Handling Frozen Conflicts: the Economic Angle
17 October 2014

It now seems more and more likely that Eastern Donbas (the area currently controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics) will become a frozen conflict zone, a territory in which the Ukrainian government will have little power to enforce its laws and where slowly a parallel governance system, an unrecognized ‘quasi-state’, will emerge. In the absence of a viable military alternative, one option likely to be considered by Ukraine and its Western allies is to exercise ‘strategic patience’.

How Much Regulation Does a Country Need?
10 October 2014

After the great success in preparing and delivering the Young Bankers training program for ProCredit Bank Georgia, a new training program for senior bank staff was developed and conducted in Tbilisi and Batumi in 2012. Three different groups participated in the program. These three groups consisted of employees from two departments - The Medium Loans Assessment Department and Corporate Client Service Department. In this particular program, four modules were incorporated: General Microeconomics; General Macroeconomics; Banking and Data Analysis

Georgia’s New Immigration Law: Many Losers and no Winners
26 September 2014

This year, the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) admitted nine Armenian students and one from Azerbaijan. They came to Tbilisi for a preparation course in August and all of them applied for residency permits before the first of September. All applications were exactly identical. Out of ten students, seven got their permits, two were denied, and one is still in process.

Trade with, or Build Walls Around, Frozen Conflict Areas? That is The Question!
12 September 2014

With Russia creating or helping sustain so many “frozen conflicts” on its periphery, it is crucially important for countries and nations finding themselves in this predicament to work a sound strategy of dealing with the situation. The military option has been taken off the table ever since the August 2008 attempt by Georgia to forcefully bring South Ossetia back into its fold. Thus, countries such as Moldova, Georgia, and now also Ukraine, don’t have too many good alternatives to choose from.

Georgia Caught Between the Russian Rock and the EU Hard Place
06 June 2014

“I’m Georgian, and therefore I am European.” These were the words late Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania chose to express Georgia’s EU aspirations when speaking in front of the Council of Europe in 1999. Reading very much like Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”, Zhvania’s dramatic statement conveyed twin desires: i) to join the European family of nations and ii) to break out of Russia’s traditional sphere of influence, its political, economic, and cultural domination of Georgia since early 19th century.