On 25 January 2017, researchers from the APRC attended a stakeholder meeting of the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The meeting was organized by EVOLUXER, which is an implementing partner for capacity building to the Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency (ACDA).

ENPARD’s key stakeholders were in attendance, including the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Giorgi Khanishvili; the Programme Manager at the European Union Delegation to Georgia, Cristina Casella; the head of the Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency, Giorgi Misheladze; representatives of the ENPARD implementing partners, such as Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Care, People in Need, and other parties involved in the process.

Shota Bakhuashvili of the Class of 2017 decided to apply for an MA research scholarship at the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation after listening to an encouraging speech by Professor Norberto Pignatti during a lecture. Shota was ultimately successful, winning 6000 lari that he will use for books, papers, and travel to attend conferences.

The topic of his MA thesis is “Credit to GDP gap as an indicator for upcoming financial crises”, an issue he decided to write about after working at the National Bank of Georgia as an intern.

Financial and economic crises of the last few decades have revealed the drawbacks of “Classical Dichotomy” and the other similar theories concerning the border between economics and the financial sector. Shota will conduct a survey aimed at constructing a macroeconomic model which will make it possible to reveal and prevent any upcoming crisis in advance. Currently, a capital adequacy requirement is used for this purpose, which defines the minimal required regulatory capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio.

The year of 2017 turned out to be a very fruitful one for ISET and the ISET Policy Institute. On January 17, Eric Livny, the President of ISET and the ISET Policy Institute, and Dimitri Kumsisvhili, the First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia, signed an official memorandum of understanding between ISET Policy Institute and the Ministry of Finance. This constitutes the first step of future cooperation between the two organizations in the fields of economic research, student exchange, and training opportunities for the Ministry.

According to the memorandum, the Ministry of Finance will participate in the Policy Expert Committee of ISET, which meets twice a year. The parties will organize meetings to discuss the priorities of the ministry, potential ad hoc projects, research opportunities, identify training opportunities for the ministry, and evaluate the results generated through the cooperation.

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