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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 23
By Lizi Zurabiani

US House of Representatives considering bipartisan act in support of Georgia

The US House of Representatives is considering a bipartisan "Georgia Support Act," presented by co-chairs of the Georgia Friends of Congress, Jerry Connolly (Democrat-Virginia) and Adam Kinsinger (Republican-Illinois), which has about 30 co-sponsors from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Prior to consideration in the House of Representatives, the bill was unanimously adopted by several congressional committees, including the Foreign Relations, Legal Affairs, and Revenue Committees.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the bipartisan bill underscores US strong support for Georgia's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and proposes sanctions against human rights abusers on the occupied territories of Georgia. The bill pays particular attention to US-Georgia defense and security cooperation, strengthening Georgia's defense capability, and instructs the Secretary of State, along with relevant agencies, to present a five-year strategy for cooperation with Georgia. The bill calls on Congress to take effective steps to negotiate a free trade agreement between Georgia and the United States.

The bill supports US congressmen and underscores the development of democratic values in Georgia, including free and fair elections, public sector transparency and accountability, the rule of law and anti-corruption efforts in the country.

The congressmen support Georgia's Euro-Atlantic and European integration and propose to further strengthen US-Georgian relations in defense and security and move to a new stage. The bill supports the right of Georgian citizens to freely determine their future and freely choose their country's foreign and security policies, including relations with other countries or international organizations, without interference, intimidation or violence by another country.

According to the bill, the US policy should be - in consultation with Georgia, to enhance Georgia's capability of threat prevention, resistance, and self-defense, including through appropriate US assistance to the Georgian Armed Forces.

BBC’s chief business correspondent comments on Georgia’s future prospects

You have the law, you have the infrastructure and the human capital; If you follow this path, Georgia will be the leader of the Caucasus in 15 years, - the BBC's chief business correspondent, Joe Lynam, told Georgian media.

Lynam arrived in Georgia within the framework of the Silk Road Forum and led one of the panels. After the panel, the BBC journalist answered questions about Georgia's competitiveness, international ratings and prospects for development.

He said that positively positioning Georgia in international rankings (ease of doing business; Global Competitiveness Rating of the World Economic Forum) is a good way to gain investor’s trust.

“Such ratings are a pretty good opportunity. People need confidence to invest. They need knowledge of the law. They need to know that if they have a dispute with someone, the law will be fair to them. This is very important for international business. That is why investments come to Georgia. You have the law, you have the infrastructure and the human capital. If you follow this path, Georgia will be the leader of the Caucasus in 15 years,” Aaron Hesselherst said.

He compared Georgia to Ireland, saying that Georgia could catch up with the EU's leading economies.

“I think the Silk Road Forum is crucial to Georgia's future success. However, I would like to compare Georgia to my homeland - the Republic of Ireland. When I was born, just a few years ago, Ireland was the poorest country in Western Europe. Then, joining the EU, it expanded its prospects for infrastructure development and population training, and now Ireland is the second richest country in the EU. Only Luxembourg is richer. I think Georgia can follow this path too. With this particular conference, Georgia is moving forward and the forum - this is the place that brings people together. People do business with people, not companies, and if you bring people from 60 countries together, they will do business together,” he said.

However, according to Joe Lynam, today he learned that there are direct flights from Kutaisi to London. He said he would be delighted if British Airlines would also start direct flights.

Giorgi Gakharia meets Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia met with the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladislav Krikl. At the meeting, the two countries discussed relations in different fields. The Prime Minister's press service reports about it.

According to them, it was emphasized that Georgia and Ukraine are close partners of each other. The focus was on the mutual support that exists between the countries, both bilaterally and internationally, and on the support for territorial integrity and sovereignty. At the meeting, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine talked about the ongoing reforms in the field of infrastructure in Ukraine and the privatization process.