Georgia Makes push for U.S. investment

By Victoria Guida
2 November 2015

POLITICO Morning Trade

Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili is in town for a long weekend to meet with Froman, members of Congress and other U.S. government and private sector officials to push for more investment in his country. The visit seems to be part of an aggressive push toward the “ultimate goal” of a free trade agreement with the U.S., as Kvirikashvili put it in an interview with POLITICO, but “not tomorrow” because the two countries must first deepen their economic relationship more.

Beginning next year, Georgia will conduct a “roadshow” to attract investment. In particular, the country is seeking to attract skiing-related companies to help develop its burgeoning ski resort industry. The minister also asked USTR to conduct a mission to review reforms made by the Georgian government, such as on technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and standardization.

Kvirikashvili met with Hatch and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn about trade and security issues on Friday, as well as attending the launch of the House Friends of Georgia Caucus. He said all the members of Congress he spoke with were “very supportive” of the idea of an eventual bilateral FTA. He said the former Soviet state could also theoretically try to join TTIP at some point. “That’s another scenario that we may pursue in the future. ... We had this discussion also with the USTR,” he said.