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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
06

Georgian Tangerines

The Estonian-Georgian film, Tangerines, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2014. While the film was shot in Guria, the story takes place in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia during the war in the early 1990s. In the film, two of the main characters are peasants from Estonia who are living and working in Abkhazia, one as a tangerine grower and the other as a manufacturer of wooden crates for transporting tangerines to markets (much like the one in the photo above). Unlike their families and neighbors, these two men ...
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Guest — Eric Livny
There is an interesting analogy between Israel-Palestine and Georgia-Abkhazia economic relations. An Israeli company (Agrexco) is ... Read More
Monday, 06 April 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — Rati
Dear Fady, thanks for your comment! Area of Georgia is a really limit of not only sub-tropical fruits, but also for many agricult... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 11:11 AM
Guest — Fady Asly
I doubt it a lot! Georgia is at the extreme limit of sub-tropical fruits production zone! The yields will always be inferior to pr... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 12:12 AM
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Jan
23

Georgia’s Trade in 2014: Does Export Decline Suggest a Loss of Competitiveness?

According to the latest GEOSTAT figures, merchandize exports from Georgia decreased by 1.63% between 2013 and 2014. This is certainly not great news for the country, but does it imply that Georgian goods have become less competitive on the world market? Recent trade data suggest that this is not necessarily the case. The first thing to note is that much of the decline in exports is related to one particular activity – the re-exports of Georgian cars to Azerbaijan and Armenia. Beginning in 2009, this business has become a “cash cow”, capitalizin...
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Guest — Nino
Congratulations with the first piece, Lasha! The piece is very timely and encouraging!
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 2:02 PM
Guest — megiddo02
An overly optimistic piece. We see one of main "business models" of Georgia -- car reexports -- disappearing. 25% of Georgian expo... Read More
Sunday, 01 February 2015 3:03 PM
Guest — Y
The main argument the article is advancing is not that everything is going peachy in Georgia with regards to exports, but rather ... Read More
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 11:11 AM
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Dec
08

Lari Winter Blues – Should We Worry?

In the past two weeks Georgians have been waking up with a sense of déjà vu. In a matter of days, the Georgian currency lost over 8% of its value against the US dollar, and reversed the course of appreciation against the euro. The lari winter blues are reminiscent of the last months of 2013, when, after a long period of stability, the lari lost about 5% of its value against the dollar in the course of ten weeks. The current episode of sudden depreciation sent ripples of worry through the Georgian society and prompted opposition parties to sharply critic...
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Guest — George
I think it is great for ISET to put this all in perspective. Funnily enough, you pipped me the post as I was considering writing a... Read More
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 9:09 PM
Guest — George Welton
I think it is great for ISET to put this all in perspective. Funnily enough, you pipped me the post as I was considering writing a... Read More
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 9:09 PM
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Oct
17

Handling Frozen Conflicts: the Economic Angle

It now seems more and more likely that Eastern Donbass (the area currently controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics) will become a frozen conflict zone, a territory in which the Ukrainian government will have little power to enforce its laws and where slowly a parallel governance system, an unrecognized ‘quasi-state’, will emerge. In the absence of a viable military alternative, one option likely to be considered by Ukraine and its Western allies is to exercise ‘strategic patience’. As discussed in a Foreign Policy article...
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Guest — Zurab Garakanidze
October 17, 2014 To: ISET From: Z. Garakanidze, Ph.D(Economics), Tbilisi, Georgia; Ass. Professor of the Georgian University. Tbil... Read More
Friday, 17 October 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Simon Appleby
An interesting article. Mainland China and Taiwan (another quasi-state backed by a powerful patron) agreed on a basic compact allo... Read More
Sunday, 19 October 2014 6:06 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks for your comment, Simon... We limited the scope of the article to the post-Soviet space, but Taiwan-China example is perhap... Read More
Sunday, 19 October 2014 7:07 AM
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Oct
07

The Economic Potential of Georgian Wine

Winemaking is one of the oldest Georgian traditions that have survived to this day. Archaeologists have proved that the history of Georgian wine production reaches back into the past at least 8000 years. Arguably, this makes Georgia the earliest place on earth where wine was produced. And the tradition is alive – today there are not just big wine firms, but it is common among ordinary Georgians to grow grapes and produce their own, home-made wine. The great history of Georgian winemaking has been acknowledged internationally. Since July 2012, G...
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Guest — Eric Livny
A nice read. "Only the government could create a country brand, and this is something that should be seriously considered." This i... Read More
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 11:11 AM
Guest — Simon Appleby
In the southern hemisphere, State national wine promotion in many cases was superseded or supplemented by industry-based promotion... Read More
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 2:02 PM
Guest — Eric Livny
In Georgia's specific circumstances, there is another problem with both private and public funding to promote Georgia as a brand. ... Read More
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 4:04 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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