Republic of Geogia
Since October 1987
Committee Chair: John Hall
Located on the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Tbilisi's proximity to lucrative east-west trade routes often made the city a point of contention between various rival empires throughout history and the city's location to this day ensures its position as an important transit route for global energy and trade projects. Tbilisi's varied history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval, classical, Middle Eastern, Art Nouveau, Stalinist and Modernist structures.
Historically, Tbilisi has been home to people of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, though it is overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox Christian. Notable tourist destinations include cathedrals like Sameba and Sioni, classical Freedom Square, Rustaveli Avenue and Agmashenebeli Avenue, medieval Narikala Fortress, pseudo-Moorish Opera Theater, and the Georgian National Museum.
Tbilisi is the economic center of the country, generating almost 50 percent of Georgia's GDP. The service sector, including government services, is dominating and contributes 88 percent to GDP. The service sector itself is dominated by the wholesale and retail trade sector, reflecting the role of Tbilisi as transit and logistics hub for the country and the South Caucasus. The manufacturing sector contributes 12 percent to Tbilisi's GDP, but is much larger, by employment and total value added, than the manufacturing sectors in any other region of Georgia.
Tbilisi is home to several major institutions of higher education including the Tbilisi State Medical University and the Petre Shotadze Tbilisi Medical Academy, famous for their internationally recognized medical education system. The biggest Georgian university is Tbilisi State University which was established on 8 February 1918. Georgia's main and largest technical university, Georgian Technical University, was founded in 1922 as a polytechnic faculty of the Tbilisi State University. The three most popular private higher educational institution in Georgia —the University of Georgia (Tbilisi), Caucasus University, and the Free University of Tbilisi — are in Tbilisi.
About the Partnership
For over 10 years Atlanta and Tbilisi have continued their long partnership and friendship through programs that include: delegation visits, professional business exchanges, cultural celebrations, festivity events, and educational programs.
The Atlanta-Tbilisi Sister Cities Committee continues its partnership with the Georgia to Georgia foundation and hosting Georgian delegations through the Open World programs. The Open World Leadership Center administers the Open World program, one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs for countries of the post-Soviet era. Open World Leadership Center enhances U.S. foreign policy objectives in building more secure, democratic, and prosperous societies. The Atlanta-Tbilisi Committee has hosted over 16 delegation groups that have included: judges, lawyers, local government leaders, and non-profit organization leaders.
The Atlanta-Tbilisi Committee will also continue its festivity events that includes Taste of Georgia. This event celebrates Georgian cuisine and culture. Many local dignitaries, volunteers and members of international community attend the gathering.
The Atlanta-Tbilisi Committee continues its educational programs with several Tbilisi Universities. The program provides professors and professionals from Atlanta to lecture in Tbilisi Universities on the subject matter of their expertise.
The Atlanta-Tbilisi Sister Cities Committee, together with Georgia to Georgia Foundation, continued its long relationship with Open World Programs by hosting Georgian delegates from various cities in the country of Georgia in Atlanta in February.
In April 2015, the Tbilisi Committee hosted another Georgian delegation with the concentration on Rule of Law. The delegates included: Deputy Head of Division for Reforms Coordination Ministry of Internal Affairs, Georgia; Assistant to the Judge; Lawyer at the Transparency International Georgia, Head of Unit at the Shida Kartli and Mtskheta Mtianeti Regional Prosecutor’s office; Legal Education Coordinator, East West Management Institute and several lawyers. Meetings included the Judicial Qualifications Commission State of Georgia, First Amendment Foundation, tour of Fulton County Jail, The Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia, meetings with Judges and hearings at the courts. Delegates also got a chance to visit local at attractions such as, Coca Cola Museum, Human Rights Museum and CNN center.
Mr. Scott Henwood was invited to SEU University in Tbilisi, Georgia November 2015 to teach Foundations of American Legal Institutions and Election Law.
In 2016, the City of Atlanta welcomed two delegations from Tbilisi to share best practices and promote trade and investment between the two regions. Officials from the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office met with Invest Atlanta to discuss best practices in attracting foreign investment through tax incentives as well as Atlanta’s retention and expansion programs. The delegation also met with city officials to discuss best practices in waste management, urban planning and park maintenance.
The following month, the City of Atlanta welcomed representatives from the Republic of Georgia’s parliament to discuss best practices within Atlanta’s economic development, public safety and health initiatives, as well as processes within city’s finance and law departments..
In July 2016, Atlanta Police Chief Georgia Turner joined Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Vernon Keenan in Tbilisi to conduct a two day best practice seminar with the law enforcement space. While in Tbilisi, Chief Turner also met with the Minister of Internal Affairs and toured Tbilisi’s Police Academy.