The global recovery from both the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine is progressing slowly and unevenly. While there was initial economic resilience earlier in the year, marked by a rebound in reopening and efforts to reduce inflation, it is premature to feel reassured. Economic activity has yet to fully return to pre-pandemic levels, particularly in emerging markets and developing economies, and regional disparities are widening.
As Georgia advances on its path toward European Union (EU) candidacy, the anticipated economic benefits, increased foreign investment, and alignment with European standards present a promising trajectory, worthy of further attention within the following article. The granting of European Union candidate status is a significant political signal, one which represents an initial step towards acknowledging that a candidate country is on the path towards eventual EU membership.
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.
Global economic growth is anticipated to decrease from 3.5 percent in 2022 to 3.0 percent in both 2023 and 2024. In comparison to the April 2023 World Economic Outlook (WEO) projections, there has been a modest 0.2 percentage point improvement in the growth forecast for 2023, while the 2024 projection remains unchanged.
Georgia is actively addressing gender equality and women's economic empowerment (WEE) within its investment climate and national policies. Despite legislative efforts to align with EU directives, women-owned SMEs face significant challenges in accessing finance, impacting overall economic growth.