Ambassador Norland cuts ribbon at newest Wendy’s (May 13)

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On May 13, Ambassador Richard Norland helped cut the ribbon to open Wendy’s newest restaurant in Georgia — located on Aghmashenebeli Avenue near the Embassy in Tbilisi.  Wendy’s arrival and expansion in Georgia is the product of the Wissol Group’s partnership with the U.S. Overseas Private Development Corporation (OPIC) that provided $18.9 million in start-up financing.

Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.  Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses expand into emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs, and growth opportunities, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Ambassador Norland’s comment on the sidelines of the Wendy’s opening

Question about NDI’s recent polls

Ambassador Norland: For many years, NDI and IRI and other respected polling organizations have conducted polls in Georgia at the request of the political parties as one tool in helping those parties to develop.  It’s interesting to study the results of the latest polls.  I have not fully studied them myself but I am looking forward to it.  I think it’s important to recognize that such polls are just one tool in evaluating any given situation.  I mean, look at the recent polls in England.  They got it completely wrong in evaluating and predicting the outcome of the British elections.  But NDI is a serious polling organization and I think one idea that comes out of these polls is that, like everybody, people are concerned about the direction of the economy and how to help Georgia’s economy move forward at a time when every country in the region, including Georgia, is struggling to get its economy in good shape.  So, this is something that we work on together with Georgia.  Today’s event here at Wendy’s is just another example of our efforts to work with the Georgian authorities, and the Georgian people and the business community to help get the economy on track.