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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Namakhvani HPP – Threat or Opportunity?
In recent months, the Namakhvani hydro power plant has become one of the most discussed topics in Georgian society.
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Enguri HPP Is Closing While Demand on Abkhazia’s Side Keeps Growing: Challenges and Opportunities for The Georgia’s Electricity Sector at the Beginning Of 2021
ISET Policy Institute’s researcher Ia Katsia was invited to TV 1 to talk about a possible Russian embargo on Georgian wine and mineral water exports. According to Russian Media sources, the Russian Duma is going to propose a ban on Georgian exports. Ia Katsia spoke about the possible effects of such an embargo and highlighted the importance of the Russian market as an export destination. She also discussed the most recent Russia ban on Georgian exports in 2006; at that time, wine and mineral water exports were concentrated on the CIS, and especially Russia. However, as of 2016, wine companies managed to diversify their export markets and added 46 new export destination countries for their products. She also mentioned the role of the Government in promoting Georgian wine and finding new markets. Watch the video from TV 1 to learn more.
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Seasonal Effects and COVID Lockdown Combined Close the Generation-Consumption Gap in April
The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri in November 2016 stood at 3.46 GEL, which is 1.9% higher month-on-month (compared to October 2016). The Khachapuri Index is down by 5.6% year-on-year (compared to November 2015), suggesting annual deflation as measured by the index. Khachapuri’s main ingredient is Imeretian cheese, and naturally, its price is the main driver of our Khachapuri Index. In November 2016, cheese was the main contributor of the year-on-year decrease in Khachapuri prices; cheese price dropped by 6.5% compared to the same month of the last year.
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The Generation-Consumption Gap Keeps Increasing. What Could or Should Be Done About It?
Teimuraz Gogsadze, a graduate of ISET's Class of 2011, joined the International Taxation Division of the Tax Policy Department at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia in May 2011. He worked on such interesting projects as the double taxation avoidance agreement and agreements on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters, gaining invaluable experience at the Ministry of Finance. Having spent almost a year at the Ministry and inspired by the experience regarding taxation matters, Teimuraz decided to continue his studies with a PhD program. In April 2012, he joined the PhD program in Economics at the University of Leicester, where his supervisors were Professors Sanjit Dhami and Ali al-Nowaihi.
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Georgian Energy Security: Reflecting on the September Power Market Data
ISET recently had the honor to host the first cohort of students for the Executive Leadership Program, which was launched in cooperation with TBC Bank, and is designed for entrepreneurs and business executives who strive to take their careers to the next level. A total of 25 professionals from both the state and private sectors gathered at ISET to greet their instructors and present themselves - as well as their professional experience - to their fellow classmates. The instructors then introduced the course, its objectives and projected results and briefly covered their own subjects of expertise.
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The Warning Bells are Ringing: A Difficult Summer Season for the Georgian Electricity Market
Once the wealthiest Soviet republic, Georgia has since fallen far behind other post-Soviet states (except for, perhaps, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova) in almost any parameter of wellbeing. Adjusted for purchasing power parity, Georgia’s annual income per capita in 2012 was close to $5,900 (a little higher than in resources-poor Armenia). Moreover, the “median” Georgian, as opposed to the “average” Georgian, is much poorer than is suggested by the per capita income estimate. Like any average measure, the income per capita figure masks significant inequality in the distribution of income, and Georgia is much less equal as compared to all of its other post-Soviet peers (with the possible exception of Russia). Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Georgian nation went through a process of rapid disinvestment and de-industrialization. It was forced to shut down industrial plants, sending scrap metal abroad and pushing workers into subsistence farming or early retirement. Thanks to the country’s moderate climate and good soil conditions, hunger never became an issue, yet inequality and associated political pressures rapidly reached catastrophic dimensions, unleashing cycles of violence, undermining the political order and inhibiting prospects of economic growth.
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