Locals in Stepantsminda Municipality of Georgia Updated on Land-Use Plan Developments
We are working with the United Water Supply Company of Georgia (UWSCG) to introduce environmentally-friendly communal infrastructure in Stepantsminda Municipality (Mtskheta-Mtianeti region of Georgia), under the KfW Development Bank project entitled “Elaboration of Concept and Feasibility Studies for Communal Infrastructure for Environmental and Tourism Improvement,” led by P2M Berlin together with IDOM.
Advancing the Public Financial Management (PFM) Capacity of Georgian Municipalities
We recently started a new project with the purpose of strengthening the public financial management (PFM) capacity of two Georgian municipalities, namely Gori and Ozurgeti. This program will cover the implementation of program budgeting methodology in practice, enhance the budgeting process, and improve two important principles of the budgeting system – transparency and accountability - in these municipalities.
The EBRD and its Donors Helping us to Grow: Using Mr. Thomas Wittig’s Expertise to Expand and Drive Forward
In achieving our strategic expansion initiatives with regard to geographical coverage, sectors, and products, we believe that it is essential to enhance our organizational capacity continuously. With this in mind, courtesy of the financial support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, TaiwanBusiness – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, and the USA) we are delighted to welcome to PMCG as a senior industry adviser, Mr. Thomas Wittig, Founder and CEO at WITTIGONIA.
Enhancing Agribusiness Clustering to Boost Georgia’s Sustainable Economic Development
PMC Research recently finished a diagnostic study of two clusters of two regions of Georgia - the processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables cluster in Guria, and the poultry cluster in Kvemo Kartli - in order to contribute to their development and promotion, which is beneficial for the private sector’s enhancement, as it can boost productivity and advance innovation.
Project in Racha Sets Ground for Full Local Youth Engagement
Recently, we completed a project entitled Supporting an Inclusive Youth Policy by Establishing Sustainable Youth Platforms and Promoting Non-formal Education in Racha, in the course of which we established the Youth Assembly in the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region of Georgia, which conducts various activities dedicated to providing youth with opportunities, experiences, and the necessary theoretical and practical skills and competencies to support their full and successful integration into society. Such efforts were designed to enable them to become involved in decision-making processes at the local level through civic engagement mechanisms.
Sharing the Results of Our Research on Georgia’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Readiness
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives, offering tremendous benefits for societies in terms of public governance, business development, and healthcare. However, it also raises some important economic, legal, and ethical questions. Hence, while governments have to create an AI-friendly eco-system, attract AI investors, boost the development of AI technologies, increase the industrial application of AI and, therefore, enhance AI-generated economic and social welfare overall, they should also elaborate policy frameworks to balance AI-associated risks that might be related to personal data protection, targeting, algorithmic discrimination, cybersecurity, and/or AI liability.
Presenting Research of Good Practices in Public Sector Worldwide at Municipal Level in Times of COVID-19
On March 12, we participated in the Connective Cities Network virtual global exchange on municipal responses to COVID-19 in public sectors, where we presented the findings of research undertaken in network cities in the area of governance, followed by presentations of specific cases from Tartu (Estonia) and La Paz (Bolivia) by the representatives of respective cities.
Enhancing Parliamentary Oversight of Georgia’s Universal Healthcare Program
On February 26, under the USAID-funded Good Governance Initiative (GGI) in Georgia, we, as a subcontractor to Tetra Tech ARD, introduced our initiated monitoring and evaluation tool to members of the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, enabling them to carry out comprehensive quality monitoring and evaluation of the State Program on Universal Healthcare on an unprecedented scale.
Advancing the Statistical Data Processing Proficiency of the Analytical Unit of the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia
PMCG is implementing an EU-funded project in consortium with ICE – International Consulting Expertise entitled “Improving quality of Prosecution and Criminal Investigation." The project aims to assist in advancing the reforms of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Georgia in line with international standards and commitments. In the course of the project, we have helped to deepen the knowledge and skills of employees of the Analytical Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia in their daily integral work on analytical data processing and improving published information to prepare materials and reports in a dynamic and interactive manner, using modern tools and methodologies.
PMCG, as part of a consortium led by B&S Europe under the EU’s SIEA Framework Contract Lot 3, together with Evoluxer S.L., has recently started working on a mid-term evaluation of ten projects, conducted by the EU during 2017-2020 concerning comprehensive reform of public administration in Ukraine.
On July 9, Georgia’s Digital Transformation Consortium, initiated by Georgia’s large- and medium-sized IT and consulting companies and serving as an open and collaborative platform based on a public-private partnership model, was signed by about 40 representatives of the IT industry, consultants, academics, and industry associations at Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA).
We are working to contribute to the promotion of equal-opportunity access to employment and relevant skills training for both women and men under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Bakuriani Municipal Services Project - Inclusion & Gender Consultancy.
We recently launched a new project, aiming to strengthen knowledge and capacities regarding the design and implementation of free trade agreements (FTAs) of all countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program, which represents a partnership of 11 countries (Afghanistan, China, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan) and development partners working together to promote development through cooperation, leading to accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction, guided by the overarching vision of “Good Neighbors, Good Partners, and Good Prospects.”
In 2021, unemployment remains an unresolved obstacle for the Georgian economy and society’s most pressing problem. Over the years, diverse public opinion polls have indicated that unemployment is the most important issue at national level. For instance, in 2020, according to a public attitudes poll conducted by the National Democratic Institute, for 46% of respondents, the main challenge they were facing was unemployment.This issue focuses on changes in unemployment trends in Georgia in the period of 2017-2020 and provides an analysis of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on unemployment in the country.
