ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Dec
07

COVID-19 – A Threat but Also an Opportunity for More Decisive Actions Against Climate Change

Covid-19 has exposed many countries to severe healthcare and economic crises, which have disproportionally adversely affected the most vulnerable and low-income parts of society. The current pandemic crisis, however, has also brought some interesting opportunities to light. For example, it has shown that relatively quick change is possible, as the unfolding of the COVID pandemic led to significant changes in working practices and individual behaviors, leading to dramatic reductions in greenhouse emissions around the world. Building on these experiences, ...
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Nov
09

Tbilisi Central Park Project – Call for More Green Space in the City

Pressure on environmental conditions has been increasing over the years in Tbilisi due to several factors: • Population increase – according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GeoStat), the capital’s population has increased by 8% over the last ten years; • Tbilisi is the center of Georgian business operations – GeoStat reveals that, by January 2020, 42% of economically active organizations were located in Tbilisi; • These two factors are strongly associated with high levels of activity in the construction sector – according to GeoStat, 48% of...
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Sep
21

The Post-COVID Foreign Direct Investment in Georgia: go clean, or don’t go!

Governments around the world are racing against the clock to help communities damaged by the economic fallout of COVID-19. Eager to bring good news to their constituents, they are brokering deals likely to bring employment and much needed international investments. Georgia, of course, is no exception. Recent FDI projects include a plastics processing plant with a stated capacity to employ 400 local workers in plastic waste recycling jobs and the associated sections of the supply chain. In crises years, creation of jobs via FDI sounds absolutely great. Bu...
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Sep
07

New Old Chavchavadze Avenue – Putting the Horse Ahead of the Cart?

Preface: Imagine a Tbilisi where the Mayor rides a municipal bus, a football star passes you on a scooter, and your favorite guitar player locks up his bike at the entrance to a restaurant; not because they don’t have fancy cars (they do!), but because they believe these alternatives are healthier, more environmentally friendly, greener, and more convenient.  This really sounds like a European city! One issue on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days in Tbilisi—along with August holidays and the risks of COVID-19—is the newly-rehabilitated Chavchav...
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May
20

Does Your Smartphone Make You an “Unconscious” Villain?

Our dependence on smartphones can hardly be described as anything other than addictive. We invariably use them to document trips and thus to have the world at our fingertips. Though, these precious little gadgets have a dark history that we, as consumers, unconsciously support. Unfortunately, we will not be able to discuss in detail all the negative impacts within the supply chain of smartphones. Nonetheless, we wish this article to serve as an awakening, and a reminder, of what we as consumers are promoting. Moreover, what we - and governments - could d...
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Apr
19

Is Georgia on the Right Path to Reduce Massive Plastic Bag Usage?

  In October 2018, a new law came into force which prohibits producing, importing, and selling single-use bags thinner than 15 microns.1 The second wave of this reform was introduced in April 2019, and expanded to all forms of plastic bags. It is important to ask, why was it necessary to impose a restriction on plastic bags? What are the implications and the expected consequences of the ban? Plastic shopping bags are produced at a rate of one trillion a year and distributed at store checkout counters across the globe. More than two thirds created ar...
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