Photo Above: Our Providence team (left to right) Dr. Bruce Duggan, President Kenton Anderson, Dr. David Iremadze, Ambassador Konstantin Kavtaradze and Edward Buller.
WINNIPEG, MB – Last month, on January 21, 2022, was a special inauguration event for the Canadian-Georgian Chamber of Commerce (CGCC). Dr. David Iremadze, Providence’s Buller School of Business Director, is largely responsible for the start-up in Manitoba. He currently serves as the CGCC’s founding President.
Twenty-five Manitoba leaders were invited to meet Georgian Ambassador to Canada, Konstantin Kavtaradze. Andrew Smith, Manitoba’s Minister of Sports, Culture and Heritage, and Dr. Kenton Anderson, Providence’s President, were also present.
Early Christian Heritage in Georgia
President Anderson described how Providence, as a faith-based institution, was pleased to partner with one of the oldest Christian countries in the world. (Saint Andrew is thought to have gone to Georgia in the first century to preach the gospel).
“Providence University College is pleased to support the newly formed Canadian-Georgian Chamber of Commerce in the development of people and programs, particularly through our Buller School of Business. We are pleased for the support and friendship of Ambassador Kavtaradze and his vision to enhance the relationship of our two countries,” said Dr. Anderson.
International Connections for Providence
Dr. Iremadze believes the partnership with Georgia opens opportunities in the areas of bilateral trade, tourism, as well as cultural and educational exchanges. “It’s good exposure for Manitoba and for the Buller School of Business. It presents unique opportunities for our Providence students in the areas of field study, internships and co-op placements.”
He envisions the following types of activity for future business students:
- Engage with community-owned businesses in Georgia and help with their marketing plans
- Organize trade missions with local Canadian and Georgian products
- Explore ancient Christian traditions in Georgia
The Buller School of Business hopes to recruit new students from the Eastern European region and raise the profile of Providence (and Manitoba) as a destination for furthering education. Dr. Iremadze believes that the province has a lot to offer international partners including its agri-business expertise, production of proteins, cleantech and creative arts.
“The Canadian-Georgian Chamber of Commerce is only a few-weeks old since its official launch and we already have two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU),” said Dr. Iremadze. One involves a greenhouse ecosystem project in Georgia that endeavours to boost local energy production and achieve a more modern, sustainable way of doing agriculture.
“This project alone provides so many opportunities to supply Georgia with Canadian-made goods and services (i.e., construction materials, equipment, supplies, and ‘know-how’),” explains Dr. Iremadze.
The second MOU involves the retail industry. On the borders of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan is a shopping outlet village that sells world-class brands, entertainment, and dining experiences. They’re looking for Canadians to bring in their products and boutiques.
More Canada in Georgia, and More Georgia in Canada
The Canadian–Georgian partnership opens lots of new possibilities. Dr. Iremadze speaks enthusiastically about additional opportunities such as taking non-degree program offerings from Providence to Georgia (i.e., a certificate in hospitality and culinary arts), and organizing micro-entrepreneurial ventures (i.e., arts and crafts) in both countries opening-up different markets to small business owners.
Ambassador Kavtaradze’s vision of “more Canada in Georgia and more Georgia in Canada” has inspired the establishment of CGCC and the exploration of mutually beneficial opportunities for a Georgia-Canada cooperation in areas such as the arts, business, and education.
For more information on CGCC, visit https://canadiangeorgianchamber.ca/.