Japan-Georgia Business Conference Promotes Business Cooperation

On October 11, a full-service law firm Mgaloblishvili Kipiani Dzidziguri (MKD) hosted a Japan-Georgia Business Conference organized by the Japanese Embassy to Georgia, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

The conference brought together prominent Japanese and Georgian companies such as the Mitsubishi Corporation, Ricoh, Toshiba, JTI, Panasonic and Toyota Caucasus, JSC Anaklia City, Georgian Airways Ltd, Basalt Fibers Ltd and others, as well as representatives of the Embassy of Japan, JICA and Jetro. The attendees of the business conference learned about the Georgian business climate and particular opportunities for doing business in Georgia in the fields of construction and infrastructure, transportation, insurance, real estate, hospitality, agriculture and more.

Those present at the conference shared their experiences of the practical aspects of doing business in Georgia as well as their opinion of the untapped investment potential that Georgia offers. Given the success of the event, the organizers pledged to meet in a similar format on a regular basis, expressing hopes of giving the conference an institutional frame.

The speakers’ panel brought together His Excellency, Mr Tadaharu Uehara, Japan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia, Mr Mikheil Janelidze, former Minister of Economy of Georgia, Ms Keti Bochorishvili, the CEO of ‘Anaklia City’ and Mr Victor Kipiani, partner of Mgaloblishvili Kipiani Dzidziguri (MKD) law firm.

The speakers welcomed the conference’s participants and stressed the importance of the need to develop economic ties between Japan and Georgia, showcasing the latter as a favorable destination for Japanese investments.

Speaking of the conference opportunities, His Excellency Tadaharu Uehara emphasized the importance of the future collaboration between the two countries:

“I am very happy that 19 Japanese companies are represented at today’s business conference,” he noted. “Today’s event hosted by MKD Law Firm is very important for both countries because the number of Japanese companies operating here is very limited. However, I am very positive this situation will develop in the next few years, because many Japanese companies are keenly interested in Georgia. So, I would like to promote and encourage the dialogue platform between the companies of two countries.”

When asked about the prospects of future collaboration between two countries and Georgia’s attractiveness for Japanese companies as a business partner, the Ambassador stated: “I have spent enough time in Georgia and I have already become very confident about doing business here. The steps Japanese companies are making are a little bit slow, so I need to ask patience from the Georgian side, because I think that we have a big opportunity between the two countries for developing private business, too.”

The organizers of the conference introduced major stakeholders to the tools, partnerships and resources that will help them advance their business in Georgia and the region.

According to Victor Kipiani of MKD, the Georgian side must be patient and disciplined to achieve the successful development of business relations between Japan and Georgia.

“Today’s event was not just a typical business conference,” he said. “As many speakers noted, increasing the number of the foreign investments is not our main goal: the quality of those investments is much more important. Taking into consideration the transparency, working culture and wellness characteristic for Japanese business, we see that attracting investors and establishing businesses from such countries is especially important. Considering that we have relations with such a very specific business culture, maximum patience and discipline are necessary from our side to merit the trust and high reputation and become their partners in the long-term perspective,” he explained.

When asked about the fields in which the collaboration between two countries could be the most successful, Kipiani said: “At today’s business conference, a few directions in which our country is operating as a regional hub were highlighted. These spheres include trade industry, related to the free trade zones, transport communications, infrastructure in general, etc. We must make a significant breakthrough in these spheres with the help of Japanese business. First of all, we are an interesting country for foreign partners due to our free political and economic environment. Our democracy and safe business environment compared to other regions are the main things that make Georgia an attractive and trustworthy partner.”

To support the conference’s interactive stream, the event was followed by a networking reception at the residence of Ambassador of Japan where Japanese participants had an opportunity to meet Georgian company representatives and discuss future opportunities of cooperation.

Mgaloblishvili Kipiani Dzidziguri (MKD) law firm has been at the forefront of the Georgian legal market for more than two decades. Through the years of extensive experience, MKD has emerged as a strong, highly competitive, well respected and pre-eminent Georgian law firm that provides a full range of legal services to its global clients.

The firm has gained external recognition through client assessments in a range of international research-based guides for the legal profession, which regularly list MKD amongst the top performing law firms in Georgia.

By Katie Ruth Davies

18 October 2018 22:22