Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Michael Froman met on Friday in Washington with Georgian Vice Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. They discussed their shared interest in further strengthening bilateral trade and investment and directed that the U.S.-Georgia High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment support this effort by discussing options for building trade and investment ties, including the possibility of a free trade agreement. Ambassador Froman and Vice Prime Minister Kvirikashvili announced endorsement of the Georgia-United States “Statement of Principles for International Investment” and “Trade Principles for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services.”
The Principles for International Investment are a statement of the United States’ and Georgia’s continued commitment to adopting and maintaining a policy environment that enables and encourages international investment, in light of the significant benefits such investment generates for all economies. The Principles call for an open and non-discriminatory investment regime, strong protection for foreign investment, transparency and public participation in the development of laws and regulations, and a level competitive playing field.
The endorsement of the ICT Principles demonstrates the United States’ and Georgia’s shared commitment to a sector that is having a transformative effect on the global economy. Adoption of the ICT Principles will support the global development of ICT services, including Internet and other network-based applications that are critical to innovative e-commerce. The Principles address issues such as the free flow of information across borders; facilitating the cross-border supply of services; and foreign investment in ICT sectors.
Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East L. Daniel Mullaney and Georgian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze continued to co-chair the second meeting of the U.S.-Georgia High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment, providing an overview of U.S. and Georgian trade policies and ongoing legislative and regulatory changes in Georgia, particularly in areas such as technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property rights, government procurement, and trade facilitation. The officials also discussed the ongoing Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) review of worker rights in Georgia, as well as possible opportunities to increase engagement with the U.S. and Georgian private sectors. The officials agreed to continue earlier discussions between technical experts and to continue to work together to explore options for deepening trade and investment ties.