Friday, January 14, 2011

Trade with Georgia: devious dealings

Devious dealings!!!
A Georgian-Armenian tourist writes, "there is much less sleaze here in Turkey in business than in Georgia.  It is not even comparable.  On the flight here to Istanbul, first layover, for Izmir, someone in first class left a Turkish Business Journal in English, like Forbes, and I scooped it up, read most of it in the two hour flight.
Turkey exports 200,000 tons of hazelnuts annually.  And here in the streets the walnuts cost $6 a kilo, not $10 like in Georgia. Turkey's economy is in the fast track, neck to neck with China's growth. I have seen quite a few Chinese businessmen here wrapping up deals. But no Chinese tourists though.
Truck and auto manufacturing, pharmaceuticals [Viagra is $6 dollars for a double hit here, not $10 like in Georgia], ships and yachts, iron and steel is booming [their imports of scrap metal from Georgia don't amount to anything on their ledger, as most of that is exported off the books.
They had a map of the world of export recipient countries, across the board, all products.  Georgia is so slender for their imports, it was not even on the map.  Azerbaijan was, and this means that all products, or nearly all, of Turkish origin, in
Georgia, are brought in by Georgian mafia privately, from a Georgian walking around here like me, and with friends at the border with Georgian customs, Batumi, to wave them through.  That explains the paucity of good products in Georgia, from Turkey, and why the prices are jacked up double or  triple.  nearly none of the imports are official on the Georgian side.
I have lost all faith in Georgian business or tourism from what I have learned here in two full days.  Tomorrow I take tours to all the outer temples and altars and holy sites.  ancient archaeology, etc.  sunday too. Monday I will just wind down back in Izmir, and shop for things that are only low grade and super expensive in Georgia, that I need, so I don't even have to look for shit in Tbilisi.  shoes, pants, electronics, etc.
One good thing about Georgia. because they have no business skills or aptitude, they feel it is below them, they don't hassle you for trade, like here.  turkey is honest but the salesmen bark at you from every door, even restaurants, you cannot even walk by without making a negotiation, just to get away from them, even if you are not a buyer.
he Georgian National Investment Agency - a governmental agency.
Here there is life, I am now in Izmir, Turkey, not for the splendid beaches, it is the wrong time of year, but for getting my feet into the old Aegean Sea history, a mix of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish and Greek, Byzantine  and Macedonian.
It is very interesting to think here WHAT is a Georgian, standing in these streets here, and also what is a Greek and what is a  Muslim Ottoman? Here they are all almost the same.  Some women are very beautiful here, a 4000 year old mix of Greek, Persian, Macedonian, Turkish, Ottoman, and Armenia -  a slow interbreeding.
Mary, mother of Jesus, lived her final years nearby, and Ataturk, the X modern powerful leader of Turkey that pulled them out of Greek occupation in 1920 or so [burning down 70 percent of the city], was raised as a  child in the little hotel I am living in, the ANTIK HAN HOTEL, in an old part of town [3.8 million here], next to the huge Turkish bazaar.
There are many one and two hour excursions from here, maybe more historic than Israel and Jerusalem. The original city of Philadelphia is nearby, and the temples of Artemis [one of the 7 wonders of the world], the temple of Ephesus, temple of Pergamon, temple of Athena, temple of Trojans, temple of Dionysus and Athena, the steepest ancient outdoor theater ever, and the SEVEN CHURCHES OF THE APOCALYPSE [the main churches noted in the Bible, think  2012].  I need to drink a licorice flavored Turkish Rakia to remember more after so much photo editing and down loading.  Oh, the altar of Zeus is nearby too. This area here is where the 12 main cities of the Ionian Empire existed [500s BC]."


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