On 13 April, ISET Policy Institute hosted an event: “War in Ukraine: Challenges, Risks, and Responses of the Georgian Economy”. The meeting brought together the policy community – including think tanks, experts, public and private sector leaders, and various development partners. In total, 170 participants attended in person at Rooms Hotel, with another 160 via Facebook Live.
The event was introduced by Tamar Sulukhia, ISET and ISET Policy Institute Director, and Erik Illes, the Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of Sweden.
The keynote speaker, Tymofy Mylovanov an advisor to President Zelenskyy’s administration and the President of Kyiv School of Economics, connected via Zoom from Kyiv. In his address, he spoke about Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction needs and their vision of the process.
ISET-PI Lead Economist, Yaroslava Babych, subsequently introduced the economic impacts on Georgia. The following section consisted of three panel discussions: (i) Risks and Policy Responses: Macroeconomic Stability; (ii) Economic Security in the Changing Region: Impacts, Risks, Opportunities, Institutional Responses; and (iii) Socio-Economic System, Migrants – How Should Georgia Deal?
The first panel discussion on Risks and Policy Responses was moderated by Giorgi Papava, Lead Economist at ISET Policy Institute. It was dedicated to Georgian macroeconomic and financial stability in the near term, as well as long-term economic developmental prospects. The topics at the center of the discussion included fiscal discipline, inflation targeting, and the resilience of the financial sector, alongside the need for structural and institutional reforms.
The second panel considered Economic Security within the Changing Region. Salome Gelashvili, ISET-PI Lead Economist, coordinated the panel, where the speakers discussed the impact of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Georgia’s food and energy security, international trade, agriculture, tourism, and other sectors. To overcome such challenges, the speakers emphasized the importance of economic and market diversification, collaboration with international partners, and gradual approximation with EU regulations. They also reviewed transit opportunities for Georgia and the need to mitigate the adverse impacts of food inflation on both the general population and marginalized groups.
The final panel discussion, on the Socio-Economic System and Migrants, was moderated by ISET’s Director, Tamar Sulukhia. Various perspectives on socio-economic impacts were considered, including effects of Russian and Belarusian migration on the labor and housing markets; urban processes and services; challenges in the education sector; and difficulties for Ukrainian refugees migrating to Georgia, in addition to their short- and long-term requirements. It was concluded that both temporary and longer-term strategies are still needed, in conjunction with defining the risks, vulnerabilities, and the challenges of socio-economic systems.