on 01 Jan : 00:00

On March 29 – 30, 2018 sixth capacity building trainings for regional civil society organizations took place in Rustavi, Kvemo Kartli 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 Rustavi was attended by 20 representatives of civil society organizations, among which Center for Women union “Ertoba” and Successful Women, String Society, Farmer’s union “LORE”, Center of Intercultural Initiatives and others. The purpose of the training was to increase civil society representatives’ knowledge about DCFTA and to involve them into the project by providing capacities to inform Georgian public about DCFTA/SME strategy implementation and to assist local small and medium entrepreneurs that they could use DCFTA provided opportunities and would prepare to export to the European market.
During the training, the majority of participants expressed that this training program differed from other similar types of trainings that they had attended previously. During the training session, the trainees raised questions mainly related to the export procedures and export potential for various agricultural products (pies, broccoli, potatoes) to enter the EU common market. Prior to the session, less than a half of the participants indicated that they knew about the DCFTA; at the conclusion of the training, over 90% of the trainees stated that they have been provided with new information about the DCFTA and its potential benefits and opportunities. After the training session, an overwhelming majority of the participants believed that their awareness about the DCFTA was raised.
The next phase of 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 implement activities related to implementing DCFTA/SME communication campaign and to consult regional small and medium entrepreneurs on DCFTA. 
In additional 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 be conducted in Kvemo Kartli region. The aim of the LAC is to provide an environment for regular meetings for the above-mentioned and other parties to discuss DCFTA implementation in Kvemo Kartli region and to work together to let Georgia receive all the potential benefits of the DCFTA. Public officials and members of local small and medium businesses also attended the introductory session and expressed interest to attend future LAC meetings.