Ambassador Kelly’s Remarks to Media at U.S. Trade Mission Opening (October 19)
Q-n about the event
Ambassador Kelly: This is a part of our overall program of support for the government’s plan to increase trade investment, and of course, it is a part of our overall plan to support the Georgian government’s stated aspirations to integrate with the Western community. This is a very important pillar in that overall program of support, which includes security cooperation and developmental assistance, so this is an important event. I think it is a real sign that there is interest in increasing trade and investment in Georgia. I am very pleased that the Prime Minister will be receiving us right after this event here.
Q-n: Is Georgia as a market attractive for American businesses and in which spheres?
Ambassador Kelly: We have a Trade Mission of 12 companies here that are interested in forming partnerships and looking into investments here in Georgia. The broad spectrum of companies is indicative of the potential that American companies see in Georgia. There is interest across all the business sectors. But again, this is just part of our overall attempt to raise awareness about the Georgian market, about how open Georgia is to investment and partnerships and the ease of doing business here, and I don’t think you have to take my word for it. There are international rankings that rank Georgia very high in that regard. I think that really the next step, besides following up on some of the interest here, will be a return visit to the United States of Georgian companies. We are looking forward to the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Economy facilitating that.
Q-n: how would you asses the pre-election environment?
Ambassador Kelly: Overall, we are very pleased with the pre-election environment. I don’t think we have any real concerns about anything in what looks to be a very well contested election or set of elections, I should say. We are in very close contact with the very large number of international observers over here from OSCE, NDI, and IRI. I am very pleased that the Prime Minister has set the tone from the very top that this must be a free and fair election with no doubt at all that it will be free and fair. I think that is exactly the kind of message that the Prime Minister should send and no one should cast any doubt on the legitimacy of this election, and we have no reason to believe that there will be doubt. Again, we will be in close contact with observers here.