The idea was born during Armanjan Baitasov’s visit to Tbilisi.
I arrived at the cozy Radisson terrace with the publisher of Forbes Georgia, Mrs. Maia Mirijanashvili. On those rare occasions when our Kazakh partner visits Georgia, we bend over backward to come up with new ideas. By the way, the idea of publishing a joint Kazakh-Georgian edition is not our only innovation. We—the partners—also decided to offer our regional readers news in English, Russian and Turkish on our Georgian website: forbes.ge.
Mr. Baitasov accepted the idea of a joint edition with his usual silence. However, as expected, his silence was soon followed by a statement reflecting his willingness to embrace new ideas and turn them into reality, which makes him an exceptional entrepreneur and an easy-going partner. In just a few days, the working group had been established, and after a few conference calls with our Kazakh colleagues, the work was well underway. It was clear that the edition would have unprecedented circulation, different content, including stories that inspire readers and boost their motivation and most importantly, the cover story and its hero!
This hero is Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, a former businessman, public figure and Georgia’s ambassador to Spain. Presently, Mr.Pololikashvili serves as the ambassador for the world’s most dynamic growth industry. For the first time in history, a citizen of independent Georgia held such a high post and led the World Tourism Organization. Zurab Pololikashvili is currently the Secretary General of the UNWTO and will deservedly appear on the cover of our magazine, sharing some interesting stories and challenges within the tourism industry.
Was he the only option that I, as editor-in-chief, considered for the cover story? Obviously, no. In view of the rather complicated, but also entirely unique business relations between Georgia and Kazakhstan, we initially planned to have two cover stories. The ties from the Soviet past that are now part of a waning reality have been replaced with fresh vigour: a young generation with sufficient determination and the skill to do more than just live on past glory. My next choice will definitely be the international company Silk Road Group. The partners in this group are a Georgian businessman, Giorgi Ramishvili, and a Kazakh businessman, Erkin Tatishev. To be completely honest, I am quite familiar with Tatishev’s story, therefore having Mr.Tatishev on the cover of the magazine along with his Georgian partner would be somewhat of a challenge. It would not only be difficult to justify the idea of a completely unusual publication, but also serve as validation of the potential that Georgian-Kazakh economic relations hold in this divergent century, when technological solutions precede challenges and introduce new business models.
The Forbes issue that you are reading right now is the first joint product of two publishing houses. The teams of the Georgian and Kazakh Forbes magazines worked collectively for 2-3 months to acquaint readers with the extraordinary partnership and business-making potential that our two countries historically enjoy.
It comes as no surprise that Kazakh investments dominate in Georgia, including in the most important and strategic spheres. Kazakhs are well informed about Georgia’s leadership role in implementing reforms and achievement in the sphere of tourism, which makes it attractive not only as a short-term or travel destination, but also from an investment point of view, with its loads of potential. Georgia expects to host a minimum of seven million people in 2018 alone! Do you think that we can handle that much traffic on our own? I doubt that… which is why, along with the number of tourists, the volume of FDI is increasing. The vector of these Foreign Direct Investments, in addition to various other industries, is steadily pointed in the direction of the Georgian hospitality sector.
And while you are reading this editorial, I am already thinking of new joint plans that we want to present to our large audience and readers in Georgia and Kazakhstan, as well as in the entire region.
You are all invited to Forbes’ Gala Reception, which will be held in November, in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. We are very good hosts, but at the same time we also like to visit.
Meanwhile, Armanjan Baitasov will visit us or we will travel to Kazakhstan, since I have not been there in a long time. To be more precise, I have not travelled to Kazakhstan since the establishment of Astana in 1997. As a very young statesman, I travelled as part of a five-person delegation from the Georgian government to attend the inauguration of the new capital of Kazakhstan.
We should meet more often.
The fact is that Georgia and Kazakhstan are coming up with amazing projects, and that is why we stick together.
Only Forbes can pull it off.