Economy

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The Central Kizlyar Research Institute of wine, beer, soft drinks and beverages (TSKNII) has submitted a proposal to the Russian patent agency for a dozen trademarks with the names of famous Georgian wines: Kindzmarauli, Khvanchkara, Alazani Valley, Akhasheni, Tsinandali, Gurdzhani, Gareji, Mukuzani, Napareuli and Vazisubani, Georgia Online reports.

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Direct foreign investment in Georgia in 2010 declined by 16% compared to 2009, Business Georgia reports. According to preliminary data of the Georgian Statistical service, last year foreign investments in Georgia amounted to 553 million dollars.The largest investor in 2010 were the Netherlands, who made 143 million dollars investment. The second place  belongs to the United States (108 million dollars).  Russia is on the third place -  it has invested in Georgia's economy 51 million dollars.

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Iran plans to invest 10.7 billion dollars in the development of the South Pars field in 2010. By 2012 this figure should reach 13-15 billion dollars. This was stated by Director of National Iranian Oil Company, Ahmed Galebani, Trend reports, with reference to the Iranian news agency İSNA. He added that in order to attract additional investments, the Central Bank of Iran will start issuing bonds amounting to three billion euros. These bonds will be sold through foreign banks.

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Deputy Head of the Stavropol region Agricultural Control Dmitry Shklyarov said that the new  outbreak of African swine fever can occur in the province at any time because neither private households, where 80% of pigs are kept, nor farms w comply with the requirements of high animal sanitation, RIA Novosti reports. As reported earlier, on January 7 of the African swine fever was detected in Stavropol region. 9,000 pigs were destroyed in the livestock farms and more than a thousand in the private households.

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Statistics shows that Iran keeps increasing production, sales and export of mining industry products, IRIB News reports.Iran produced 11.555 million tons of crude steel from March 21, 2010, to February 19, 2011. The country produced 9.753 million tons last year, which demonstrates a growth of 18%.Iran produced 15.362 million tons of hot and cold rolled steel, long-length and steel constructions. Production increased by 75%.Cathode copper production increased by 6% and exceeded 204,000 tons, compared with 193,000 tons last year.

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Georgia will start constructing new power lines to Azerbaijan and Turkey, AZE.az cites the Georgian Energy Ministry as saying. Construction of the power lines will be carried out by Energo Pro Georgia. The project is worth $150 million and will take 3 years. The energy systems of Georgia and Azerbaijan are connected with a 330 kv power line. The new power lines will be 500 kv. Georgia plans to export as much electricity to its neighbours as possible. Georgia has increased export to Turkey almost 10-fold.

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The annual inflation rate in Georgia rose from 12.3% in January to 13.7% in February as a result of higher prices for food and transport, the Georgian Statistics Service said on March 11, Business Georgia reports. The prices for food and non-alcohol drinks rose by 28.4% in February 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, and by 6%, compared with January 2011. The statistics service said that the inflation rate in February reached 11.7%.

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Airzena, Georgia’s leading air company, will raise ticket prices by 15%, Trend cites the company as saying. The source said that world prices for oil may reach the level of 2008, pre-economic crisis. This forces Airzena to raise the prices in the second half of March. Airzena said that other companies are considering a 5-15% increase.

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Samsun-Ceyhan project to be updated

Partners of the Samsun-Ceyhan project have decided to upgrade it, and Russia expects Turkish proposals, Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko said on Friday.

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Georgia has started closing unprofitable enterprises, head of the department for enterprise management Alexander Khotzhevanishvili said, Business Georgia reports. Six enterprises, including Veli, Imel, Vaziani, were closed. 51 more enterprises will be closed. The process of merging 50 state-owned enterprises has ended.

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There will be three Minsk-Baku-Minsk flights a week, Belarusian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Nikolai Patskevich said at a meeting with businessmen on Friday, Trend reports. Belarusian Airlines is currently carrying out the flights, Azerbaijani Airlines said. A plane departs from Baku at 08.45 (Baku time) on Thursdays and Sundays.

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government to prepare a plan for implementation of advanced technical equipment in the electricity sphere by August 15, 2011. Special attention was paid to energy-saving technology and renewable energy sources, RIA Novosti reports.

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US billionaire Donald Trump has signed a contract with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is on a visit to the USA, on the construction of two skyscrapers in Batumi and Tbilisi, Interfax reports. Trump said that he will invest $250 million in Georgia and even more later. He also praised Saakashvili as a leader. Trump said that he will decide in June whether to run for U.S. president.

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Iran has allocated $60 million towards construction of the highway from Tabriz to the border of Armenia, Business Georgia cites the Iranian news agency IRNA.  An Iranian MP, Ali Reza Manado, noted that this highway will become a bridge between Iran and Armenia, resulting in the development of settlements along the route.

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One of the candidates to the post of the head of the Tax Ministry of Finance, Jaba Ebanoidze, is going to continue the reforms initiated in the office, he told a meeting today with representatives of the Business Association of Georgia, reports Business Georgia."First and foremost, I will continue the reforms that have already been initiated in the department. I'm also planning to begin reforms that affect the improvement and simplification of relations between the Tax Service and the business community," Ebanoidze said.

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Georgian side signed with Turkish company TurkMol a contract for $ 120 million. The agreement provides for the construction in two years shopping center next to the metro station "Delice" in Tbilisi, said in an interview Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Vera Kobalia, Trend reports. The contract was drawn up in Cannes, during  the international real estate exhibition. The investors, participating in the exhibition, were able to  the projects  implemented in Anaklia and Gudauri.

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The Armenian government will provide farmers with 2,025 tons of barley and 63 tons of buckwheat as a part of the state program for seed development, announced today the head of the Office of Plant Production and Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture Gagik Manucharyan, ARKA reports. According to him, the seeds will be distributed to farmers in the spring, but the payment of their value will be made in autumn, after harvesting. The priority  will be given  to socially disadvantaged families and the communities in the border or mountain regions.

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Director of the department of poultry, bee-keeping and sericulture of Ministry of Agricultural at a meeting on improving the structure of the poultry industry in the province of Mazandaran, said that during the next five years, the country will  reconstruct 17 thousand poultry farms,  Iran News reports. For the construction and modernization of poultry farms the government will allocate over 900 billion tomans (about 900 million dollars). 320 billion will be provided in the form of government grants, while the rest in the form of bank soft loans.

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Tariffs for irrigation water in Armenia in 2011-2012 will not change, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan told a government meeting today, Arka reports.In 2010, the tariff for irrigation water was increased from an 8 drams to 11 drams.In Armenia, there are five water supply operators: "Yerevan Jur", "Sewerage", "Lori-water channel," Chirac-water canal" and "Nor Akunk".

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Kazakhstan is ranked  among the top four oil suppliers to the European Union for 2010, reports Kazakhstan Today. The largest oil exporter to the EU, according to Iranian site zawya.com, is Russia (74.35 billion Euro). The second largest exporter is Norway (33.45 billion), the third is Libya (22.3 billion Euro) and the fourth is Kazakhstan (12.52 billion).

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