Natia Turnava, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, met with the US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly C. Degnan, to discuss the bilateral trade and economic relations.
Deputy Ministers Genadi Arveladze and Davit Tvalabeishvili also attended the meeting.
The Minister highlighted the fact that the United States has always been and still remains Georgia’s most important strategic partner as well as the one of the main investor countries - the investments from the US were increased by 34% in the first quarter of 2020 and is the second largest investor with 17% share. Turnava also noted that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the volume of the investments from the United States has increased.
The focus also felt on the US assistance to Georgia over many years and projects in various fields. The meeting highlighted the Strategic Partnership Charter between Georgia and the United States, which raised the quality of relations between Georgia and the United States to a qualitatively new level of strategic alliance. A meeting of the Charter Commission’s Economic, Trade and Energy Working Group was scheduled for May 18, 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was postponed. The pandemic was also the reason for the cancelation of the US Trade Representation (USTR) mission visit to Georgia scheduled for June 2020. Natia Turnava expressed hope that considering the importance of these meetings, it will be possible to organize them in the nearest future.
Holding od the so-called High Level Trade and Investment Dialogue (HLTID) meeting at the USTR leadership level in the nearest future was also discussed. 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. Natia 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 increasing the interest in our strategic sectors.
Georgia’s readiness to be actively involved in the initiative, Economic Prosperity Network announced by the US President in the spring of this year. The network will further deepen economic cooperation, which includes the recovery of the global economy 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 will be responsible for protection and supervision of all working conditions and rights.
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