International School of Economics at TSU (ISET) and ISET Policy Institute are holding second in the series of international Policy Panels – Re-imagining Higher Education Post-pandemic. It will focus on the impacts of COVID-19 on the higher education sector globally and will bring together top expert views on the longer-term prospects and challenges for the universities and students.
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.
Geostat has released its rapid estimate of real GDP growth for February 2020. The estimated growth stands at 2.2%, while the average real GDP growth for January-February 2019 reached 3.7%. ISET-PI predicted 4.7% and 5.4% growth for the first and second quarters of 2020 respectively, based on February 2020 data. This data does not yet fully account for the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy.
In the past several months the world has been rocked by profound economic and social turbulence. The COVID-19 epidemic has forced many countries around the world into widespread emergency lockdowns. Economic activity plunged dramatically in February-March 2020, with rapid indicators showing strong contractions in retail, restaurant business, and passenger transport.
Although the operations of many businesses and organizations have been brought to a crashing halt due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ISET has refused to allow the crisis to hinder its work. Over the last few months, all teaching and academic activity have been shifted online using Zoom, a format that works equally well for operations of ISET Policy Institute and its efforts to serve as a knowledge accumulation and exchange platform in the lock-down.