Georgia: Good news of 2015

Agenda.ge, 31 Dec 2015 - 14:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Agenda.ge’s team takes a look back at the most feel-good news stories of 2015. Take a moment to remember some of the uplifting events, inspiring stories and good news of 2015.

ESTONIAN-GEORGIAN FILM TANGERINES SHORTLISTED FOR OSCAR 

Zaza Urushadze's film Tangerines was shortlisted for Oscar.

The year 2015 began with wonderful success story of Estonian-Georgian co-production film Tangerines (Mandarinebi), which has been selected as one of five films in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars 2015.

The war-time drama, directed by Georgian man Zaza Urushadze, was chosen as one of five finalists from a larger pool of eighty-three nominated films in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

FIVE-YEAR PERSPECTIVE: GEORGIA FREE OF HEPATITS C 

Georgia's Ministry of Health launched a Hepatits C treatment programme in April 2015.

In about five years from now, Georgia will be a Hepatitis C-free country thanks to a unique treatment programme that was introduced in April 2015.

Hundreds of thousands of people who are infected with the Hepatitis C virus in Georgia are receiving Sofosbuvir, a new medicine for Hepatitis C, for free.

Until now Hepatitis C treatment was very expensive and many Georgians who suffered from this disease could not afford treatment.

TBILISI HOSTS EBRD ANNUAL MEETING AND BUSINESS FORUM 

Tbilisi hosted the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Annual Meeting for the first time. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

One of the biggest events of 2015 was the Annual Meeting and Business Forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which was held in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

Top governmental officials from more than 60 countries, heads of international institutions, global decision-makers, corporate executives and staff from the EBRD gathered in Tbilisi to consider a strategy for the EBRD regions for the coming years.

This will be the first time the EBRD Annual Meeting is held in the Caucasus region.

JUNIOR LELOS WIN 2015 WORLD RUGBY U20 TROPHY

The first selfie of the Georgian champions after the match.

Georgia has been crowned World Rugby U20 Trophy winners after the nation' junior rugby team won the prestigious tournament for the first time in Georgia's rugby history.

The junior Lelos defeated Canada 49:24 in the final in Lisbon, Portugal.

This win saw Georgia reaffirm its status as the rising power of rugby on the world stage. This achievement has ensured the junior Lelos will compete for the first time at the World Rugby U20 Championship, which will be held in England in 2016.

EUROPEAN YOUTH OLYMPIC FESTIVAL 2015 OPENS IN TBILISI 

Fireworks lights up the sky at the European Youth Olympic Festival opening ceremony. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

The European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) 2015 has kicked off in Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi with a grandiose opening ceremony on July 26 night.

Almost 4,000 young athletes from 49 countries participated in the largest sporting event ever hosted by Tbilisi.

During the six days of sporting competition, the young athletes hunt for medals in nine sports; artistic gymnastics, athletics, basketball, cycling, handball, judo, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

Meanwhile, for the first time in history the Olympic Flame has entered Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi.

BARCELONA AND SEVILLA SET FOR TBILISI SUPER CUP 

UEFA said Tbilisi was ready for the UEFA Super Cup final match and called Georgia's capital a "friendly city". Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

On August 11 some of the world’s best footballers and international fans descended on Georgia’s capital Tbilisi for the UEFA Super Cup final.

FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC came to Georgia to compete in the second straight all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup.

Finally, FC Barcelona have been crowned European football super champions and have lifted their fifth ever UEFA Super Cup trophy after a thrilling victory in extra time in a nine-goal game at the Boris Paichadze National Stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia tonight.

NATO SECRETARY GENERAL OPENS JOINT TRAINING AND EVALUATION CENTRE IN GEORGIA 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg opens the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre in Georgia on August 27, 2015. Photo from NATO.int.

The year 2015 marked an important moment in the NATO-Georgia relationship.

The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package that was offered to the country last year is beginning to deliver tangible results, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg inaugurated the new Training Centre during his first visit to Tbilisi on August 27.

The Secretary General opened the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre at the Krtsanisi Military Facility, where Georgian troops will train alongside NATO allies and partners.

GEORGIAN BALLERINA WINS PRESTIGIOUS DUTCH AWARD 

Dutch National Ballet first soloist Maia Makhateli is known for her diverse and emphatic performances. Photo by Angela Sterling.

