The Diaspora Conference & Job Fair ‘Building Bridges – Georgian Diaspora for Development’ which took place in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on 11 and 12 March provided the unique opportunity for sharing experiences and thoughts on diaspora engagement among the Georgian diaspora and Georgian state institutions mandated to deal with diaspora issues and elaborate on potential modes for further cooperation. IOM the Netherlands Chief of Mission Martin Wyss addressed the audience and participated in the panel discussion.
Underlining the importance of the topic of diaspora engagement in Georgia’s political discourse, the event was attended by a high-ranking delegation from Georgia, including but not limited to the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues, Mr. Gela Dumbadze, the Ambassador of Georgia in Germany Prof. Dr. Lado Chanturia and Ms. Nino Kobakhidze, deputy head of the Administration of the Government of Georgia. The audience was complemented by representatives of 18 different Georgian migrant organizations from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czech Republic, as well as Georgian employers representing public and private sector organizations.
The role of the engagement of Diaspora in the development of Georgia was underlined by the state officials presented at the conference. The State Minister for Diaspora Issues noted in his welcoming speech that “Unity is what makes us stronger – good communication and active dialogue will help us to build the bridge” - highlighting the need to strengthen the dialogue between the diaspora and the Georgian state and the importance of such events.
The market-place setting of the job fair on the second day of the event enabled direct exchange between Georgians residing in Germany and employers from Georgia, representing private & public sector organizations ranging from tourism, hospitality, agriculture and higher education to the health care sector. By doing so members of the Georgian diaspora were able to get concrete insights into opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship in Georgia.
The event is a part of a project “Strengthening the Development Potential of the EU Mobility Partnership in Georgia through Targeted Circular Migration and Diaspora Mobilization” funded by the European Union and co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).