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USTDA PROMOTES NATIONAL FIBER OPTIC RING IN GEORGIA

TBILISI, GEORGIA (September 24, 2009) – Today, USTDA awarded a grant to JSC United Telecom of Georgia (UTG) to expand the country’s access to high-speed Internet and fixed-line telephone services. The grant reflects USTDA’s strategy of supporting projects in Georgia that represent significant commercial opportunities for U.S. firms by funding a feasibility study on a proposed national fiber optic ring.

The $336,300 grant was conferred during a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Energy in Tbilisi. The Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Kent Logsdon, and UTG Chief Executive Officer George Gugunishvili signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. government and UTG, respectively.

The USTDA-funded study will assess a proposal to establish a national fiber optic ring in Georgia that incorporates portions of an existing east-west fiber optic line. The development of the ring will provide a more reliable network and will extend advanced telecommunications services to presently unserved areas in southern Georgia.

UTG has selected Project Finance Advisors, LLC of Bethesda, Maryland, to perform the USTDA-funded study. In addition to the USTDA grant, Project Finance Advisors will provide resources toward the completion of the study.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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