As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread around the world and has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, the next global economic recession is no longer an “if” or even a “when” event. Unfortunately, it is already upon us. In just the past few days:

• Stock market indices have continued to exhibit high volatility, rallying one day and plunging at a record pace the next;

• Companies around the world are shoring up cash, as they start to fear for their liquidity;

• Countries have adopted drastic measures to limit outside travel and social interactions;

• Health systems in the most afflicted countries are strained to near breaking point;

Georgia’s agri-food export is concentrated in few products and few undemanding markets, making it highly vulnerable to shocks on a small number of commodity and geographical markets. At the same time, the diversity of climatic conditions and ample water resources create significant growth and diversification potential for Georgian agriculture. Georgian conditions appear especially suitable for the production and export of high-value niche products as the land mass is small and fragmented, both due to topographic conditions and present ownership patterns.

This research paper intended to supplement and complement the following economic policy strategies and plans of the Georgian government in the areas of sustainable and balanced growth:

• “Georgia 2020”, a broad agenda directed at long-run growth of most economic sectors with validity beyond the 2020 date

• A “4 point plan” and a broader “14 point plan” of economic reform proposals of the government announced right before and right after the parliamentary elections of 2016.

Our research team conducted a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of the Georgian economy. We concluded that the broad economic policy priorities Georgia should tackle in the present legislative term. We also made suggestions on policy priorities, first in macroeconomic policy fields and finally for priority sectors in order to achieve more balanced growth.

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