The Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) in cooperation with WCC International, hosted a live video conference with participation of Giorgi Tsikolia, Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Georgia to the United States and Angela Tierney and Elshan Baloghlanov of WCC International, a trade management company. The video session was organized in partnership with Enterprise Georgia (ED) headquartered in Tbilisi.
The event was attended by members, beneficiaries and affiliates of organizing associations, government officials, as well as representatives of banking, investment and finance communities of the United States and Georgia.
In her welcoming speech, Executive Director of GITA, Mariam Lashkhi, greeted the guests and informed them about Georgian Government’s priority for enacting a knowledge based and innovation driven economy. She stated that among Georgia’s many means, intellectual resources need to be utilized and capitalized in order to expand the network and develop export potential. She highlighted the newly appointed Prime Minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze’s directive for developing innovation, especially among startups. To this effect, she also stated the priority of expanding into the global market. She thanked WCC International for delivering the components and tools to be successful in the global market. To further this initiative GITA is developing and simplifying regulatory framework to harmonize with international standards, easing doing business and attracting foreign investments.
Giorgi Tsikolia, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Georgia to the United States stressed the importance of the event in the context of a strong strategic partnership between Georgia and the United States, especially in trade, defense and security. Mr. Tsikolia emphasized development and liberalization of the economy - aimed at strengthening the private sector with opportunities and improved access to technologies, knowledge, goods and services. He spoke about investment opportunities in Georgia as well as trade and export potential between the two countries and the importance that the U.S. brings to increasing awareness and economic potential to Georgia and the region.
Angela Tierney, communications specialist and business development director of WCC International highlighted growing commercial and political bilateral relations. Ms. Tierney shared a few success stories of exports of innovative U.S. goods and services in the agriculture, tourism and technical realm. “While the U.S. is known for high quality, innovative goods and services around the world, the rich culture, fertile lands, and abundant resources allow Georgia to export high-quality products globally, including the United States.” said Angela Tierney. She touched on some shared aims between the two countries under the U.S. – Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, including economic freedom and support of innovation and technical advances.
Addressing videoconference participants Otar Antia, Head of Enterprise Georgia Development Department, spoke of achieving inclusive socio-economic development through SME support on a local and international scale. He said the main aim in supporting entrepreneurship is to facilitate the private sector with access to finance, access to proper infrastructure and knowledge equality in contemporary practices. By ensuring equal access to all levels of entrepreneurs of Georgia, there are now over 250 new competitive beneficiary companies ready to penetrate international markets.
Presenters briefly spoke about how Georgian entrepreneurs can easily obtain access to a multitude of global e-commerce platforms via merchant account services of WCC International, where businesses can sell products, services, technologies and knowledge to customers anywhere around the world.
Elshan Baloghlanov, international trade specialist and managing director of WCC International conveyed the benefits and advantages of having a U.S. business partner with access to industry-specific knowledge, merchant and payment processing services, B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms. He highlighted investment capital and business assurance programs offered by U.S. government agencies and private companies. “Prior to shipping a product into a foreign market, you should be mindful of customer needs and preferences, market conditions, as well as cultural, social and regulatory factors of a foreign marketplace. Businesses must meet compliance needs, including company and product registration, proper labeling and packaging, and in some instances product certification, whether mandatory or voluntary”, he added.
The video conference concluded with active Q&A session with participants attending both in-person and online from USA, Georgia, and six other countries.
Presentation slides: Doing Business with the United States: Opportunities in Georgia