ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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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Nov
17

Kakha Bendukidze. End of an Epoch?

  The post-communist world lost one of its greatest sons last week – a freedom fighter who devoted his life to the daunting task of cleansing Eastern Europe and Eurasia from the shackles of Soviet thinking and bureaucracy. Like Che Guevara before him, Big Kakha’s legacy transcends national borders. His crusade for liberty and human dignity took him in 2004 from Russia to Georgia, and – in the last year of his life – from Georgia to Ukraine. He was eager to help revolutionaries and reformers all over the world, not sparing his time, money and effort...
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Guest — Sanjit
Extremely well written article in an area that is the author's forte. We often write best the stuff we know best.
Monday, 17 November 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Good points, Helene... One could perhaps claim that thanks to Kakha we are starting from clean slate But I agree with your point ... Read More
Monday, 17 November 2014 8:08 PM
Guest — Helene Ryding
Only one problem with what Bendukidze was doing. The removal of many old regulations, only for the EU to insist on bringing in so... Read More
Monday, 17 November 2014 7:07 PM
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Oct
10

How Much Regulation Does a Country Need?

Democracy and Freedom Watch reported October 9, that “Georgia’s controversial new immigration law may be changed”. The law, writes DFW, “has caused a wave of confusion and irritation in the country’s expat community. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili … told journalists that if any defects become apparent after the enactment of the new law, ‘we’ll surely correct it.” Just a month earlier, confusion, irritation and public outrage were caused by another piece of Georgian legislation – a law greatly limiting the sales of non-prescription drugs (see Florian...
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Guest — Simon Appleby
The beloved Politician's Logical Fallacy at work......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vidzkYnaf6Y
Friday, 10 October 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — Y
Wise statesmen listen as much as they act. Moreover, they learn to listen before they act. This is a matter of accumulating politi... Read More
Friday, 10 October 2014 1:01 PM
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Sep
26

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

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. The reasons for rejection were stated in most general terms, relating to Article 18 of the new immigration law. That article reads:  “An alien may b...
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Guest — Ali
once the reputation of a country is damaged, it could not be corrected for many many years. I am seeing lots of my friends who had... Read More
Friday, 26 September 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Y
Who benefits? The bureaucrats with a newfound sense of "purpose" in their lives.
Friday, 26 September 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Steven Hermans
Georgia was an easy place to stay. It now became like everywhere else: Europe, Central Asia, US,...
Friday, 26 September 2014 11:11 AM
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Sep
23

Georgian Egg Prices: the Roller Coaster Ride Continues

About 9 months ago, we were already discussing the oddities of egg prices in Georgia (“The Georgian Egg of Discord”, by Giorgi Kelbakiani and Eric Livny). At that time, a huge volatility in the egg prices could be explained by interesting political dynamics. Under the UNM government, local producers of eggs were largely protected from external competition through non-tariff import barriers, called by the ministry of agriculture a “complete violation of law and international agreements”. However, through these measures, a relative stability of egg supply ...
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