Georgia should be exporting their own nuts, not importing American nut cases,
Like USA exports its 'nuts' to Georgia, in human products, many Americans living here, working in most of the non governmental organizations. Molly Corso is no nut, and thanks for the FOOTPRINTS article, "Georgia: English-Language Program Faces Communication Obstacles" recently posted on a George Soros site. This article is eye opening and in a back door fashion, helps many understand just how different and backward life is really in Georgia. They never would otherwise believe just how "frustrating" it is.
Molly Corso is a good writer, but she is for sure on the government side. She is a mild critic of the status quo and a plus on the side of possible quality control. The message is to top the corruption at some point, but that is not enough. One can notice that she did not interview one person not tied in with US government somehow. She interviewed none of the majority central Europeans on the FOOTPRINTS program.
Why don't Georgians get honest and export their own nuts, and why does not AmCham help them with real business plans?
Turkey controls 90 percent of the real nut market, hazelnuts, and are getting rich sucking nuts out of Georiga and Azerbaijan at bargain prices. Because of the lack of food safety standards and the lost of the Russian market because of the actions of one nut case, Georgia is almost clueless of what to do with its nuts.
Turkey is a country and on the fast track with many things. There is much less sleaze here in Turkey in business than in Georgia. It is not even comparable. Georgia is only able to export human resources, including women to provide a range of services. As for imports, and in spite of free trade agreements, which means that all products, or nearly all, of Turkish origin, in Georgia, are brought in by Georgian mafia privately, from a Georgian with a roof, with friends at the border with Georgian customs, to wave them through. that explains the paucity of good products in Georgia, from Turkey, and why the prices are jacked up double or triple. Nearly none of the imports are official on the Georgian side.
I have lost faith in Georgian business or tourism and the only hope will be for the Turks to come and take it over, even the whole country, and not just Adjaria, and make real business. Perhaps in a 100 years the Georgians finally get with the program.
One only needs to go to Turkey to buy things that can only be found of low grade and super expensive in Georgia, shoes, pants, electronics, etc. One good thing about Georgia, and they because they have no business skills or aptitude, they feel it is below them, they don't hassle you for trade, as in Turkey. Turkey is honest but the salesmen bark at you from every door, even restaurants, you cannot even walk by without making a negotiation, just to get away from them, even if you are not a buyer.