The U.S. Department of State will hold meetings of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission working groups for Economic, Energy, and Trade on December 17 and People-to-People Cultural Exchanges on December 18.
The Economic, Energy, and Trade Working Group will be led by the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Robert Manogue and U.S. Department of Commerce Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary John Andersen. The Georgian co-chairs will be Davit Zalkaliani, First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Irakli Matkava, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic and Sustainable Development. The Working Group will discuss cooperation in bilateral trade and investment, agriculture, intellectual property rights, energy security and supply diversification, infrastructure development, and regional economic integration.
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Bay Fang and USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Jonathan Hale will co-chair the People-to-People Working Group, joined by the Georgian First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaliani and First Deputy State Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili. Discussions will focus on promoting greater cooperation in the areas of educational and cultural exchanges, English language education, public health research collaboration, and cooperation on consular issues.
The U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership was signed by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze in Washington, DC, on January 9, 2009. The first meeting of the Strategic Partnership Commission, held in Washington, DC, on June 22, 2009, launched four bilateral working groups on priority areas identified in the Charter: democracy; defense and security; economic, trade, and energy issues; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Senior-level American and Georgian policy-makers have led subsequent meetings of each of these working groups to review commitments, update activities, and establish future objectives. These two working groups last met on June 5, 2012 at the Plenary Session of the Strategic Partnership Commission chaired by Secretary Clinton. For more information, please visit: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/gg/usgeorgiacommission/index.htm