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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus financed within the institutional grant by the Government of Sweden.
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  • Nutsa Bazlidze
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  • Maka Chitanava
  • Salome Deisadze
  • Ia Katsia
  • Salome Gelashvili
  • Tamar Sulukhia
  • Norberto Pignatti
  • Giorgi Papava
  • Luc Leruth
  • Yaroslava Babych
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Playing Against the Odds: What’s at Stake for Georgia as It Bets on the Tourism Revival Strategy?
Georgia reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by immediately introducing aggressive measures. Closing international borders, declaring a state of emergency, shutting down public transportation, banning local travel and public gatherings, closing restaurants and shopping malls, and introducing a nighttime curfew—these are all instruments that were used by the country’s government and health authorities to stop the spread of the virus. As a result, the health system was not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
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Could the Government Act as Coordinator?
In Avchala, in the middle of nowhere, you might be surprised to find the busy “Craftsmen’s City” or “Khelosnebis Kalaki” as it is called in Georgian. It is built on a 4-ha plot where there used to be a large carpet manufacturing plant in Soviet times, which vanished with the Soviet Union and turned into a concrete carcass surrounded by a swamp.
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Agricultural Anti-Crisis Plan Assessment
Agricultural and rural development play an important role in the country’s socio-economic development. The restrictions imposed during the pandemic have hindered spring agricultural works which have significantly worsened conditions for farmers and stalled their future potential. Consequently, the Georgian government developed an anti-crisis plan, “Caring for Farmers and Agriculture”, that was presented on 12 March. The proposal entails two forms of aid: direct assistance and sectoral support.
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The Implications of COVID-19 on the Georgian Power Market
The consequences of COVID-19 on tourism and in the industrial and service sectors have been discussed broadly recently. However, little has been said about the current and future implications on the Georgian power sector. The worldwide pandemic has already had and is still expected to have, quite significant implications on both the demand and supply sides of the electricity market. Although at this stage, we cannot estimate the exact scale of the effects, it is possible to represent a general theoretical framework of the existing and potential impacts.
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Should the World Sacrifice the Economy to Save Lives Today?
No two countries that both have a McDonald's have ever been at war wrote American political commentator and author Thomas L. Friedman in 1996. Since then, of course, there have been plenty of instances of countries with McDonald’s warring, including Russia and Georgia. Though, one should not take Friedman’s phrase too literally. Rather he implies that the spread of McDonald's is a part of a worldwide phenomenon of countries integrating with the global economy, which, in turn, makes wars less likely.
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The Generation-Consumption Gap Keeps Increasing. What Could or Should Be Done About It?
Looking at the consumption and generation trends of the past year, it is evident that Georgia is an electricity importing country during most months, with consumption almost always exceeding domestic generation. The only exceptions over the last 12 months were May and June, when the generation-consumption gap briefly became positive, reverting to the negative again in July. This is quite a dramatic change from how the country’s generation-consumption gap looked back in 2010 when the country exported almost seven times more electricity (1524.3 GWh) than it imported (222.1 GWh) and thermal power generation was reduced to 682.8 GWh.
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