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Economic survey suggests giant leaps for Georgia

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, July 7
Georgia was listed as the number one country of the Progress Rating Survey of the Russian Center for Strategic Analysis FBK while Russia is in 97th position. Considering the ratings of the World Bank, UN and other international rating data FBK evaluated the indexes of doing-business simplicity, economic freedom and corruption since 2006. The research has proved that Georgia has achieved significant progress through reforms simplifying the creation business in the country, while the same situation in Russia has been assessed as “regressive”.

The average value of seven key ratings allowed the ranking of 101 countries where Georgia took the absolute leadership for the last five years. In an article published on July 6, Anastasia Bashkatova from Nezavisimaia (Independent) newspaper compared the achievements of Georgia with Russia. “The high index of inflation, unavailability of high quality health care service and education, recent climate fluctuations, which affected communal, transports infrastructure, agriculture and economic growth are the reasons, which drag Russia back instead of progressing,” FBK report stated.

According to the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, the countries holding top positions of the research are experiencing a “positive catastrophe”. “Georgia is facing a breakdown in the social and economic spheres following the path of economical reforms and political revolution. The process is not painless, but it seems to be lifting the country on a different level of development,” Eugene Gontmakher Deputy Director of the Institute stated.

Alexander Gorelik Director of UN Information Centre in Moscow found distortions in an analysis for a period as short as five years. The successful countries with positive changes look as if they were treading water while the countries that have suddenly started catching up with developed nations from a low base have taken an unexpectedly high position. But experts explain that dramatic improvement of the business climate in these countries doesn’t ensure a high quality of life and social welfare. In fact, the progress rating warns of possible races and possible failures in the future.

Georgian Economical analyst Gia Khukhashvili worried of the “well-packed progress in Georgia” and stressed the need for systemic changes in the country. “Unfortunately I can’t prove the impartiality of the [FBK] research centre but we all know well how rates are being sold for money,” Khukhashvili told The Messenger. Hesitating from making optimistic conclusions from the research statistics the analyst emphasized that the social risks, drawbacks in economical principles and problems with democratization process still exist in our country; while restrictions on freedom of speech and human rights violations create unhealthy values for Georgia. “Someone may really feel happy with the results of the rating but does it change anything?” he worried.