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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
30

Innovation Starts Here and Now … In Lisi Lake Greenhouses

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.  -John Maynard Keynes- Innovation is not necessarily about Silicon Valley Hi-Tech startups. It can happen here and now. In particular, contrary to what we have been hearing from our liberal politicians, there is plenty of scope for innovation in Georgia’s agriculture! Owned and managed by Nina Petrova-Dzneladze, Lisi Lake Greenhouses is a family farm located on 0.6ha of land in Tbilisi. The complex consists of three medium size greenhouses producing fruit and ...
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Guest — Ia
Great blog article!Since due to land restrictions farmers in Georgia often do not have access to large areas of land, greenhouse i... Read More
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — PatiMamardashvili
Thanks for the comment, Ia! Indeed, farmers (not only in Georgia) often stick to old production techniques and hardly innovate. Th... Read More
Monday, 01 February 2016 7:07 AM
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Nov
16

Less Bureaucracy Is Good, But Not Good Enough!

“Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up” – Thomas Wayne to his son (Batman).   The Georgian Government’s pride and joy of the previous years has been its high standing in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. Investors, policymakers, and economy-watchers around the world have opened editions of magazines like The Economist to see full-page advertisements about why Georgia is ‘different’ among Post-Soviet countries when it comes to doing business. A line such as “Georgia is different because we are the World Bank’s ...
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Eric Livny
A little funny story about Azerbaijan's progress in Doing Business. A few years ago, I was able to benefit from Azerbijan's invest... Read More
Monday, 16 November 2015 12:12 PM
Guest — FadyAsly
Great article! Cannot agree more on the shortfalls of the methodology, in addition to the parameters you mention and that need to ... Read More
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 4:04 AM
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Sep
18

Confidence Matters!

Georgian consumer confidence suffered a major blow at the end of 2014, in the wake of the sharp Lari depreciation. Around February 2015, the Index found some support at the very low level of -35-30 points, and has been slightly improving since then. In July 2015, this mildly positive trend was reversed, and in August, the Index dropped another 4.1 points to reach a new historical minimum of -38.4 points. Interestingly, this entire drop was driven by older respondents, those aged over 35. We will come back to this point later in the article. At the same ...
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2013
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Feb
27

Making Sense of FDI Dynamics

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is critical to every developing county, and Georgia is no exception in this regard. Georgia wants to grow out of poverty and catch up with the economically more developed regions of the world – for this to happen, foreign resources are needed, in particular if the domestic savings rate is as low as in Georgia. Yet FDI is not only about the capital which is made available to the economy but also, and even more importantly, about trust foreigners have into the Georgian economy. It is one thing to make cheerful statements abo...
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Guest — RT
> Georgia counted profits generated by foreign-owned companies that were left within Georgia as FDI.That seems to be the correct w... Read More
Monday, 02 March 2015 7:07 PM
Guest — Mathias
Given your analysis, should we for the time being largely ignore FDI data as a relevant indicator for how Georgia is doing? A few ... Read More
Friday, 27 February 2015 2:02 PM
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Feb
23

Should Georgia Sell its Agricultural Lands to Foreigners?

A BIT OF HISTORY: THE GOOD… Until 2012, Georgia has been encouraging foreigners to purchase land, bring modern technology and management to the country’s ailing agricultural sector. On the one hand, Georgia’s extremely liberal approach was a boon for investment by global food industry giants such as Ferrero (4,000ha hazelnut plantation in Samegrelo) and Hipps (growing of organic apple and production of aroma and apple concentrate in Shida Kartli). On the other, it catalyzed the creation of joint ventures in agricultural production and food processing wh...
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Guest — megiddo02
1) What is so terrible about Indian smallholder farmers? Perhaps they do not have a great impact on the economic development of Ge... Read More
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
There is nothing wrong about Indian farmers, except for the fear of massive immigration from one of the most populous countries in... Read More
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — megiddo02
Interesting, didn't know that they had a land reform. One could still argue that if there is so much land left, why not giving it ... Read More
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 1:01 PM
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Feb
13

Harmonize, but do not Harm!

The “do no harm” (primum non nocere) principle is well known to students of medical schools. It is one of the most fundamental maxims in medicine, as formulated, for example, in the Epidemics book of the Hippocratic Collection: “The physician must ... have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm". Doctors are taught that medical interventions are not risk-free. Thus, when facing a “problem” one should consider whether to use a particular procedure (e.g. surgery or chemical treatment) or do NOTHING. Not surp...
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Guest — Miranda
Great and "to the point" article! Concerning the topic itself, I just wonder how quickly Doing Business indicator will worsen for... Read More
Friday, 13 February 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thank you, Fady! It was my pleasure to contribute to the ongoing debate. I hope I did no harm :-)
Monday, 16 February 2015 12:12 PM
Guest — Fady Asly (@fadyasly)
Fantastically well written piece! Thanks Eric.
Saturday, 14 February 2015 1:01 PM
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