Located in the geopolitically important Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, Georgia serves as a vital U.S. ally and a gateway for American companies to access Eurasian markets. Georgia, the birthplace of wine, is bordered to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, and to the south by Turkey and Armenia. Georgia regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and for more than 25 years, its government has been a representative democracy.
Join the World Affairs Council for a conversation with Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, who will address U.S.–Georgia bilateral relations and further strengthening the strategic partnership between the two nations, as well as the role Georgia plays as a stable democratic stronghold in its region. He will also discuss Georgia’s championing of sustainable and inclusive economic development and provide a perspective on advancing America’s commercial interests in Eurasia and beyond. Under Bakhtadze’s leadership, Georgia seeks stronger economic ties with the state of Washington and the United States.
About the Speaker
Mamuka Bakhtadze has been the Prime Minister of Georgia since June 2018. In his capacity as Prime Minister, Mr. Bakhtadze has established a strong vision for the nation built on strengthening democracy, fostering a vibrant and sustainable economy, while investing in Georgia’s most valuable asset, its people. He has helped advance Georgia’s integration into the EU and NATO, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with allies to strengthen global security. Domestically, Bakhtadze introduced a “Green Economy” agenda and “lean government” initiative that reduced the number of ministries from 14 to 11, and redirected budget expenditures to social programs. He has launched a comprehensive reform program to overhaul the country’s education system, and pledged to allocate 6% of GDP to boost human capital development and empower sustainable economic growth.
Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Mr. Bakhtadze served as Minister of Finance of Georgia. In this role, he carried out a number of reforms to simplify banking regulations and the country’s tax system.
From 2013 to 2017, Mr. Bakhtadze worked as a CEO of JSC Georgian Railway, earning a place for Georgian Railway as one of the leaders in the industry. He successfully promoted Georgia’s interests in numerous international projects, including Viking, ZUBR, and the South-West Corridor, to strengthen Georgia’s role as a vital transportation, trade, logistics, and IT hub connecting East and West.
Mr. Bakhtadze held various leadership positions in the business sector. He served as the CEO of the Georgian International Energy Corporation and Member of the Supervisory Board of the largest industrial holding in Georgia – the Georgian Industrial Group.
At his relatively young age, Mamuka Bakhtadze has proved himself as an effective leader and established a strong track record of success inside and outside government.
Mr. Bakhtadze holds an MBA from INSEAD, a Master’s Degree in Business from Moscow State University, and a Bachelor’s in Organization and Management of Foreign Economic Affairs from Tbilisi State University. He also obtained his PhD and BA degrees in Electromechanical Engineering from Georgian Technical University.
This program is part of the Policy and Thought Leaders Series sponsored by
Holland America Line.
The Boeing Company is an underwriting sponsor of all World Affairs Council Community Programs.