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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Let Tourists Arrive and Georgia Thrive!
After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was believed that tourism might become one of Georgia’s “locomotive” sectors. While the Shevardnadze government failed to develop this potential, after the Rose Revolution, tourism became a top priority. Each year since 2005, the direct effect of tourism (i.e. the money spent by tourists) alone has contributed 6-7% of Georgia’s total GDP.
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Making Sense of FDI Dynamics
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is critical to every developing county, and Georgia is no exception in this regard. Georgia wants to grow out of poverty and catch up with the economically more developed regions of the world – for this to happen, foreign resources are needed, in particular, if the domestic savings rate is as low as in Georgia.
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Traffic Traumas
Recently, one of the authors of this article was crossing a street with a crowd of people at green pedestrian light close to Marjanishvili metro station, when a Mercedes was accelerating and heading towards the people, ignoring the red light, making the crowd splash in all directions. A police car was standing nearby, doing nothing.
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Lari Winter Blues – Should We Worry?
In the past two weeks, Georgians have been waking up with a sense of déjà vu. In a matter of days, the Georgian currency lost over 8% of its value against the US dollar and reversed the course of appreciation against the euro. The lari winter blues are reminiscent of the last months of 2013, when, after a long period of stability, the lari lost about 5% of its value against the dollar in the course of ten weeks.
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The Economic Potential of Georgian Wine
Winemaking is one of the oldest Georgian traditions that have survived to this day. Archaeologists have proved that the history of Georgian wine production reaches back into the past at least 8000 years. Arguably, this makes Georgia the earliest place on earth where wine was produced. And the tradition is alive – today there are not just big wine firms, but it is common among ordinary Georgians to grow grapes and produce their own, homemade wine.
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Who Defends the Workman’s Interests?
Assume you want to buy tomatoes at a vegetable market in Tbilisi. At a booth, you see beautiful tomatoes of flawless quality, red, fleshy, and shiny. Right next to them are offered semi-rotten tomatoes with corky blotches, but to your surprise, both kinds of tomatoes are tagged with the very same price. “Something wrong with this seller”, you may think and buy the shiny tomatoes.