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Thomas Melia: Appointment of Special Manager at Georgian Manganese is Expropriation

Organized by Government of Georgia, the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the USA and Georgia was held in Washington.

At the event the participants discussed investment relations. Irakli Matkava, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Georgia, was questioned about inappropriate attitude towards major companies in Georgia. Thomas Melia, the former USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia, recalled specific cases, including Phillip Morris, Rustavi 2 and Georgian Manganese cases.

The decision taken over Georgian Manganese is unclear and non-transparent, Thomas Melia noted. The American company is one of the major employers and exporters in Georgia, Thoma Melia said.

“Attracting of foreign direct investments (FDI) is one of the key priorities of Government of Georgia. You noted that you follow open economy policy and liberal approaches, but there are specific samples and questions. Georgian Manganese is an American company, which is a major employer and exporter. The case arisen several weeks ago seems nontransparent and unclear. This is an expropriation in practice.

We have seen the statement by International Chamber of Commerce regarding the court system in Georgia. You should pay attention to these issues”, Thomas Melia said.

Georgia has carried out many reforms and we understand how important it is to continue this process, Irakli Matkava answered.

We remind you that Ministry of Environment Protection appointed a special manager at Georgian Manganese on May 11.