The United States is committed to helping the Republic of Georgia recover from its August invasion by Russia. In early September, U.S. President George Bush announced that in addition to the approximately $100 million of economic aid it had already arranged to provide over the next 2 years, the U.S. would send an additional one billion dollars' worth of economic assistance to meet Georgia's humanitarian needs and support its economic recovery.
"Georgia has a strong economic foundation and leaders with an impressive record of reform," said Mr. Bush, adding that such economic assistance will help the people of Georgia continue to build a prosperous and competitive country.
But such emergency funding is just a start. On October 27, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce John Sullivan, along with executive officers of 19 major U.S. companies, arrived in Tbilisi for a 2-day business summit.
"Georgia is an important ally and a strategic partner of the United States," said Deputy Secretary Sullivan. "As Georgia rebuilds its infrastructure, the United States and American business will help to grow the economy."
The U.S. will explore ways to increase bilateral trade and investment, and find ways to give Georgia's exporters improved access to U.S. markets, said Mr. Sullivan. Earlier this month, the U.S. had promised that it would open its market to 3,500 products, shipped duty free from Georgia, to help support its economy.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Commerce will extend its Commercial Law Development Program to Georgia, and so help Georgia modernize its commercial, technology transfer and intellectual property laws, and build the capacity of Georgia's judiciary in commercial dispute settlement.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan reaffirmed America’s commitment to Georgia's democracy, its territorial integrity, and its security. "This summit is about ... the unbreakable ties between two countries," said Mr. Sullivan. "It is about our faith in Georgia's commitment to reform, to free markets and to ensuring the prosperity and security of its people."