The wine industry in Georgia has experienced strong growth over the past decade in all key indicators such as exports, turnover, and employment and salaries (measured both in GEL and in USD). The financials of the sector have also looked impressive during this time.
The number of international travelers increased by 294.2% in June 2021 compared to the same period of 2020, and declined by 82.1% compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 286.8% (2021/2020) and declined by 79.8% (2021/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 361.6% (2021/2020) and declined by 71.7% (2021/2019);
In June 2021, the number of visitors from Israel, Ukraine and Kazakhstan recovered to approximately 75% of their June 2019 levels;
During the period of 2018-2021, average hotel prices in Georgia peaked in 2018, gradually falling in 2019 before plummeting in 2020;
Prices of 5-star hotels experienced the highest volatility, while the prices of guesthouses were most stable;
In June 2021, the Hotel Price Index increased by 1.5% compared to the corresponding month of 2019, mainly driven by positive expectations about tourism’s recovery, as well as the low base effect due to the shock (Russian flight ban) in June 2019.
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 136 GEL per night in June 2021, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 243 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 81 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in June 2021 was 496 GEL per night. In Guria, the average price was 739 GEL, followed by Tbilisi - 644 GEL, Kakheti - 470 GEL and Adjara – 457 GEL.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent Great Lockdown have affected investment flows all over the globe, especially in emerging markets. According to UNCTAD, global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows dropped by 35% in 2020, to $1 trillion, from $1.5 trillion in 2019. This is almost 20% below the 2009 levels after the global financial crisis. Moreover, the number of newly announced greenfield projects in developing countries declined by 42% in 2020 compared to 2019. To assess the impact of the crisis on the FDI flows in Ukraine, it is crucial to have a snapshot of the pre-crisis situation along with developments in 2020.
This bulletin focuses on remittance inflows into Georgia in 2020 and its development in 2021.
The social and economic stability of Georgia strongly relies on the money sent from emigrants to their families. Based on World Bank Data, in 2019, in terms of dependence on remittance inflows, Georgia ranked 21st in the world, with remittance inflows to GDP ratio. Moreover, the study conducted by the State Commission on Migration Issues revealed that in 2016 money sent by every second emigrant to their families accumulated half or 3/4 of family budget, and for the 15% of families remittance was the only source of income in Georgia.
The COVID-19 pandemic and imposed restrictions hindered economic activity in nearly every country, resulting in a negative effect on wages and employment for migrant workers and consequently, drying up of remittance inflows. In 2020 due to the emerged crises and uncertain situation, the World Bank projected shrinking remittance flows for low and middle-income countries by 7.2%3, while the IMF forecasted a 15%4 decline for Georgia. However, despite the crisis and pessimistic predictions in Georgia, the volume of remittance inflows in 2020 compared to 2019 has increased by 8.8% and reached the highest figure in the past decade - 1.9 BLN USD, amounting to 11.9%, expressed as a percentage to GDP.
According to this survey of Georgian economists, the economic climate in the country in the second quarter of 2021 is better than the first quarter of the same year. Georgian economists’ assessment of the current situation has improved, compared to the previous quarter and corresponding quarter of 2020, but nevertheless remained negative. The economists’ predictions for Georgia’s economic situation for the next six months were also negative. Their expectations for this period improved though, compared to their predictions in the first quarter of 2021, and were considerably more optimistic than the forecasts they made at the same time last year.
The number of international travelers increased by 141.6% in April 2021 compared to the same period of 2020, and declined by 86.8% compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 140.4% (2021/2020) and declined by 85.0% (2021/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 182.2% (2021/2020) and declined by 78.2% (2021/2019);
The number of visitors to Georgia from Israel in April 2021 recovered to 70% of its April 2019 level, with its share in total visitors amounting to 12.2%;
Georgia’s four neighboring countries accounted for 71% of total visitors in 2019. None of these countries had vaccinated more than 20% of their population as of May 23, 2021;
Some countries that stand out for their high vaccination rates among Georgia's key source markets include Israel (63% of the population), United Arab Emirates (61%), the United Kingdom (56%), Hungary (52%), the United States (49%), and Finland (41%). Most EU countries have a rate of around 30-40%;
In April 2021, the Hotel Price Index decreased by 2.3% compared to the corresponding month of 2019, mainly driven by a price decline of 27.4% in Adjara.
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 132 GEL per night in May 2021, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 246 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 82 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in May 2021 was 402 GEL per night. In Guria, the average price was 600 GEL, followed by Tbilisi - 509 GEL, Kakheti - 432 GEL and Adjara – 391 GEL.
The research objectives are to examine the challenges that exist in the civil servants’ professional development system, in general, explore barriers specifically associated with the shift to online learning, assess the readiness of civil servants for online training, and develop recommendations to increase the effectiveness of remote teaching.The research methodology is based on a mixed-method design and combines qualitative and quantitative approaches: analysis of the existing documents, interviews with key informants, focus group discussions, and a computer-assisted telephone survey that is representative for professional civil servants working in the councils and town halls across the country. In order to provide in-depth analysis of the issue, the research draws on the perspectives of multiple stakeholders, including civil servants as well as representatives of the Civil Service Bureau, international organizations, and training centers.