Natia Turnava, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, met with the US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan, during which bilateral trade and economic relations were discussed. The Minister stressed that the United States has always been and remains one of the main investing countries, from which investments in Georgia increased by 34% in the first quarter of 2020 and ranked second among the largest investor countries with 17%. She said that despite the pandemic of Covid-19, the volume of investment from the United States has increased.
Despite the pandemic, FDI from the U.S. rose by 34% in Q1
By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, June 24
Meeting also focused on US assistance to Georgia over many years and projects in various fields. Sides talked about the so-called Holding a high-level trade and investment dialogue (HLTID) meeting at the USTR leadership level in the near future. It was noted that with the support of the US Department of Commerce, it was planned to organize another targeted trade mission in Georgia in April 2020. Turnava expressed her desire to pay a visit to the mission this year as well, which will facilitate the arrival of American companies in Georgia and interest in our strategic sectors.
Georgia's readiness to be actively involved in the initiative announced by the US President in the spring of this year was underlined as well. It’s the Economic Prosperity Network, which will further deepen economic cooperation, which includes global economic recovery in the areas of digital business, energy, infrastructure, trade, education or research. The creation of this network includes the so-called Establish an Alliance of Trusted Partners, which will include representatives of private companies and civil society from various countries.
The Minister also briefed the US Ambassador on the package of legislative changes in terms of working conditions and rights, which includes a draft law on labor inspection and the establishment of an independent LEPL Labor Inspection Service in Georgia. It was noted that the agency's mandate will be to protect and supervise all working conditions and rights.
“Our cooperation covers many areas, which already contributes to the development of the Georgian economy. Our goal is to help Georgia ensure prosperity in all regions of the country,” said Ambassador Deganan after the meeting. She emphasized the importance of ‘extensive programs in the fields of energy, small and medium production, agriculture and the maritime sector.’
“We are working closely with the Minister and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, and we look forward to further expanding our cooperation to attract more American investment to Georgia,” Degnan announced.
One of the issues discussed at the meeting was the future cooperation with the American side in the Georgian mining sector. The talks focused on preliminary studies in the sector to determine the potential of minerals and mineral resources in the country, which in turn will help to invest in the sector, including US investment.
“A memorandum of understanding will be signed soon and we, with the help of the United States, will have detailed geological information to attract more investors in the mining sector, including from the United States,” Turnava noted. The US Ambassador to Georgia confirmed that the implementation of this project will have her support.