This policy brief addresses risks tied to Russian business ownership in Georgia. The concentration of this ownership in critical sectors such as electricity and communications makes Georgia vulnerable to risks of political influence, corruption, economic manipulation, espionage, sabotage, and sanctions evasion. To minimize these risks, it is recommended to establish a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) screening mechanism for Russia-originating investments, acknowledge the risks in national security documents, and implement a critical infrastructure reform.
The reform aims to facilitate E-commerce in Georgia by developing a legal and regulatory framework and the necessary technical infrastructure. It consists of many different aspects, incorporating the activities of implementing government agencies, other public sector stakeholders, and the private sector.
In a recent ISET Economist blog post, Luc Leruth explores the notion of a spatial fracture in Georgia. He wonders whether people will become accustomed to working remotely, with the COVID crisis having given them this fresh opportunity. If so, this could help decrease the strain on Tbilisi infrastructure by slowing down migration to the capital. Will COVID, unexpectedly, convince people to continue working remotely and settle outside Tbilisi in the countryside?
This in-depth study seeks to quantify the costs and benefits associated with introducing a local tourism fee to support public services and touristic infrastructure in Georgian municipalities. Locally generated and retained fee revenues are one of the best methods for boosting local economies and maintaining tourist infrastructure. A tourism local tax and/or fee is an internationally accepted practice and is paid by non-residents when staying in local tourist accommodations and when receiving specialized services.
In a recent blog post, Y. Babych and L. Leruth raised several issues related to public infrastructure management in the city of Tbilisi. They observed that the consequences of poor past management practices were highly visible. But some of these consequences are also less visible or less immediate. Take schooling, for example. If the authorities fail to plan for the expected increase in the city’s population over the next few years and neglect to build an adequate number of kindergartens/pre-schools, the results will be overcrowded, fast-decaying pre-schools, and eventually poor educational outcomes. Similarly, as the number of cars keeps growing, the authorities must plan new roads and enhance their maintenance.