U.S. Agency for International Development and Israel’s development agency MASHAV signed a Memorandum of Acknowledgement, or MOA, to promote economic prosperity in Georgia by helping Georgians capitalize on their tremendous agricultural potential, said USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick. Indeed, “forty percent of Georgians work in agriculture and the United States and Israel lead the world in agricultural innovation.”
The U.S. and Israel have integrated their domestic agricultural markets into the global supply chain and are eager to help Georgia do the same.
Since 1992, USAID has supported Georgia on its journey to building a vibrant, globally connected market economy with judicial and democratic institutions which respond to the needs of Georgian citizens. While the MOA is focused on building capacity in Georgia's agriculture sector, USAID recognizes that democracy and the rule of law are the foundations for economic development.
Deputy Administrator Glick noted that Israel is one of the great self-reliance success stories. “Its first decades were burdened by attacks from neighboring countries and by a centrally planned economy. As a result, Israel relied on economic assistance.” But it eventually liberalized its economy, cultivated innovation, and flourished, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 to announce that Israel no longer wanted U.S. economic assistance. Indeed, today Israel is a donor nation with a strong economy.
The new MOA between USAID and MASHAV regarding Georgia demonstrates the commitment that free-market democracies have to one another, said Deputy Administrator Glick. Over time, USAID and MASHAV assistance will extend to economic growth through entrepreneurship and business development in other high-value sectors of the economy.
The end goal, said Deputy Administrator Glick, is a Georgian society that is “open, self-reliant, and integrated into the global marketplace.”
“The day is coming when Georgia will be fully capable of planning, financing, and implementing its own development agenda,” said Ms. Glick. “We are confident that our support, however humble, will benefit not only this beautiful nation but all freedom-loving peoples, by helping strengthen a more prosperous, stable, and democratic ally on the shores of the Black Sea.”
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