On March 12 ISET hosted a presentation by Jean Marc Stavroulakis, Country Finance Manager of Carrefour Georgia, and Petr Dlouhy, Merchandise Manager of the Fresh Division of Carrefour. The main points of the presentation were Carrefour’s market strategy to overcome existing socio-economic obstacles to the development effective value chains in the Georgian agricultural sector for 2014.

Carrefour, one of the largest French hypermarket chains and the second largest retailer in the world, started operating in Georgia in 2012. The major strategy of the company is to provide high quality products at lower prices that correspond to local demand. The best strategic suppliers in terms of quality, price and demand are considered to be the local producers of organic products.

Eric Livny, Director of ISET, served as a keynote speaker at the Israeli-Georgian business forum, "Georgia Gateway," that was organized by Israel Gateway and the Embassy of Israel on March 12, 2014. The forum was officially opened by Irakli Gharibashvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Irakli Kovzanadze, the CEO of The Partnership Fund, and Lasha Zhvania, former Georgian ambassador to Israel and Minister of Economy. Conducted for the second consecutive year, the forum brought together Georgian and Israeli Hi-Tech businesses in the communication and IT sectors together with colleagues from the Partnership Fund and other relevant Georgian government agencies.

On December 12, Dr. Azar Abizade of the School of Business at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy held a seminar at ISET about flight rescheduling problems and the incentives for airlines to report their preferences. Research into this problem was conducted according to mechanism design and matching theory.

Airports schedule landing slots far in advance of their actual execution, but sometimes due to bad weather or other extreme conditions the schedule becomes inefficient or unfeasible. Some flights are canceled and some are delayed. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aim is to implement a mechanism which will automatically reassign slots to flights based on the information reported by the airlines.

On February 25, 2014, ISET hosted Dr. Sergei Izmalkov of the Moscow New Economic School. Dr. Izmalkov, who works with the most popular Russian search engine, Yandex, presented a paper he coauthored with Dmitry Arkhanglesky, Dilyara Khakimova and Sergey Lyashenko, titled: “On evaluation of click through rates and conversion rates of different positions in sponsored search auctions”.

At the beginning of his presentation Dr. Izmalkov introduced the problem of advertisement allocation. Using the examples of the most popular search engines, he explained how advertisements are generally distributed and how the payment for those is defined. Payment is proportional to the number of clicks a link gets, through the search results that the advertisement will appear on is decided by auction.

On December 5, ISET hosted Levan Akhvlediani, General Manager of Kagri Limited, who delivered a seminar on physical commodity trading, which takes place around the world. According to Mr. Akhvlediani, being a trader is a very demanding job that carries high risk, but at the same time is very interesting. For any successful trader the key factors are knowing information about the market and understanding market opportunities. The law of trade (as for most businesses) is - “buy low, sell high”.

The seminar nicely combined Mr. Akhvlediani’s own success stories with the theories of physical commodity trading. At the beginning of the presentation he introduced the Incoterms (EXW, FCA, FOB, CFR and CIF) that define how the obligations of delivery are split among buyers and sellers and are always included in the terms of delivery.

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