Georgian International Investors Association members attended the faculty program devoted to USA requirements for importation of GSP-eligible agricultural products... Print
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 11:32

In July 2010, CLDP was held workshops, sector-specific meetings, and site visits in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi for relevant government officials, trade association representatives, and private sector producers on how to expand Georgia’s exports under the GSP program and how to satisfy U.S. import standards and regulations.

The faculty for the program was held on July 26, 2010 by representatives from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The faculty program objectives were as:

1. To provide practical assistance to Georgian agribusinesses and the Government of Georgia on how to recognize and take advantage of market opportunities in order to increase exports to the United States.

2. To improve the skill and knowledge level of the Government of Georgia and the private sector to recognize and follow U.S. government requirements for importation, especially for agricultural products.

3. To improve the ability of the Government of Georgia and private sector exporters to take advantage of the U.S. GSP program.

A Joint Needs Assessment of Georgia by the United Nations and the World Bank noted that exports of Georgian goods and services were expected to decline by 22 percent in the beginning of 2009.  In addition, according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, Georgia’s exports to U.S. in 2009 totaled only $37 million (3% of total exports) and included just 9 of the 3,400 eligible product types under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The agribusiness sector, which accounts for 16 percent of Georgia’s economic output, has been the basis for significant exports to other nations.

Increased output and exportation of GSP-eligible agricultural products to the U.S. is possible by providing technical assistance to improve Georgian exporters’ ability to meet U.S. food and beverage import standards and regulations and to expand their use of GSP duty-free export opportunities.