The FINANCIAL -- The Georgian wine industry had a couple of very good years in 2013 and 2014, following the opening of the Russian market. Exports skyrocketed, prices of grapes followed suit. For all the talk about diversification, within just two years, Russia’s share in the total exports of Georgian wine shot up from 0 to almost 68%. 

The FINANCIAL -- In August 2015, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri in August 2015 was 3.49 GEL, which is 11.4 % higher month-on-month (m/m, that is compared to the previous month), and 7% higher year-on-year (y/y, that is compared to the same month of last year). 

It is easy to understand what it means for an economy to be weak or strong. We know that a strong economy is characterized by low unemployment and high growth rates. Other desirable traits are, for example, low levels of poverty and income inequality, when all citizens enjoy reasonable standards of living. 

There is a distant rumble in the regional economy– one with a particularly Persian flair. Iranian commerce and exports are about to enter an unrestricted world market as part of the deal negotiated between Western partners and Iranian leadership over its nuclear enrichment program. If Iran can meet the terms of the agreement, sanctions on its exports and imports will be lifted within the next year. When such a large energy-producing economy goes from near autarky to free trade, this is bound to send ripples through the world economy. Georgia and the South Caucasus are in a prime position to benefit from increased Iranian trade, investment and tourism.

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