ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
May
14

Air Quality in Georgia. How Are We Doing?

If you are a governmental stakeholder, civil society organization, research institute or a concerned citizen pondering the state of the environment, the biennial Environmental Performance Index (EPI) tells an inconvenient truth regarding the trajectory of each country and their performance. The rankings provide unpolished results concerning countries and their commitments, or lack thereof, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other complementary international agreements. The EPI list should provide signposts for policymakers to fathom what act...
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May
12

Is Abkhazia Consuming Too Much? – March 2018 Electricity Market Review

In March 2018, Georgian power plants generated 997 mln. KWh of electricity (+35% compared to March 2017, and + 7% compared to February 2018). Nearly a quarter (24 %) of this electricity was produced by the Enguri and Vardnili hydropower plants, which produced 188 mln. kWh and 49 mln. kWh, respectively. Consumption of electricity on the local market was 1,116 mln. kWh (+9% compared to March 2017, and +5% compared to February 2018). Around 19% of this electricity was consumed by Abkhazia (207 mln. kWh). The Enguri and Vardnili HPPs represent nearly the onl...
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May
07

Georgia’s Economy Grows, Agriculture Shrinks: What Should We Do?

Since 2012, when the political party Georgian Dream took leadership of the country’s governance, economic [real] growth reached its highest rate in 2017 (5.0%). The drivers of this growth were construction (11.2%), hotels and restaurants (11.2%) and the financial sector (9.2%). However, a few sectors of the economy declined in 2017, and one was agriculture (-2.7%). Experts on this sector agree that 2017 was a “bad year” for Georgia’s agriculture. Winter lasted longer and spring frost damaged fruit plantations. This was followed by some periods of drought...
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Apr
16

A Good February for Electricity Generation: Time for Reflection, After Last Year’s Worries

  In February 2017, Georgia experienced the largest gap between generation and consumption in the last decade. This was followed by an even greater gap in March 2017. The size of those gaps, and the fact that the historical trend was suggesting an increase in the electricity gap, prompted policy proposals emphasizing the need to encourage investments in power generation. The goal of such policies would be to avoid future energy security challenges due to electricity shortages and fast increasing electricity prices. Most of the strategies suggested s...
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Apr
16

The Knowing of Not Knowing in Water Management (and how to tackle the issue)

  The Georgian government is currently facing some tremendous challenges in adjusting to the EU Association Agreement (AA). A particularly problematic area of reform concerns the implementation of Directive 2000/60/EC, aka the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Properly managing water resources is an extremely difficult endeavor that requires a deep understanding of all the mechanisms at work. Failing to adequately manage water resources could have profound and long lasting negative consequences, both in terms of the development perspectives ...
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Apr
08

Can Quotas Do It?!

Despite substantial improvements in education, professional development and political participation, women remain underrepresented in leadership positions in politics, and Georgia is no exception. In 2017, the country ranked in 94th place (out of 144), according to the Global Gender Gap index (GGI),1 which indicates that Georgia is not performing well in closing the gender gap. The GGI serves as a comprehensive and consistent measure for gender equality, which can track a country’s progress over time. Economic participation and opportunity, educational a...
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