Comments made to the media during the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum by visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews (October 15)

It’s a great honor to be here, to be able to be part of this forum and to join Ambassador Kelly and his team in the work they do here every day.  From the United States’ perspective Georgia is both a great friend and a great partner, and we look forward to finding opportunities to work together for economic development.  I think American companies are interested in Georgia for several reasons.  One is the great work Georgia has done in the ease of doing business, in really making Georgia a good place to do business and one where corruption has been fought against aggressively and created an open market situation. There are a number of American companies that are interested in different opportunities.  I think particularly as Georgia positions itself as a regional logistics hub there will be a number of interesting opportunities, and we are excited to help American companies to explore those opportunities.  For example, we recently brought a certified trade mission of over thirty companies to meet with both government and Georgian potential business partners and we think that American companies are definitely interested in the potential opportunities they see here in Georgia.

Question about specific investments planned for the future

I can’t speak to specifics but I know that there are some American investors who have already made investments, and I know there are others that are considering investments now.  So there are not specific ones I can speak to at this moment.  I prefer to let the companies speak to those, but I do know of a number of companies who are interested in exploring opportunities in this market.

Question about Georgia’s economic challenges

I think a number of regions are facing an economic slowdown, and [it is] one of the challenges of being a crossroads …  There is a benefit to being between so many different countries and regions, but also when those economies slow it also has an impact on countries.  First of all having the regional and the global economy stronger will be better, but much like many countries in a world where capital is mobile and companies continue to look at the business climate I think continuing to improve on that, continuing to have open processes, continuing to develop opportunities and making them open to all parties is very important.  I do want to make a point that the Unites States is very committed to a prosperous and stable Georgia and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Georgia to achieve those ends.  Thank  you so much for having us here today.