ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
Oct
09

One Notch More Attractive to Investors with Deep Pockets

Just recently, a rare occurrence made the headlines in Georgia: Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the government of Georgia’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings first time in seven years, to Ba2 from Ba3, with commentary that the outlook remains stable. This news was met with great excitement, but was soon overshadowed by the unfortunate news of Georgia’s downgrade on the Global Competitiveness Indicators, without fully appreciating or understanding the significance of the Moody's upgrade. SO WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? Moody's Investors Service provid...
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Jul
01

How Can Georgian Economy Benefit from Bitcoin?

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS For the first time in history, the price of Bitcoin broke its highest record (Figure 1) rising above 2,900 USD during the last week of June, 2017. One of the reasons why the market unexpectedly became optimistic about Bitcoin could be the fact that in April, the Japanese government formally accepted1 the cryptocurrency as a mean of exchange, which gave it more validity in Asia’s richest economy. Moreover, there has been significant growth of international money transfer services that use Bitcoin in order to move currency from one coun...
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Jun
12

Wanna Get Rich? Make Batumi Your “Second Home”!

With 6.3 million tourists visiting the country in 2016, Georgia has become a popular tourist destination. In May, the number of international visitors (those who stayed in the country 24 hours or more) increased annually by 19% (compared to the same month in the previous year). While Tbilisi Airport is the main border-crossing point, in May, Batumi Airport overshot Kutaisi Airport, famous for its low costs flights, and experienced a 20% annual increase in the number of arrivals. The concert of legendary musical band “Aerosmith,” which took place near Bat...
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May
08

Yet Another (Questionable) Farewell to Street Vendors?

  Tbilisi residents have already experienced a fair number of cycles in street vending regulations where local authorities tolerate, then regulate, and then evict street vendors. These cycles correspond with economic trends and election cycles starting in 2006, when street vending was declared illegal by the Tbilisi Government and the first attempts were made to enforce the ban. Just recently, the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office restarted its efforts to restrict trading in the streets of Tbilisi, claiming that illegal stalls in the busiest places prevent mov...
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Apr
17

How Businessmen Grow Wings

  Everybody knows Bakar and Tengo (BATE Generals), two businessmen from a very popular Georgian TV series, 'My wife's best friends' ('ჩემი ცოლის დაქალები'), who became incredibly rich from a start-up with a seemingly 'nonsense' idea to export the 'tails' of khinkali (traditional Georgian dumplings) to Bulgaria. Later on, BATE Generals created a special office for ideas, where their relatives and unemployed friends of their friends were solicited to generate promising business ideas. BATE Generals is paying a fixed amount to the idea generator and a ...
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