2023 February-March News

A letter from newly elected AmCham President Irakli Baidashvili

Dear AmCham Members and Friends,

I hope that everyone has enjoyed the holiday season and feels ready to face 2023 with renewed energy and enthusiasm. It has been a great joy to celebrate the holidays this year without Covid hanging over us. This seems to signal that 2023 will be more of a return to the pre-Covid ‘normal’ that we have missed for so long.

That said, the war in Ukraine is a continual source of anger and anxiety. More than anything, we hope that 2023 will bring victory for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. We understand that Ukraine is fighting for its own liberation but also for the wider international order and the peace and security of us all.

This year, therefore, promises to offer a continued mix of anxiety and hope. In this context, AmCham will continue to offer opportunities for our members to interact in-person as much as possible but also online, where useful, to enhance their relationships and offer each other support and security.

We will also continue to support both our members and the country to prosper economically and maintain close relations with the Western friends and partners who are so crucial to our long-term success.

I am honored to have been elected as the new President of AmCham. I want to thank outgoing President Sarah Williamson for her incredible work and support of AmCham. In her role as president over six years and for many years before that as an officer and member of the board, she has brought a dedication, determination, and vision that has been central to our success.

I would also like to thank Michael Cowgill, who previously served as President and is returning as First Vice President, and Executive Director George Welton, as well as the many longstanding members of the AmCham Board and executive team. I have very much appreciated working with this team in recent years and look forward to leading them as president.

I would also like to welcome George Tkhelidze from TBC to the role of Vice President and Treasurer, as well as our newly elected Board Members Ayten Hajiyeva from BP, Craig Kramer from Gulf, and George Svanadze from MG Law. I am confident that their fresh perspectives will add considerable value and keep us on our toes!

What I am confident will not change this year is our collective determination to see Georgia thrive as a pro-Western democracy with strong ties to the United States and the EU. We will work to support Georgia’s continued strong relations with the United States at the governmental, economic, and personal level. While our economy has shown an impressive resilience in the face of regional difficulties, we know that it is only through a rule-based, market-driven democracy that we can expect that success to last in the long term.

Finally, I would like to thank all the AmCham membership for their continued efforts to maintain the organization and for your faith in choosing me as your president. Together, I am sure we will maintain AmCham’s position as the strongest and most respected business association in Georgia so that we can continue to help our members and the country succeed.

Irakli Baidashvili
President, American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia
Executive Vice President, GMT Group