A Georgian ballerina who performs as leading soloist in the Dutch National Ballet has been awarded the top award of 2015 that recognises and praises excellence on stage.

Georgian first soloist Maia Makhateli was awarded the 2015 Alexandra Radius Prize at a gala ceremony yesterday in Amsterdam for her outstanding efforts across several performances last season.

RUGBY WORLD CUP: GEORGIA SCORES HISTORIC TRY AGAINST NEW ZEALAND 

A spirited Georgia lap up a deserved round of applause. Photo from RWC 2015 official Facebook page.

Georgia’s national rugby team made history by scoring a try in their first ever game against current world champions New Zealand in Rugby World Cup game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

The game ended in a 43-10 victory for the All Blacks but the Lelos’ performance against the New Zealand side reignited the "Seven Nations” debate.

DEMNA GVASALIA APPOINTED AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF BALENCIAGA 

Gvasalia’s first collection for Balenciaga is scheduled to be presented during the 2016 Paris Fashion Week in March next year.

A young Georgian designer has been named as the new creative director of Balenciaga, a famous fashion house based in Paris.

Gvasalia is regarded as a prominent up-and-coming talent who was currently behind the underground Paris fashion collective Vetements.

In recent years Gvasalia was part of the famous Martin Margiela’s fashion house where he directed women’s collections through 2009-2012 before he joined Louis Vuitton in 2012.

Gvasalia’s first collection for Balenciaga is scheduled to be presented during the 2016 Paris Fashion Week in March next year.

TBILISI HOSTS FIRST SILK ROAD FORUM 

Georgia's former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili delivered speech at Tbilisi Silk Road Forum. Photo by Irakli Garibashvili/Facebook.

Georgia’s capital Tbilisi hosted the inaugural Silk Road Forum on October 15-13, which was attended by around 1,000 honourable guests from all over the world and ancient Silk Road.

Through this new Silk Road Georgia will link China to Europe with the shortest way that enabled China to transport cargo to Europe. So Georgia will restore its strategic importance as a transportation-infrastructural hub of the region and will create a transit corridor between Europe and Asia.

GEORGIAN WHEELCHAIR FENCER WINS GOLD IN WORLD CUP COMPETITION 

Georgia’s first female wheelchair fencer Irma Khetsuriani has triumphed at the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Paris, France, adding her new gold medal to the silver she won at the World Championships in September.

Her final match against Poland’s Patrycja Hareza was a tough game but Khetsuriani emerged victorious with a score of 15-9.

Before reaching the final the Georgian athlete celebrated a string of victories against contestants from France, Greece, the United Kingdom, Poland and Ukraine during the qualifying stage of competition.

GEORGIA AND CHINA BEGIN TALKS ON FREE TRADE 

Georgia’s former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili with China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Photo by Irakli Garibashvili/Facebook.

Georgia has begun free trade talks with China.

The deal will be extremely beneficial for Georgia as it will facilitate increased business and trade turnover between both nations.

On December 10 the two countries signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) in China where Georgia’s Economy Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili is paying an official visit.

The MoI signing was significant because it signified the official start of negotiations on a Georgia-China free trade deal.

Georgia will be the first country in the region to sign this type of agreement with China.

GEORGIA CELEBRATES POSITIVE VISA LIBERALISATION PROGRESS REPORT 

Government Administration building in Tbilisi on December 18, 2015. Photo by Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Georgia celebrated the release of a positive progress report on Georgia's implementation of its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP).

On December 18, the European Commission released the report that said Georgia met all the benchmarks of the VLAP, meaning in early 2016 the European Union (EU) would propose a legislative amendment to let Georgian citizens travel to the EU visa free.

ALL 28 EU MEMBER COUNTRIES RATIFY GEORGIA-EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT 

Belgium was the final EU state to sign the Georgia-EU deal. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

And finally, the last biggest story of the year 2015 was ratification of Georgia’s Association Agreement(AA) with the European Union (EU).

All 28 member states of the EU have ratified Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU.

Belgium was the final EU state to sign the Georgia-EU deal. Through this step, the Georgia-EU AA ratification process was completed.

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