ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Mar
28

Why Georgia is not South Korea (or Israel)?

Back in October 2014, soon after the introduction of new visa regulations by the Georgian government, I visited Seoul, the capital of South Korea. An unpleasant surprise awaited me on the way back home at the Seoul airport. The young stewardess checked my (Israeli) passport and informed me that, according to the system, I will not be allowed to board the flight (to Istanbul) unless I show a Georgian residence card or buy a return ticket. “But I live in Georgia, and it has never been a problem to come back, nobody ever checked my ticket”, I argued. T...
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Guest — Levan Pavlenishvili
Probably yes, results of previous Tbilisi elections were also names in rhymed with "Chitanava", so I don't have any other choice b... Read More
Monday, 16 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Levan, you always have great ideas... Just one point - Italy is a union of two large parts (themselves further subdivided), North ... Read More
Monday, 16 March 2015 5:05 PM
Guest — Levan Pavlenishvili
Maybe we need some more time to learn how to monetize our talents, or start following rules. Many generations in this country live... Read More
Monday, 16 March 2015 5:05 PM
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Jan
11

Is winter tourism in Kyrgyz Republic able to reach international level?

Izat Berenaliev, research fellow of the National Institute for Strategic Studies of Kyrgyzstan, analysed whether Kyrgyzstan's winter tourism sector can reach international level in his article "Is winter tourism in the Kyrgyz Republic able to reach international level? published on the website of the NISS.  Current situation In recent years, winter tourism in Kyrgyzstan develops rapidly and becomes much more popular. There are more than 6 ski resorts with chair lifts and several small bases with regular lifts in Kyrgyzstan. Besides them, there are a...
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Sep
26

Georgian Farmers Playing Russian Roulette

On August 20, 2015 a strong hailstorm hit Georgia, devastating crops and infrastructure in eastern Kakheti. In Kvareli alone, the hailstorm destroyed about 1,300ha of Saperavi and 1,000ha of Rkatsiteli grapes, affecting more than 500 families. This was only one in a string of natural disasters striking Georgian farmers in recent years. One of the worst calamities occurred in July 2012, when heavy rain, strong winds, hail and floods damaged thousands of hectares of arable land in Kakheti, ripping roofs and destroying vital infrastructure.   Whil...
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Recent Comments
Irakli Kochlamazashvili
Very good piece, indeed! One fact I would like to underline is that (it is mentioned in the blog also), on the one hand, the mini... Read More
Saturday, 26 September 2015 8:08 PM
Eric Livny
An excellent point, Salome! Both grants and cheap loans provide an opportunity to "nudge" people towards insurance.
Monday, 28 September 2015 12:12 PM
Salome Gelashvili
Majority of Georgian companies do not have reinsurance most probably because of small portfolios and reinsurance costs. Since por... Read More
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 10:10 AM
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Jul
06

The Positive Sides of Georgia’s NATO Partnership (Not Membership)

Since the Rose Revolution, pro-Western Georgian politicians strive to lead their country into the apparent safe haven of the NATO defense collective. So far membership seems far off, causing disappointment among many Georgians and affirming those who preferred less integration in the Western geopolitical bloc. The continuing debate as to whether or not Georgia should assume full membership in the alliance may be obfuscating the reality that the present relationship with the alliance is the most ideal for Georgia.  It allows for a nearly unrestricted...
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Guest — Randall Filer
You do mean NATO's only LAND border don't you?. There is a US/Russian border with customs posts and everything. Other nit-pickin... Read More
Saturday, 11 July 2015 8:08 AM
Guest — Levan Pavlenishvili
I think there literally can not be more IRON-Iron Curtain: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/20/russian-expansion-georgia-... Read More
Monday, 13 July 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — Florian Biermann
Randy, there is indeed a lot of controversy about the interpretation of Article 5, and it is not clear that Article 5 would apply ... Read More
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 5:05 PM
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Jun
26

The Brutal Revolution

  When offered the ISET director job back in March 2007, I did not think twice. Everything I’ve read about Georgia until then was incredibly positive. Livable, hospitable, beautiful, corruption free, etc. etc. The latter part sounded particularly promising given that during my last days in Moscow (I lived and worked in Moscow from 1993 till 2007) I had my brand new BMW motorbike stolen in broad daylight by a local police officer (sic!) who knew that I am about to leave the country and probably thought that there would be no use for motorbikes on Geo...
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Guest — Florian Biermann
I am surprised about this article. Based on its title, I thought this would be a piece slamming the reforms of the old government.... Read More
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 6:06 PM
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Jun
08

The Ukrainian Malaise: Will Georgians Save the Day?

When Georgia ran into a conflict with its northern neighbor in 2008, it experienced considerable solidarity on part of its main Western ally. The United States supplied military transporters to fly back Georgian troops from Afghanistan, which was correctly understood by the Russians as a warning that the US would not allow Georgia to fall. While the Russians had already taken Gori, Condoleeza Rice and Michail Saakashvili held a joint press conference in Tbilisi, just 80 km away. Surprised by the American determination to defend small Georgia, the Russian...
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Guest — Megiddo
Eric, the nice thing about this dispute is that we can just wait and see who was right . Relatively soon we will know the performa... Read More
Monday, 08 June 2015 10:10 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
I don't think the Western treatment was all that different. There were no (and will not be) NATO boots on the ground in either Geo... Read More
Monday, 08 June 2015 9:09 AM
Guest — Lasha Lanchava
It reads like a post-mortem justification of what you call a pragmatic approach (And I know you are doing it out of curiosity, wit... Read More
Monday, 08 June 2015 10:10 AM
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