On February 15, 2013, Professor Hans Wiesmeth, vice-president of the Saxon Academy of Sciences, delivered a presentation titled “Integrated Environmental Policies: Supporting the Sustainable Development of Georgia” to the academic community at the National Science Academy of Georgia. The event was initiated and supported by ISET. For the past five years Prof. Wiesmeth has been a senior visiting professor at ISET, where he teaches an environmental economics course to second year MA students. Prof. Wiesmeth opened his talk by briefly reviewing current environmental conditions in Georgia. He focused primarily on the situation regarding the management of Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which is at the lowest level of development.
On January 24, 2013 Robert Tchaidze, Senior Economist with the European Department of the IMF, delivered a presentation titled “Turkey: From Crisis to Recovery, 1999-2005.” The presentation covered the causes of the 2001 crisis, the anti-crises programs undertaken by the Turkish government in cooperation with the IMF, and the country’s subsequent recovery. Dr. Tchaidze began his talk by providing a brief economic history of Turkey from the 1970s to the 1990s. In the 1970s Turkey was a closed, state-controlled economy suffering from macroeconomic problems like inflation and unsustainable budget deficits.
We were not off to a good start in 2012. On 20 January, we lost our dear Mzia Mikeladze. Her sudden passing away has shaken the entire ISET community but life had to continue… We created a memorial fund and a special scholarship to encourage young ISET students to remember Mzia and to follow in her footsteps. We worked hard the whole year to make ISET an even better place: for work a nd study but also for fun with colleagues and friends. We finally managed to make ISET a truly regional enterprise by bringing to Tbilisi a lot of talented youth from Armenia and Azerbaijan. They are currently almost a half of the first year class.
On November 20, 2012 Azim Sadikov, a Senior Economist from the IMF’s Resident Representative Office in Georgia, delivered a presentation of the IMF’s annual report on the “Caucasus and Central Asia [CCA] Regional Economic Outlook” to ISETers. The presentation covered an analysis of current and projected macroeconomic trends on both the global and CCA regional scale. Mr. Sadikov started the talk by introducing a current evaluation of global economic performance and provided a brief summary of specific risks and uncertainties endangering the steady growth of the global economy. According to the report, the main challenges of 2011 and at the start of 2012 were the slowdown in global manufacturing and merchandise exports, the outflow of capital from European periphery countries, high government bond spreads, country default risks and increasing global uncertainty.
At least on paper, Georgia has all it takes to be a successful agricultural producer: a favorable tax environment, mild climate, long growing season, inexpensive labor force and abundant water resources. There are also many other factors that make Georgia’s agricultural sector a target for foreign investors, such as Simon Appleby: great access to markets thanks to a strategic geographic location and transport links, relatively low land prices, and the ability of foreign-invested entities to acquire freehold land titles (quite an exception considering the international practice!). Yet, as ISETers learned from Mr. Appleby’s SWOT analysis, there are also many bottlenecks to be addressed.
On November 8, 2012 Professor Einar Hope, from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), delivered a public seminar for ISETers, representatives of the Georgian energy sector and international organizations working in the field.