ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Right or Left: What Are Political Parties’ Economic Visions?
Davit Keshelava of MPRC commented on the wealth report of Credit Suisse with the Business Contract programme of Maestro TV. The report noted that the UK’s household wealth has been reduced by $1.5tn post Brexit. In addition, the number of people in the UK who have $1m or more has reduced by around 15%.Davit pointed out that such a significant reduction of household wealth can be considered as the cost of Brexit. Since the results of the referendum were publicly known, the British pound depreciated by 16% relative to the US dollar and 10% relative to the euro. He added that the detailed institutional and legislative aspects of Brexit are not known to society, yet this creates further uncertainty for economic agents and do not allow markets to increase accordingly. In addition, he overviewed new opportunities for Georgia to benefit from this fact (especially tourism potential). Watch the video from Maestro TV to learn more.
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Sorry, You're Fired Due to COVID! Has COVID-19 Widened Gender Gap?
ISET-PI's research fellows Daviti Zhorzholiani and Davit Keshelava were invited to participate in the Georgian Public Broadcasting company’s “Real Space” talk show. During the programme, government authorities and the audience discussed the Georgian Government’s 10-Paragraph Plan, the possible effects of new economic initiatives and the possible reasons behind GEL/USD exchange rate fluctuations. ISET representatives positively assessed the plans to reduce the government’s administrative expenses and to quote the prices (of real estate, etc.) in national currency terms. However, the positive effects of the initiatives to subsidize “loan-larisation” from the budget, or increasing excise tax on energy carriers while the Georgian economy has not been performing well, were doubtful. Other subjects of discussion were the mechanism of “loan-larisation”, the role of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) in the process, and how the initiative will affect private banks’ or the NBG’s finances. Watch the video from GPB to learn more.
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To Subsidize or Not to Subsidize Georgia’s Wine Sector?
ISET-PI’s research assistant Irakli Shalikashvili was interviewed by Maestro TV’s Business Contact programme where he discussed the Georgian Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) downward trend; according to a recent survey, compared with November 2016, the CCI decreased sharply from -11.5 to -26.5 (by 15 points). This is the most dramatic loss of the CCI ever observed since measuring consumer confidence in Georgia began in 2012. According to Irakli, this has nothing to do with any “winter blues”, as in the same period of last year, the CCI went up from -40 to -30.4. Watch the video from Maestro TV to learn more.
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COVID-19 Strikes Again: How the Pandemic is Affecting Georgia’s Energy Security
ISET-PI’s research assistant Irakli Shalikashvili was interviewed by Maestro TV’s Business Contact programme about the deposit insurance draft law in Georgia. According to Irakli, deposit insurance seems to be a positive development and, if managed correctly, can increase savings and investment in the country. The key is to ensure that the system is properly managed. If a given country cannot guarantee strong banking regulations or a carefully designed deposit insurance with safeguards against risks in addition to a strong financial supervisory body to manage banks and assist failed banks, then introducing explicit deposit insurance will only be a recipe for disaster. Instead of solving the problem of bank runs, it will invite a host of hazardous problems. Watch the video from Maestro TV to learn more.
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Agritourism in Georgia
APRC is evaluating training programs for agricultural cooperatives in Georgia and is preparing report on the findings, conclusions and recommendations for revision of training program.
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The Post-COVID Foreign Direct Investment in Georgia: go clean, or don’t go!
A researcher of the Private Sector Development Policy Research Centre, Olga Azhgibetseva, attended a three- week intensive training program in Sweden. Around 60 participants from five countries (Albania, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova and Ukraine) attended the course. Each country was represented by a group of professionals consisted of businessmen or people serving in top positions in their organizations, which were a mix of business support organizations, ministries, chambers or research and policy centers. Georgia was the largest group with 13 participants. The Private Sector Growth strategies training program included the following modules: