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The American Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Meets with US National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton

Friday, October 26, 2018

The American Chamber of Commerce, Georgia met with US National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton, today to discuss US-Georgia Political, Security and Commercial Relations.

Ambassador Bolton, and his team from the Georgian National Security Council, as well as US-Georgia Charges D’Affaires Elizabeth Rood met with AmCham President, R Michael Cowgill, First Vice President Sarah Williamson, Vice President and Treasurer Irakli Baidashvili, Chris Schleuter, Country Manager for Georgia, BP, Badri Japaridze, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TBC Bank, Samson Pkhakadze, President, Wissol Group, Juan-Carlos Escobar, Regional Manager of Caucasus and Moldova of Phillip Morris International and Lasha Janelidze, Managing Partner of PwC, Georgia.

The group discussed a wide range of issues, particularly highlighting that Georgia is America’s strongest and most stable ally in the region and a key US-strategic partner. Further, US support for Georgia, continues to be vital, as it faces regional challenges, particularly from Russia. It was agreed by all sides that this mutual support has not waned through successive Georgian and American administrations, and both sides agreed that continued efforts to expand and deepen the relationship is beneficial.

AmCham also reiterated the importance of a US-Georgia Free Trade Agreement, highlighting the many ways in which this would be to the advantage to both Georgia and America. In particular, it was agreed that strengthening commercial ties between the two countries could further strengthen the security relationship – and that American companies could benefit from greater access to Georgia – both to participate in large infrastructure contracts, and as a more efficient route into the wider region.

Anaklia Deep Sea Port was also discussed. Its value was highlighted as an opportunity for US companies; to participate and invest; as a strategic asset at the Western end of the Silk Road; and as a key component of Georgia’s growth strategy. The geopolitical and energy security aspects of the BTC and SCP pipelines were also mentioned, especially the strategic benefits of the expanded Southern Gas Corridor.

The two sides also discussed the political and business environment in Georgia and AmCham stressed that while there continues to be challenges, there have been continuous improvements over the last 15 years. There was a mutual agreement from both sides to continue to engage in constructive dialogue and to work to strengthen the economic and security ties between US and Georgia.

[photos of the event (1)]

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