Capacity Building Trainings in Zugdidi, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region

on 01 Jan : 00:00

On March 29 – 30, 2018 seventh capacity building trainings for regional civil society organizations took place in Zugdidi, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti 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 Zugidi was attended by 25 representatives of civil society organizations, such as Civic Educational Center, Youth for Samegrelo development, Educational Center of Senaki 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, local CSOs and SMEs representatives, as well as local officials from local governance/municipal authorities, were able to deepen their knowledge about the DCFTA. The participants especially liked that they were informed about practical issues related to the different standard requirements of the EU market and about possible ways to gain access to the EU market itself. After the training session, most participants expressed a strong desire to continue their participation in the project. After the training session, most 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 addition to the training, an introductory session of the DCFTA Local Advisory Council (LAC) was also conducted. Starting in May 2018, regular meetings of public officials, civil society and SME representatives will be conducted in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. The LAC meetings will provide additional benefits to participants in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti by allowing them to access further information about the structure and benefits of the DCFTA.