ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Mar
10

Belarusian Path to Transition: Lessons for Georgia?

“The lobby of the Metropole, Moscow's lovingly restored grand hotel a few blocks from Red Square, is almost deserted on this gray spring afternoon. That's just fine with Jeffrey D. Sachs, a boyish-looking 38-year-old Harvard professor who is now probably the most important economist in the world. He has appropriated a cluster of comfortable armchairs for a meeting with two members of his team, Americans who work full time in Russia. The agenda is Russia's safety net or, more precisely, whether unemployed workers will be able to make ends meet. Russia is ...
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Mar
09

Agriculture in Georgia: Are There Any Real Changes in the Sector?

After years of negligence, from 2012 onwards, Georgian agriculture returned to the spotlight. State funding for the sector grew from 85 mln. GEL in 2011 to more than 200 mln. GEL in the consecutive years, and up to 293 mln. GEL in 2020. The state launched more than ten agricultural support programs and established a separate agency, the Agricultural Projects Management Agency (APMA), in 2013 for their management. Those engaged in agriculture obviously welcome the increased state support to the sector, however many now question the results. The various ou...
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Mar
06

Is Climate Change Threatening Winter Tourism in Georgia? – Part 2 – Adaptation Measures

Georgian winter resorts have finally started their long-awaited season in February 2020, after a month and a half of poor snow. In our previous blog we discussed the possible climate change development scenarios over the rest of the century, and revealed the need for better understanding and implementation of adaptation measures. However, more still needs to be said about the expected effects of climate change on the economic viability of resorts and their possible adaptation strategies. Figure 1 shows that, over the last 13 years, the average depth of s...
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Feb
10

Tusheti Community Network Drives Development into the High Mountainous Regions of Georgia

  Back in 2005, as there was no mobile coverage, my uncle drove dozens of kilometers to the Jvarboseli village in Tusheti to inform me that I had enrolled in university. Now, in 2020, there is still no mobile signal in most Tusheti villages, including Jvarboseli, however people can use broadband internet to reach out the world! Previously known only for its sheep farming and tasty Guda cheese, today Tusheti is also a famous touristic destination; while being home to one of the largest protected areas in Europe, covering three types of IUCN protected...
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Feb
07

Is Climate Change Threatening Georgian Winter Tourism? – Part 1

This year the winter season started later than usual in nearly all Georgian ski resorts (except Goderdzi) due to a lack of snow. Given the heated international discussions on climate change and global warming in recent years, the lack of snow in Georgian ski resorts has raised questions concerning the future economic viability of winter tourism in the country. This is hardly an unexpected development as even the World Tourism Organization recognizes that mountain tourism is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (UNWTO, 2015). Unforeseen ...
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Jan
31

Recent Monetary Policy Measures and Lending Regulations — the Effect on Georgian Lending Patterns

High and rising levels of foreign currency indebtedness have been an important topic in Georgia over the past several years. To address this issue and protect borrowers from currency risks, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), as well as the Georgian Government have implemented regulations to hinder excess indebtedness. Let’s have a look at the timeline (Figure 1) of recent lending regulations and the accompanying monetary policy measures and observe their impact on changing lending patterns in the Georgian economy. Figure 1. Timeline of lending regulatio...
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