Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at American-Georgian Business Council Event

Question about the event

Ambassador Degnan: I am very pleased to be here for the 25th Annual Conference of the Georgian Business Council of America. The 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Georgia and the United States is an honor. We have much to celebrate as we look back at all that we have done together. We are also excited about what is to come and all the work we are doing now with Georgian businesses, our Georgian partners, the Georgian government to continue the good work and progress that Georgia has seen for 20 last year. 30 years. The United States has contributed in various ways to the progress made in Georgia’s economic development, but also in an effort to create opportunities, create good jobs for Georgians, improve the health care system, modernize the education system, and help all to strengthen democratic institutions. contribute to the clear choice of the people of Georgia regarding the Euro-Atlantic future.

In our opinion, a strong economy, a strong democracy is the best way to give Georgia the stability, security, and prosperity that the Georgian people have repeatedly said they want, and that we believe the people of Georgia deserve. Georgian. Therefore, we are very pleased to see the results of the collaboration and cooperation between American and Georgian businesses over the past decades, which has resulted in real improvements in the quality of life for many Georgians. We don’t want to stop there, though. There is more work to be done. There are more Georgians who deserve the opportunities this progress brings. Our aid from the United States is aimed at reaching Georgians who are in rural areas or in smaller towns and villages to help them achieve their good ideas, to help them achieve their businesses, to get good jobs and opportunities prove to them too. . Therefore, we look forward to the years to come and continue the close partnership we have had with Georgia for many years.

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Question about direct flights and free trade between Georgia and the United States

Ambassador Degnan: I think anyone who has flown from the US to Georgia knows how great it would be to have a direct flight. It is something that has been discussed for some time. Before COVID, especially, there was some progress, and I think the talks are starting again. The travel industry has been greatly affected by COVID. I’m not sure where that discussion is and what the economics of the issue are as we look at the travel industry after COVID. It would certainly be an important bridge between the United States and Georgia. I have often said that it is sometimes difficult to convince people in the United States to come to Georgia for the first time because it seems so far away. But you never have trouble getting them to come back a second time after they’ve experienced Georgian hospitality. As for the free trade agreement, that’s an area handled by the US Trade Representative, not the State Department. I know this is something they often bring up, that they looked at it as another important bridge between the United States and Georgia. A feasibility study was done back in 2018, so there is interest in following it. I think the biggest thing is how quickly we can move on this, given the other things that the US Trade Representative is working on at this time. We continue to recommend that it is worth looking in because, again, we are always looking for opportunities to build on the close partnership between Georgia and the United States, and to expand the relationship that we have, to bring more American businesses . into Georgia, and more Georgian businesses into the United States. I think that is good for both our countries.

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