ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
Oct
09

One Notch More Attractive to Investors with Deep Pockets

Just recently, a rare occurrence made the headlines in Georgia: Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the government of Georgia’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings first time in seven years, to Ba2 from Ba3, with commentary that the outlook remains stable. This news was met with great excitement, but was soon overshadowed by the unfortunate news of Georgia’s downgrade on the Global Competitiveness Indicators, without fully appreciating or understanding the significance of the Moody's upgrade. SO WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? Moody's Investors Service provid...
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Jul
01

How Can Georgian Economy Benefit from Bitcoin?

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS For the first time in history, the price of Bitcoin broke its highest record (Figure 1) rising above 2,900 USD during the last week of June, 2017. One of the reasons why the market unexpectedly became optimistic about Bitcoin could be the fact that in April, the Japanese government formally accepted1 the cryptocurrency as a mean of exchange, which gave it more validity in Asia’s richest economy. Moreover, there has been significant growth of international money transfer services that use Bitcoin in order to move currency from one coun...
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Jun
12

Wanna Get Rich? Make Batumi Your “Second Home”!

With 6.3 million tourists visiting the country in 2016, Georgia has become a popular tourist destination. In May, the number of international visitors (those who stayed in the country 24 hours or more) increased annually by 19% (compared to the same month in the previous year). While Tbilisi Airport is the main border-crossing point, in May, Batumi Airport overshot Kutaisi Airport, famous for its low costs flights, and experienced a 20% annual increase in the number of arrivals. The concert of legendary musical band “Aerosmith,” which took place near Bat...
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Apr
19

Bread Should Be Baked By the Baker!

"Sixty-Eight Million Dollars Were Given for Colleges Last Year: – if  the Mania for College Education Continues We May Soon Expect the Above State of Affairs" American and Western European visitors to Georgia are fascinated by the fact that middle-aged Georgian taxi drivers often brandish a couple of engineering degrees, while young hotel receptionists and shop assistants frequently come with law, business and international relations education. Having spent a couple of days in Tbilisi, visitors may come to imagine that Georgia is so abundant in huma...
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Apr
17

How Businessmen Grow Wings

  Everybody knows Bakar and Tengo (BATE Generals), two businessmen from a very popular Georgian TV series, 'My wife's best friends' ('ჩემი ცოლის დაქალები'), who became incredibly rich from a start-up with a seemingly 'nonsense' idea to export the 'tails' of khinkali (traditional Georgian dumplings) to Bulgaria. Later on, BATE Generals created a special office for ideas, where their relatives and unemployed friends of their friends were solicited to generate promising business ideas. BATE Generals is paying a fixed amount to the idea generator and a ...
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Apr
01

What Does It Take to Become a “Vakeli“?

Vake has always been one of the most prestigious districts in Tbilisi and being a “Vakeli” has been associated with high social status for no obvious reasons. In the picture: Vake Park, one of a few green places in Tbilisi and thus a big asset for the Vake district. Maybe having an opportunity to walk every day in this park makes people living in Vake so special. The recent publication of the Real Estate Laboratory (REM Lab), a joint project of ISET, TBC Bank and JumpStart, reports a remarkable growth in the real estate market in 2016. The growth was obs...
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