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U.S. and Georgia Convene High-Level Dialogue to Discuss Strengthening Bilateral Trade and Investment Relations

05/29/2012

Washington, D.C. – The U.S.-Georgia High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment met today, convened by Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro, and Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia Tamar Kovziridze. The officials discussed a range of options for increasing bilateral trade and investment, including the possibility of a free trade agreement, an updated investment agreement, and other measures that could facilitate trade and investment.

In seeking to identify possible initiatives to give businesses the confidence they need to invest in Georgia and to increase bilateral trade, particularly initiatives that can yield near-term benefits in Georgia, the officials discussed a range of approaches, including the new U.S. model Bilateral Investment Treaty, accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, and the high standards and requirements of U.S. trade agreements. Other issues such as trade and customs facilitation, good regulatory practices, transparency, and support for small-and medium-sized businesses were also discussed. In addition, officials explored opportunities for private sector groups to provide input on concrete steps to increase trade and investment between the two countries.

“We had a very productive and constructive discussion today on all of these questions,” said Ambassador Sapiro. “Our teams look forward to continuing to work together to explore concrete ways to boost our trade and investment with Georgia.”

The High-Level Dialogue followed up on the January 30th, 2012 meeting between President Obama and Georgian President Saakashvili, and the April 20th, 2012 meeting between United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Georgian Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri.