George Japaridze for Georgia Today

Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown on the Silk Road Cross Road

On October 15-16th Tbilisi proved itself as the place where east meets west and it is noteworthy that more than 800 high ranking officials attended the “Tbilisi Silk Road Forum” to discuss the prospects of the new Silk Road and how to best use Georgia’s transit potential. Important prospects were set in such areas as trade, energy, transport, tourism, infrastructure and real estate.

Georgia Today had the privilege of meeting George Japaridze, the Director of the International Desk, Caucasus, at Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown (CW|VB). He shared with us information and his opinion regarding the “Tbilisi Silk Road Forum”. CW|VB gave a comprehensive presentation on the real estate market in Georgia, and informed the forum delegates about the existing climate.

Q: Did the forum meet your expectations?

A: Actually, it served as an excellent opportunity to establish a platform for annual high level meetings for all interested states and international organizations with the view of future mutually beneficial cooperation. The forum was attended by delegates from 31 countries. The high rate of attendance shows the interest towards our country’s investment opportunities. There are many directions that will significantly benefit not only Georgia but also the region as a whole. The country has a good location which will help it to play an important role as a regional hub.

Obviously, such events do lead to the country’s international recognition and serve as a platform to raising awareness of its investment opportunities – to drive foreign direct investment which will lead the country to economic growth.

As I already mentioned, a lot of significant guests visited the country in the frames of the forum and therefore our contacts at the international market were extended. I’m glad the forum will be organized annually.

It is clear that such events should be extremely beneficial for all parties involved. Therefore, next year I hope to see a great number of participants from the business sector presenting their investment opportunities. This refers mainly to the local players. The forum needs to be practical and more flexible, focused on business deals.

Q: We understand your company made a presentation on the real estate market in Georgia. Which topics were covered?

A: On behalf of CW|VB I’m glad to say that we had the privilege of taking part in the forum based on the fact that it is a commercial real estate company. We gave a general overview of the real estate market in Georgia, particularly the retail market, office market, hospitality and residential markets. Moreover, we classified the factors that most effect the market and the tendencies of the resent period. We underlined advantages that foreign investors may receive whilst investing in Georgia.

The Government of Georgia is offering a lot of incentives for newcomers: a flexible investment environment, tax and legislative benefits, simplified company registration procedures, liberalized manufactured regulations and a positive approach to foreign investors- it’s a real step forward for the country.

Q: The major participant company of the forum “Hualing Group” was one of your clients. What type of professional relationship did you have?

A: Sure, we had an opportunity to work with the “Hualing Group”. We did the market study for the already existing shopping mall and provided recommendations regarding the zoning of the center, indicating a rational rearrangement of the blocks in the overall space. Moreover, we shared our international and professional experience with regards to the retail market. We wish them luck and will support them in further development.

It is worth mentioning that since we are operating on the Georgian real estate market, we have been lucky to have large-scale clients such as “TBC Bank”, “Hualing Group”, “Silk Road Group”, “Wissol Group” and “Bank of Georgia”. Moreover, after consultations with our company, and with co-financing from “Axis Development” and the “Georgian Co-investment Fund,” the construction of Axis Towers on Chavchavadze Avenue was restarted and the presentation of the project was held on the 20th of October in Tbilisi. It can be identified as one of the success stories of our company.

Q: What results do you expect from the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum?

A: Delegate feedback was highly positive, though you cannot get the results immediately since it is long lasting process that will show results within some months. One thing that is clear is that Georgia has demonstrated repeated readiness to serve as a positive investment environment.

Overall, the forum proved to be a great platform for our country’s international awareness. On behalf of CW|VB I can say that we are expecting positive results and the implementation of specific projects that are in the pipeline.

22 October 2015 22:29