Featured Trade Event
Commerce Event Bolsters Georgia Trade and Investment Ties
by Ellen House
John J. Sullivan, deputy secretary of commerce, delivered a message of support and friendship to the Republic of Georgia at the Georgia Business Summit in Tbilisi on October 27, 2008. Sullivan led a delegation of senior U.S. officials to the event, and he participated in an 18-member Department of Commerce–certified trade mission. The summit and trade mission were aimed at strengthening investor confidence in Georgia and increasing bilateral commercial ties following the August invasion by Russia.
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|John J. Sullivan, deputy secretary of commerce (center), joins Robert Mosbacher, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (left), and Larry Walther, director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (right), at the Georgia Business Summit in Tbilisi on October 28, 2008. (photo courtesy of American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia)
“This summit is about the unbreakable ties between our two countries,” Sullivan noted in his opening remarks.
Event speakers highlighted U.S. resources for expanding trade and investment with Georgia and opportunities in the country’s growth sectors for some 200 summit attendees. Attendees included a large cross-section of local companies and government officials, as well as U.S. company representatives and the members of the U.S. trade mission.
Robert Mosbacher, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (www.opic.gov), announced $176 million in new financing for seven new projects in Georgia, and the agency signed agreements for some of the projects at the meeting.
The trade mission, which was organized by the America–Georgia Business Council (www.agbdc.com) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia (www.amcham.ge), included companies in the communications, infrastructure, energy, finance, and medical sectors. More than 155 one-on-one meetings were arranged between the participating companies and potential Georgian partners, as well as discussions with Georgian government officials. On October 28, 2008, one of the trade mission participants, Doheny Global Group in New York, signed a letter of intent with the Georgian Ministry of Energy to invest $150 million to $175 million in developing four to six hydropower sites.
The Commerce Department will continue to support a variety of initiatives to facilitate trade and investment with Georgia.
Ellen House is an international trade specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit.