ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
Sep
12

To Bee or not to Bee?

  The economic significance of bees extends far beyond honey production. As the National Resource Defense Council writes in 2011 (“Why We Need Bees: Nature’s Tiny Workers Put Food on Our Tables”), the value of the honey that bees produced in the US in that year amounted to 150 million dollars, while the value of the harvested crops that were pollinated by bees was 15 billion dollars, i.e., greater by a factor of 100! Having bees around is not primarily beneficial for the beekeepers, but even more for anyone else who grows crops, fruits, or vegetable...
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Apr
06

Georgian Tangerines

The Estonian-Georgian film, Tangerines, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2014. While the film was shot in Guria, the story takes place in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia during the war in the early 1990s. In the film, two of the main characters are peasants from Estonia who are living and working in Abkhazia, one as a tangerine grower and the other as a manufacturer of wooden crates for transporting tangerines to markets (much like the one in the photo above). Unlike their families and neighbors, these two men ...
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Guest — Eric Livny
There is an interesting analogy between Israel-Palestine and Georgia-Abkhazia economic relations. An Israeli company (Agrexco) is ... Read More
Monday, 06 April 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Rati
Dear Fady, thanks for your comment! Area of Georgia is a really limit of not only sub-tropical fruits, but also for many agricult... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — Fady Asly
I doubt it a lot! Georgia is at the extreme limit of sub-tropical fruits production zone! The yields will always be inferior to pr... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 12:12 AM
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Jan
23

Georgia’s Trade in 2014: Does Export Decline Suggest a Loss of Competitiveness?

According to the latest GEOSTAT figures, merchandize exports from Georgia decreased by 1.63% between 2013 and 2014. This is certainly not great news for the country, but does it imply that Georgian goods have become less competitive on the world market? Recent trade data suggest that this is not necessarily the case. The first thing to note is that much of the decline in exports is related to one particular activity – the re-exports of Georgian cars to Azerbaijan and Armenia. Beginning in 2009, this business has become a “cash cow”, capitalizin...
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Guest — Nino
Congratulations with the first piece, Lasha! The piece is very timely and encouraging!
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — megiddo02
An overly optimistic piece. We see one of main "business models" of Georgia -- car reexports -- disappearing. 25% of Georgian expo... Read More
Sunday, 01 February 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — Y
The main argument the article is advancing is not that everything is going peachy in Georgia with regards to exports, but rather ... Read More
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 11:11 AM
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Dec
08

Lari Winter Blues – Should We Worry?

In the past two weeks Georgians have been waking up with a sense of déjà vu. In a matter of days, the Georgian currency lost over 8% of its value against the US dollar, and reversed the course of appreciation against the euro. The lari winter blues are reminiscent of the last months of 2013, when, after a long period of stability, the lari lost about 5% of its value against the dollar in the course of ten weeks. The current episode of sudden depreciation sent ripples of worry through the Georgian society and prompted opposition parties to sharply critic...
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Guest — George
I think it is great for ISET to put this all in perspective. Funnily enough, you pipped me the post as I was considering writing a... Read More
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 9:09 PM
Guest — George Welton
I think it is great for ISET to put this all in perspective. Funnily enough, you pipped me the post as I was considering writing a... Read More
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 9:09 PM
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Nov
25

Economic Reflections in the Kakheti Mountains

Over the last weekend I was invited by an international development bank to run a workshop in the nice Hotel Eden in Kvareli, Kakheti. The topic of the workshop was “Georgia’s economic future”. We started the workshop by discussing the great promise of development economics: “Do the right policy, and you’ll be fine”. Economists like Thorvaldur Gylfason like to show the growth paths of pairs of countries with somewhat similar characteristics, like Mauritius and Madagascar, Singapore and Malaysia, Botswana and Nigeria, and Ireland and Greece. In these pair...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Having just come from Korea, and having observed the Korean economic miracle from close range (thought not at great depth), I can ... Read More
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — NP
Very nice! Now, here is a (provocative?) comment about the following statement (and what follows it). "Afterwards, a country has t... Read More
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — Adam
I still think there's plenty of room for growth in all sectors in Georgia and I see catch-up growth everywhere I go. There's now a... Read More
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 8:08 PM
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Nov
11

Armenia Generates Windfall Profits for Georgia

When Armenia entered the Russia-dominated customs union in 2013, fear spread among the Georgian public and policy makers. It looked as if Georgia would be economically squeezed in between Russia and Armenia, the latter being one of Russia’s staunchest allies in the region and, given its geopolitical dependency on Russia, sometimes seen as a little more than a Russian agent. Being wary about Russia’s economic influence in the region, it was straightforward for Georgia to respond to this development by upgrading economic ties with our Western allies. There...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Armenia becoming a major gas exporter? Who would have thought of this...
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:11 AM
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