Georgia and the United States (US) are tightening their trade and investment ties.
Yesterday Georgia's Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met US Trade Representative Michael Froman.
The pair discussed their shared interest in further strengthening bilateral trade and investment, and directed that the US-Georgia High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment (HLTD) support this effort by discussing options for building trade and investment ties, including the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement.
Ambassador Froman and Vice PM Kvirikashvili announced endorsement of the Georgia-US "Statement of Principles for International Investment” and "Trade Principles for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services”.
The Principles for International Investment was a statement of the US and Georgia’s continued commitment to adopting and maintaining a policy environment that enabled and encouraged international investment, in light of the significant benefits such investment generated for all economies.
The Principles called for an open and non-discriminatory investment regime, strong protection for foreign investment, transparency and public participation in the development of laws and regulations, and a level competitive playing field.
The endorsement of the ICT Principles demonstrated the US and Georgia’s shared commitment to a sector that was having a transformative effect on the global economy.
Adoption of the ICT Principles will support the global development of ICT services, including Internet and other network-based applications that are critical to innovative e-commerce,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said after the meeting.
The Principles addressed issues such as the free flow of information across borders, facilitating the cross-border supply of services and foreign investment in ICT sectors.
Assistant US Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East L. Daniel Mullaney and Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze continued to co-chair the second meeting of the US-Georgia HLTD, providing an overview of the US and Georgian trade policies and ongoing legislative and regulatory changes in Georgia, particularly in areas such as technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property rights, government procurement, and trade facilitation.
The officials also discussed the ongoing Generalised System of Preferences review of worker rights in Georgia, as well as possible opportunities to increase engagement with the US and Georgian private sectors.
The pair agreed to continue earlier discussions between technical experts and to continue to work together to explore options for deepening trade and investment ties.