Condolence letter to the memory of Kote Zaldastanishvili

Condolence letter of Howard Chase, founding Chairman of the EU-Georgia Business Council, on behalf of the founders, friends and associates of this organization, to the memory of first EUGBC Secretary General, Kote Zaldastanishvili:

“I was greatly honored to become the founding Chairman of the EU Georgia Business Council (EUGBC) formed in Brussels in 2005. Our first Secretary General was Kote Zaldstanishvili, previously the distinguished Georgian Ambassador to the EU. Our aim was to promote trade and investment between the EU and Georgia, and to help make Georgia more familiar to the EU institutions and key stakeholders.
Kote Zaldanstanishvili and I first met when we has Georgian Ambassador to the EU and I was head of BP’s Brussels office. In the first year for two we spoke German more than English (Kote was an accomplished German speaker) but his English skills very quickly and characteristically reached the same high level of proficiency.

I can only say that Kote was a formidable first Secretary General of the EUGBC. He knew everybody in the Brussels diplomatic corridors but was also deeply knowledgeable about trade and investment, and quickly understood the policy issues of importance for his business members. He worked tirelessly and
successfully to sustain the membership and financial viability of the organisation. A series of successful Board meetings and high-level visit programmes, in both Brussels and Tbilisi, did much to promote business collaboration in both directions. And most importantly, this work made a substantial contribution to the eventual introduction of visa free travel between Georgia and the Schengen area and to the EU-Georgia Deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCTFA).
These are accomplishments enough and only added to Kote’s achievements for his country. Yet those who had the privilege to get to know him and his wonderful family have so much more to remember. Georgian hospitality is legendary and Kote was a legend of Georgian hospitality. There were wonderful meals around the family table … only mention Khachapuri and Pkhali, Khinkali and Lobio, Kote’s amazing own-recipe Mtsvadi open-flame barbeques, or one of Tamar’s extraordinary dessert cakes and the memories will come flooding back. And of course no mention of Georgia is complete without wine, and there was Saperavi, Mukuzani and Rkatsiteli in abundance, not to mention the dreaded Chacha, home distilled to unbelievable proof strengths, for rounding off the evening of many an unsuspecting traveler. Memorable visits to Khaketi and Borjomi and the endlessly breathtaking high Caucasus only added to the indelible memories of this beautiful country.
Problems are there to be solved and Kote was a problem solver like no other, but he also reminded us always to enjoy and appreciate friendship and loyalty and good times spent together. He will be deeply and sadly missed by his family and by us all. On behalf of Howard Chase, Olivera Drazic, Geir Westgaard,
Arve Thorvik, David Glendenning, Hugh McDowell, Emmanuel Haton, Tamar Gugulashvili, Tatia Julakidze, Lali Japaridze and all of the founders, friends and associates of the EUGBC, we will always treasure and honour the work and the times we shared together”.

Mr. Howard Chase

Director Government Affairs, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, The Dow Chemical Company
Chairman EUGBC from 2005 to 2012