We are happy to let you know that our partners from Georgia, who have been part of the CBDN work for a long time and been the authors of the beekeeping work, have signed a memorandum of cooperation with the mayor of Tbilisi and the Czech Development Agency on the ‘Creation of a Regional Centre for Beekeeping’ in Tbilisi. This was the result of CBDN’s beekeeping sector work and they envisage to further cooperate with CBDN across the Caucasus to take the initiative forward.
The idea of the Regional Centre came as the result of the reflections on the next step of the beekeeping sector work. It will be a centre that will gather beekeepers from the Caucasus, provide trainings on the beekeeping, open a lab on the artificial insemination of the queen bees, have know-hows of this sector, etc., and strengthen regional cooperation of beekeepers.
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 →