The Business Sector’s Problems and How to Tackle Them
The Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) plans to hold regional meetings, Giorgi Vekua, the director of the GCCI Department for Services and Regional Development told Business Partner.
The key mission of the GCCI is to promote the business sector’s development in Georgia, however, it is noteworthy that the GCCI not only cares for its member companies, Giorgi Vekua said.
“The Chambers shape the international network. All countries have established domestic chambers. This network enables us to hold tight communication and work on certain fields.
Furthermore, the promotion of small and medium businesses is an important aspects. The Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is an organization with regional offices. Consequently, we have full information on what specific needs exist in the business sector, which is the backbone of any country. It is of crucial importance to lobby for it, and realize their interests in a comprehensive manner”, Vekua pointed out.
As for the specific problems in the small and medium business sectors in Georgia, a lack of information on state programs and projects is a key challenge, Vekua explained.
“There are certain problems characteristic to all regions. The lack of information on state programs and projects is one of these familiar challenges. We have very good projects for business development, but the information on these programs and projects does not reach local residents, or these programs remain unattainable for them. For example, the Enterprise Georgia program, the Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies have been implementing very good programs. And the worst thing in this situation is that local residents have the feeling that these programs are not implemented with them in mind, and this factor effectively diminishes the program . There were distinct problems where local residents lacked the technical skills to engage in these programs. We have detected this problem, and now various training sessions are being held”, Vekua said.
The reformation of the vocational education system is one of the key challenges. Unemployment is Georgia’s number one problem today, but the business sector complains that the country lacks professionals, and this is another big obstacle, Vekua noted.
“We frequently hear that the key problem is the Georgian mindset. Georgians avoid vocational education, and they strive instead for universities, diplomas and so on. The analysis shows that the problem does lay in the mindset. If we offer an alternative of either taking a diploma or receiving vocational education that provides the opportunity for employment and income, our citizens will definitely have a preference for the second option”, Vekua pointed out.
The next fundamental challenge, particularly in regions, is that it is difficult to find a partner abroad, he said.
An attitude is a decisive factor in business. Therefore, more communication is required, he said.
“Both the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Agriculture have done a lot of work, however, the business sector’s representatives note that much more should be done, more communication and immediate contact with the business sector is required. The public dialogue pursues this goal, as well as meetings and an open dialogue with business. Attitudes are decisive, particularly in the outlying regions, where the story of success or failure spreads very quickly. A failed story discourages business. We try to deliver this message to all businesses. To this end, we will actively cooperate with various Ministries, in the form of a public-private dialogue. Listening to business is decisive in this case”, Giorgi Vekua told Business Partner.