DCFTA Local Advisory Council of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti Region took place in Ambrolauri

on 19 May : 11:45

On May 18, 2018, Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) conducted the Local Advisory Council (LAC) in Ambrolauri. Participants of the LAC included representatives of local civil society organizations (CSOs), SMEs and public officials of local Mayors’ offices and Sakrebulos of different municipalities from Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region, as well as the staff of the Information-Consultation Centers (ICCs) operating under the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Georgia. LAC meeting gathered 28 participants, among them 11 representatives of SMEs, 2 CSOs, and 14 public officials. 
The LAC was organized in three sessions. During the first session, LAC members identified four sub-economic sectors for Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region, which have the export potential to the EU single market. Sub-economic sectors included: bee-keeping, wine-making, potato planting and producing of dry fruits. Within the second session, LAC participants discussed the major problems SMEs are facing in respective region in terms of DCFTA implementation. 
Among key challenges influencing SMEs activities in the region, LAC participants mentioned difficulties to access the financial resources, including to fund acquisition of quality certifications; low volume of production, which cannot guaranty the constant supply for export; and lack of knowledge about existing EU market requirements among the local SMEs.  The final session featured a discussion about the recommendations and possible measures to address the problems existing within identified prospective economic sub-sectors. At the end of the meeting, LAC participants nominated 2 delegates (one civil society actor and one local entrepreneur) to represent the region at the Central Advisory Council to be held in Tbilisi.    

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