On November 20, 2012 Azim Sadikov, a Senior Economist from the IMF’s Resident Representative Office in Georgia, delivered a presentation of the IMF’s annual report on the “Caucasus and Central Asia [CCA] Regional Economic Outlook” to ISETers. The presentation covered an analysis of current and projected macroeconomic trends on both the global and CCA regional scale.

Mr. Sadikov started the talk by introducing a current evaluation of global economic performance and provided a brief summary of specific risks and uncertainties endangering the steady growth of the global economy. According to the report, the main challenges of 2011 and at the start of 2012 were the slowdown in global manufacturing and merchandise exports, the outflow of capital from European periphery countries, high government bond spreads, country default risks and increasing global uncertainty.

At least on paper, Georgia has all it takes to be a successful agricultural producer: a favorable tax environment, mild climate, long growing season, inexpensive labor force and abundant water resources.

There are also many other factors that make Georgia’s agricultural sector a target for foreign investors, such as Simon Appleby: great access to markets thanks to a strategic geographic location and transport links, relatively low land prices, and the ability of foreign-invested entities to acquire freehold land titles (quite an exception considering the international practice!). Yet, as ISETers learned from Mr. Appleby’s SWOT analysis, there are also many bottlenecks to be addressed.

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