On December 1, ISET hosted two economists of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), George Luarsabishvili (Economist, Georgian Resident Mission, Central and West Asia Department) and Dominik Peschel (Economist, Central and West Asia Department). Mr. Luarsabishvili gave a presentation entitled “The foreign exchange rate’s impact on the balance of payments and the financial sector”, during which he overviewed the effect of the recent currency depreciation to the balance of payment and financial stability of Georgia. In addition, the two guests outlined the effectiveness and timing of the current de-dollarization strategy implemented by the Georgian government.

At the beginning of the presentation, Mr. Luarsabishvili examined linkages between currency depreciation and current account deficit. He claimed that the lari's depreciation should make domestic production more competitive in the foreign market, increase export and improve current account. However, due to high and persistent dollarization, depreciation limits economic growth and aggravates foreign debt servicing. In this fashion, currency depreciation can be contractionary.

On November 2, ISET hosted Francois Painchaud, the IMF Resident Representative in Georgia. Mr. Painchaud presented the 2016 November Regional Economic Outlook for the Caucasus and Central Asia, highlighting three main areas: global and regional environment, outlook and policy actions, and policy priorities.

At the beginning of the presentation, Mr. Painchaud overviewed the main trends in the global and regional environment. Firstly, the IMF predicts lower real GDP growth in 2016 relative to the previous year. This tendency is mainly driven by growth slowdown in the US, Eurozone and China. Secondly, predictions for 2017 are much more optimistic, mainly at the expense of higher growth projections in the US, Russia and emerging markets.

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