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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
12

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

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. One possibility is to isolate and punish in the hope of erodin...
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Guest — Eric Livny
Dear Salome, thanks for your comment - you are right, we have gone very far in isolationism and it would take years before we are ... Read More
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — sjapiashvili
I agree that Economic incentives might be very important for the dialogue to start, but "the isolation politics" has gone so far b... Read More
Monday, 15 September 2014 5:05 PM
Guest — Y
While I understand the point of the article, one should perhaps consider more carefully the context of Mr. Lutsenko's words, befor... Read More
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:11 AM
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Jul
07

Survival of the Fittest in Georgian Agriculture

The conclusion of the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union was euphorically acclaimed by Georgian media as well as political and economic decision makers. Part of the AA is the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The DCFTA is intended to liberalize trade between Georgia and the EU by lowering tariffs and reducing non-tariff barriers. For agriculture, the most relevant changes relate to food safety (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection, and labeling) as well as animal and plant health (phytosanitation). For the man...
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Jun
06

Georgia Caught Between the Russian Rock and the EU Hard Place

“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. On June 27, the European Union plans to sign...
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Guest — NP
Interesting point of view. I agree especially on the message that the economic, social and geopolitical consequences of all choice... Read More
Friday, 06 June 2014 10:10 AM
Guest — Hvino. Georgian Wine (@Wine_of_Georgia)
Thank you for worthy analysis
Friday, 06 June 2014 12:12 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
Kara, thanks for your comments. You sound very critical, but I think that, in fact, we are in complete agreement as far as the mai... Read More
Friday, 06 June 2014 4:04 PM
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Mar
21

The Crisis in Ukraine and the Georgian Economy

When Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich decided not to sign the association agreement with the European Union and instead opted for a Russian package of long-term economic support, many Ukrainians perceived this not to be a purely economic decision.  Rather, they feared this to be a renunciation of Western cultural and political values, and – to put it mildly – were not happy about this development. The Russian political system, characterized by a prepotent president, constrained civil rights, and a government controlling important parts of the e...
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Mar
03

Tiger in the Caucasus?

On the 14th of February, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia published the draft version of the Socio-economic Development Strategy 2020 (SDS). This comprehensive document identifies the main socio-economic challenges Georgia will be facing in the next years and presents a strategy how to cope with them. The overall goal is to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth until the end of this decade. The spirit of the document very much reflects the principles of the new government. There is no belief in the self-regulatory power o...
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Guest — vato
While the so called vision 2020 emphasizes the need for export orientation it does not tackle the issue on how shall Georgian busi... Read More
Monday, 03 March 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Ia
More optimistic view: If South Caucasus tiger does not exist (any more) we need to think up ways how to built appropriate "zoo" f... Read More
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 1:01 AM
Guest — Eric
Tigers are long extinct in the South Caucasus... Only their paper version (wrapped in tiger skin) may be found in bookstores...
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 12:12 AM
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Oct
21

Georgia on the Development Frontier: From Subsistence Agriculture to Exchange

While written in 1991, “The Development Frontier” by Peter Bauer has lost none of its relevance for Georgia and other predominantly agrarian economies of the 21st century. Economic development, suggests Bauer, “begins with the replacement of subsistence activities by production for sale. Producers will move out of subsistence production only if they see the advantages of doing so and if it is made possible for them to do so. They need the incentive, the opportunity, and the resources.” And this, according to Bauer, is where the traders come in. Traders m...
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Guest — Eric Livny
A valid point, Helene. The transfer of know-how, let alone seeds and implements, etc, is certainly not as smooth as Bauer is descr... Read More
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:10 AM
Guest — Helene Ryding
"Armed with knowledge of local, regional and export markets, traders also create new opportunities by providing outlets for farm p... Read More
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 9:09 AM
Guest — Juan Echanove
do agree that the improvements in roads (specially the rehabilitation of Tsalka road, which has totally modified the whole trade n... Read More
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:12 PM
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