Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at DFC Adjara Group Signing Event

Question about the event

Ambassador Degnan: Today we are celebrating another milestone in the Georgia-U.S. economic partnership with the investment by the United States Development Finance Corporation of 8.6 million dollars to help build the new Adjara Abastumani Rooms hotel. This is a very exciting project in the Samtskhe Javakheti region. We expect that this project, which is an eco-friendly hotel, will generate almost 300 good jobs in the region, attract about $3.5 million in additional investments and generate close to $2.5 million in annual sales and revenue. That is a big stimulus for the Samtskhe Javakheti region. I was just in Samtskhe Javakheti last week. It is a beautiful part of Georgia and there are a lot of really entrepreneurial businesspeople, who will have a chance to see their businesses grow and who will see more good jobs coming out to the region as a result of projects like this. The United States for 30 years has been investing in the economic development of Georgia through the Development Finance Corporation and others. DFC has invested over $800 million in Georgian projects, but many of them have been here in Tbilisi. This Abastumani Rooms hotel will be one of the first out in the region, and we’re very excited about that. It’s also a project that has involved USAID contributions, so it’s a great example, not only of Georgia-U.S. partnership, but of DFC, USAID, and the US Embassy working together to support Georgia’s economic development. I look forward to staying in this new hotel in 2024 when it opens up, and we will continue to work with Georgia to create new jobs and stimulate the economy.

Question about judicial study tours

Ambassador Degnan:  I’ve had the privilege of meeting with a lot of Georgia’s judges at all of the levels of courts over the last year or so in the time I’ve been here, including in the regions. I have heard from all of them about their exchanges with the United States, the study visits, and the trainings here. We bring American judges here for these judges to exchange best practices and lessons learned. What I have heard from all of them is that they would be interested in more study visits, more training, more of these kinds of exchanges because it’s so valuable when judges come together and share what works well in their courtrooms, how they’ve dealt with different challenges, and it’s just a very rich exchange of views. So, our impression is that this training and these exchanges have been very well received, have contributed greatly to the effort to modernize Georgia’s judicial system. That is what the United States has been doing for many years. Georgia has seen some important progress in improving efficiency in the operation of its judiciary. What is needed now is to continue that work. It’s clear from the 12 priorities that the EU has laid out. This is the same work that has been on Georgia’s agenda for some time, and the United States is very proud to be able to support Georgia’s judges in their efforts to improve the operation and the efficiency of their courtrooms and their ability to administer the law based on the evidence that is in front of them, and without interference.