On October 8, ISET hosted Andreja Marusic, the World Bank’s Global Lead for Business Environment. Ms. Marusic delivered a presentation “Doing Business and Beyond”. The presentation covered a general overview and current international practices in business environment reforms as well as the important systemic issues of moving from ad-hoc business environment reforms (such as the Doing Business indicators centric reforms) to a more sustainable approach, including a focus on predictability, transparency, public consultation and Regulatory Impact Assessment.

In the begging of her presentation Andreja Marusic listed “traditional” business environment reform ideas and pointed out some new areas to focus on like: risk based regulations and implementation gap, sectorial and sub-national regulatory reforms etc. She also showed the main changes in Doing Business Report and explained that the new system compares countries to the best practice (New Zealand).

On July 13, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the ISET Policy Institute and JSC BIA. The BIA is a subsidiary company of Alliance Group Holding, which manages the largest continuously updated business information database. This aggregates information from more than 23,000 the most active companies registered in Georgia. It supplies the local companies and international business information companies, credit rating agencies, with all relevant business information (
The document was signed by Eric Livny, President of the ISET Policy Institute, and Aieti Kukava, CEO JSC BIA. The Memorandum envisages planning and implementation of joint projects and research activities.

On Friday, June 5th, ISET hosted Mr. Rezo Vashakidze, the founder of Chirina Ltd, by far the largest Georgian producer of poultry products (sold under the BiuBiu brand), a Greenfield investment worth more than 80 mln USD. The main topic of Mr. Vashakidze’s presentation was entrepreneurship in Georgia (as well as Azerbaijan and Armenia).
After introducing himself, Mr. Vashakidze started to reflect on the main challenges and problems many entrepreneurs face when starting to implement their business ideas in Georgia. He brought some important examples from his own experience and gave valuable recommendations how to become successful entrepreneur in Georgia taking all the obstacles and challenges into account. As highlighted by Mr. Vashakidze, one of the most crucial problems in Georgia is that many young people (e.g. students) prefer to work for the government and non-government sectors, rather than private sector or start their own businesses.

Date: June 9th, 3 p.m.

Location: ISET, 16 Zandukeli Street, Tbilisi, Georgia


After being steadily optimistic for most of 2014 and in the first quarter of 2015, Georgia’s business confidence dropped by 24.5 points to an all-time low level of 3.6 on a scale of [-100; 100] points. The survey, which included 168 firms, suggests that business confidence declined on all measures, across all sectors, and for all firm sizes. Moreover, it is reflected in business perceptions concerning both current performance and expectations concerning the future.

On Thursday, May 14th, ISET hosted Helena Schweiger, Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist at the EBRD, London. Ms. Schweiger presented her recent paper “The impact of armed conflict on firms’ performance and perceptions”, co-authored with Carly Petracco. This study explores the short-run impact of August 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia on firms’ performance and their perceptions of the business environment.
Authors used the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance (BEEP) Survey data before and nine months after this armed conflict. The difference-in-differences estimates suggest that despite the short duration, armed conflict had a significant and negative impact on share of exports in sales and employment for at least a subset of firms.

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