CBDN representative in Turkey, Mr Ihsan Karayzi, took part in a cheese symposium ‘Local Artisanal Cheeses in Turkey and in the World: The Use of Geographical Indication for Kars Kaşarı Cheese,’ which was organized in Kars province between 15 – 17 July 2016. The symposium, which brought together academics from around the world, provided a good opportunity to build relations and network with experts on this sector as well as share information about CBDN’s cheese sector work, which started in Kars back in 2007.
Much ink has been spilt on arguing that economic issues trigger conflict, but what is certain is that the economy can also contribute to peace. This is the rationale behind International Alert’s ‘Business advocacy for peace’ project, which operates in the South Caucasus and Turkey.
The project’s goal is two-fold: to energise policy debate on economic dimensions of peacebuilding within the region; and to strengthen the Caucasus Business and Development Network (CBDN), a group promoting regional economic cooperation between small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorny Karabakh, spanning across four conflict divides.
CBDN, which Alert helped to establish 11 years ago, facilitates contacts between entrepreneurs by supporting regional events such as exhibitions and festivals, and by piloting different models of collaboration. For example, the ‘Caucasus Brands’ initiative brought together cheese, tea, honey and wine producers from across the Caucasus to create a common brand, symbolising the potential of regional economic cooperation. A more recent CBDN initiative is Recipes for Peace, which explores the conciliatory power of food and culinary heritage to bring together divided communities on the Turkey-Armenia border. Read more
Do Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU and Armenia’s agreement with Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union have implication for the trade between Armenia and Turkey?
Since 2011, CBDN has been working towards promoting business contacts and cooperation between business communities in Armenia and Turkey. As the border between these two countries is closed and the trade route is via Georgia, discussions on what different economic orientations in the South Caucasus (i.e. Georgia and Armenia) would mean for the trade, though informal, between Armenia and Turkey, increased among business circles. Moreover, many civil society experts saw Armenia’s orientation towards EEU as a further setback to the prospects of normalization with Turkey. Many hoped that negotiations with the EU could open doors for improving Armenia-Turkey relations (i.e. in the case of Turkey’s accession to the EU). Read more
In October CBDN’s traditional Festival of Tea and Honey took place in park Rikhe as part of Tbilisoba. The festival lasted two days.
In spite of the poor weather, the level of interest for the tea and honey did not wane.
Both Tbilisi locals and visitors came to taste the different kinds of tea and honey on offer. Georgian Minister for Agriculture Otar Daneliya, Tbilisi mayor David Narmania, mayoral deputies Irakli Lekvinadze amd Nana Khatiskatsi were among the festival guests. Other representatives from the local authorities, as well as NGOs and diplomatic missions, were also present. Read more