The Economist Conferences: Talking critically not promotionally
Author: By Tamar Khurtsia
Q&A with Dougal Thomson, Chairman of the Tbilisi Summit and Program Director of the Economist Conferences
To explore Georgia’s potential as a market economy and to uncover the realities of doing businesses and investing, particularly from the perspective of an international investor, the Economist Conferences, the conference arm of The Economist newspaper held their Tbilisi Summit at the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel on November 17.
Dougal Thomson, Chairman of the Tbilisi Summit and Program Director of the Economist Conferences says that the event is all about talking “openly and honestly” about Georgia as a market, and as a way to provide the audience of investors with the insight they need to decide if Georgia is the right choice for them.
Having more than ten years experience in organizing high-level forums on various issues, Thomson is a passionate advocate of the power of debate to generate insight and adding value. He produces the Economist Conferences’ events in continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa in his role as head of conference programs for the Economist Group, which he joined in 2007.
Georgia Today, the official publication of the Summit, had a special opportunity to interview Thomson a day before the Tbilisi Summit and to ask him a few questions regarding their visit to Tbilisi.
Q: What was the main vision behind holding the Economists Conference – The Tbilisi Summit in Georgia?
A: With the Tbilisi Summit in Georgia we want to help investors take better decisions. We would like to understand the potential of the Georgian market and the realities of doing business here. At the Tbilisi Summit, the investors decide whether they will invest in one country or not. Currently, investors are mainly interested in emerging markets like Georgia, but we are not here to tell people to invest in Georgia. We are here to talk openly, honestly and critically about the potential of Georgia’s economy and what can be done to improve the competitiveness of the country. If we can make Georgia more attractive for foreign investors by the end of the summit, our aim will be achieved.