„Georgia – quo vadis? Chances and Challenges for a regional Role Model” – Field Trip to Tbilisi, Georgia – 12th – 15th November 2017
From 12th to 15th November 2017 12 students of the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna visited the Georgian capital Tbilisi. It were three very intensive days with visits of enterprises, institutions and NGOs. Whereas in the beginning the students were rather sceptical, they actually returned to Vienna with positive impressions of the field trip and a rather optimistic view on Georgia’s future. The students were accompanied by the Coordinator Regina Kamauf
First day: Austrian Embassy and Gebrueder Weiss Logistics
The first day started with a meeting with the Austrian ambassador to Georgia, Dr. Arad Benkoe who provided students with background information on Austro- Georgian relations and took plenty of time to answer students’ questions.
Next stop was the terminal of Austrian company Gebrueder Weiss Logistics where the students were shown the facilities and director Alexandre Skarlamov explained specifics of internal procedures.
Second day: Joint event with EUGBC and Caucasus University and Transparency International Georgia
On the second day a joint event with EUGBC (EU – Georgia Business Council) and Caucasus University had been organized on the topic of “Business climate and logistic issues in Georgia”. The programme included among others a tour on the new campus of Caucasus University, a film on EU4Business in Georgia and presentations held by representatives of Georgian logistics companies GSG and GLG as well as a lecture by corporate director of famous Georgian brewery and beverage company “Natakhtari”. After the presentations the students used the opportunity for an informal meeting and exchange with students of Caucasus School of Business.
The day ended at the office of Transparency International Georgia where the students engaged in a discussion with programme manager Erekle Urushadze on the many aspects of TI’s work, especially the issue of corruption in Georgia.
The last day: Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cultural programme
The third and last day started with a visit to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the students were briefed on perspectives of Georgia’s foreign policies by high-level representatives of the following departments: EU integration, NATO, US-relations, relations with neighbouring countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia), relations with occupied territories South-Ossetia and Abkhazia as well as relations with Austria. In the afternoon the group went to the ancient capital of Mzkheta, close to Tbilisi.
Despite the tight schedule of meetings, the students had enough time to explore the city on their own, see major sights and street life of Tbilisi as well as experience authentic Georgian culture, especially typical Georgian food was very popular among the group.
Whereas in the beginning the students were rather sceptical, they actually returned to Vienna with positive impressions of the field trip and a rather optimistic view on Georgia’s future.
(Photos: Anna Schraifer)