Yasya Babych of the MPRC was a guest speaker at an annual think-tank conference in Kyiv, Ukraine organized by the International Renaissance Foundation and the Embassy of Sweden. She shared the experience of ISET-PI as the first university-based economic policy think tank in the South Caucasus. The model of university-based analytical policy centers is relatively new in her native Ukraine, and the majority of the participants were eager to find out how this model works in Georgia, and about the advantages and the unique challenges it faces.

The workshops and group discussions also focused on the future of think-tanks as non-political research and advocacy centers in a country undergoing institutional transformation; on the fine lines between politics and policy (although these two concepts are described by the same word in the Ukrainian language); and on the state-of-the-art digital tools that can help broadcast policy research messages effectively.

On November 27, ISET hosted Francois Painchaud, the Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Georgia. Mr. Painchaud presented the 2017 October Regional Economic Outlook for the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region, covering the global and regional environment, outlook and policy actions, and policies to help maintain macroeconomic stability and how to secure higher and more inclusive growth.

At the beginning of the presentation, Mr. Painchaud overviewed the main trends in the global and regional environment. Strengthening economic conditions in the region’s main trading partners and stabilizing the commodity prices, combined with continued implementation of structural reforms are anticipated to support the recovery. Growth in the CCA region started to pick up during the second half of 2016, and is expected to accelerate, but medium-term growth is forecast to remain below historical norms.

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