Mr. Herscowitz: This has been a fantastic event that’s highlighting over 30 years of collaboration between the United States and Georgia, but really our support for Georgian businesses to be part of the growth trajectory of the country. OPIC, USAID, and now the Development Finance Corporation are now looking at making even more investments than we’ve done in the past. We’ve done $800 million of investments to date this week alone. We’re signing several financing agreements, including for the Port of Poti, which will ultimately enable Georgia to export millions of tons of fertilizer and grains all over the world to help address the global food security crisis, which has been brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
What are the main sectors and industries that are of interest DFC in Georgia?
Mr. Herscowitz: So, DFC works across all sectors, but what’s important is that we make sure that our financing is benefiting all the people in the country. It’s not just supporting the business owners, but making sure that every deal is structured to have a development impact on people who work for those businesses, making sure that we’ve got good jobs for women that people who are working outside of the capital also benefit from our investments. We’re working in healthcare, we’re working in agriculture. We’re hoping to do more in energy as well. There’s tremendous potential in this country for clean energy. In fact, Georgia is blessed with tremendous hydro resources that not all countries are blessed with. What hydropower does, which a lot of people don’t realize, is it almost serves as a battery that allows other types of renewable energy to be developed: wind and solar, for example. Wind and solar are great, but they’re great when the wind is blowing and when the sun is shining, and you need that backup power, and that’s what hydropower offers. Most countries don’t have those types of resources. This enables Georgia actually to provide enough power, not just for the country itself, but to export power to other countries in Europe as well. We’re hoping that moving forward, the US government, through DFC and USAID, will be able to be part of that growth story.