Carpenter - U.S. has strong strategic interest in completing Anaklia port facility

18-02-2019 00:10:27 Politic ,Viewpoint ,Foreign Politics ,Comment

Senior director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, Michael Carpenter said on Thursday that the U.S. has a strong strategic interest in completing the Anaklia deep-water port facility.

The Anaklia project is a joint venture of Georgia’s TBC Holding LLC and Conti International LLC. Georgian banking company TBC Bank is facing a criminal investigation over money-laundering allegations involving a USD 17 million transaction that took place in 2008, Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office announced on January 9.

When asked about the possible impact of the ongoing investigation on the Anaklia project, Mr. Carpenter told the Accent: “I can't comment on the money-laundering charges because I am not familiar with the details of what is being alleged.”

As for the possible Russian trace in hindering the construction process of the Anaklia Drainage Port, Carpenter told the Accent: “I think Russia would prefer not to see this investment happen.”

Michael Carpenter spoke also about the importance of the above mentioned projects.

According to him, engagement of a U.S. firm in Georgian projects is “important for three reasons”.

“First, it shows that Georgia is a place where Western companies can do business. Second, it will improve critical infrastructure on the east-west axis across Georgia, which is crucial to the country's economic development. Third, it will hopefully entice other U.S. companies to participate in Georgian infrastructure projects, which helps bring Western corporate governance and other best practices to Georgia,” Carpenter told the Accent.

As he stated, “it's very significant to have American investors active in Georgia, because nothing lures in more foreign direct investments than previous successful track records by U.S. companies.”

“With U.S. and European companies, you often see higher quality products, better prospects for local job creation, and less risk of corrupt practices undercutting the value of the project,” he added.

The construction of the Anaklia Drainage Port started on December 20, 2017. The opening of the first phase of the Port is scheduled by 2021.



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