Consultation on a Country Partnership Strategy for Georgia
Monday, 24 February, 2014

On February 19, 2014, ISET hosted a round table meeting on the World Bank’s draft of its Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Georgia for the FY 2014-2017. The purpose of the consultation meeting was to receive critical feedback from think tanks on the CPS to help determine the most effective country partnership strategy. The World Bank Group has already held several initial meetings with the government, civil society, and donor representatives.

The Country Partnership Strategy is the paper that sets the direction of the country’s development strategy in the upcoming three fiscal years. The CPS will guide the World Bank in its work in Georgia in collaboration with the government, the private sector, development partners, non-governmental organizations, and other civil society organizations.

The main participants in the round table meeting with the World Bank Group’s leading economists were representatives of various Georgian think tanks: the New School of Economics, the ISET-Policy Institute, the Economic Policy Research Center, the Association of Young Economist of Georgia, and the Georgian Employer Association.

The meeting opened with a welcome speech given by the World Bank’s Regional Director for the South Caucasus Henry Kerala. Later, the chief economist of the World Bank for the Europe and Central Asia region, Hans Timer, described the economic trends of developing countries. He talked about integration into global markets and the growth of exports, which have led to new technological adaption and more efficiency in production. He pointed out that macroeconomic stability is one of the challenges facing developing countries. Recent crises brought high vulnerability in the financial sector and countries still have a significant dependence on foreign capital inflow.

Following a short presentation from the World Bank representatives that introduced the main points from the CPS; its context, opportunities, and challenges; and the World Bank Group’s engagement, a round table discussion began involving feedback from the different think tanks. The main points made in the discussion concerned private sector involvement; the capability of the new government to deal with the challenges; the importance of vocational education and training; and opportunities and challenges for domestic producers related to Georgia signing the Association Agreement with the European Union.

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