Opinion

Georgia has a trade deficit with many countries, due to various reasons including the lack of manufacturing, qualified staff, and oil reserves in our nation. In 2014, exports totaled $2,861 million, while imports stood at $8596 million. That brings our negative trade balance (the value of exported goods minus the value of imported goods) to $5735 million. This is obviously not good for the economy. 

The FINANCIAL -- Cars have long ago become a basic marker of social achievement for the Georgian population. This assumption can be confirmed with statistical data: according to Geostat, in 2016 there were 1,100,000 registered cars in Georgia; more than a half of which - namely 60.9% - are passenger vehicles. These cars are owned by 40% of the Georgian population. The growth trend has been observed since 2008 and till today it maintains a growth rate of up to 8% annually. At the end of 2016, the number of registered vehicles is expected to increase further by 10-11%.

The FINANCIAL -- On 25 June 2016, on air on Rustavi 2, United National Movement member, Mikheil Machavariani, stated:  “The amount of unpaid bank loans is GEL 355 million. This means that people are so impoverished that there is no money, there is no economy and their incomes have decreased.”

The FINANCIAL -- During his speech at the session of the Tbilisi City Council, the Mayor of Tbilisi, Davit Narmania, accused the United National Movement of using flawed practice and stated that the fee for increasing the K2 construction intensity coefficient was established in 2007 during the office of the United National Movement. According to Mr Narmania’s information, about 2,000 permits for increasing the K2 construction intensity coefficient were issued from 2009 to August 2014. “We have prohibited the increase of the K2 coefficient in order to spare the city from the chaotic construction and ugly buildings you (United National Movement) allowed. In 2007, it was you who established this flawed practice of increasing the construction intensity coefficient and it was also you who established fees for issuing special (zonal) agreements whose results cause suffering for our citizens today,” said the Mayor of Tbilisi. 

The FINANCIAL -- In the European Union (EU), resource productivity increased to 2.00 €/kg in 2015 from 1.48 €/kg in 2000, an increase of 35.4% in real terms. Resource productivity measures how efficiently natural resources are used by the economy and indicates whether economic growth is compatible with a more efficient use of the natural resources from the environment. Since 2008, resource productivity progressed in the EU both by increasing economic activity, as measured by GDP, and by reducing the extraction of materials, as measured by domestic material consumption (DMC). In the previous period between 2000 and 2008, GDP and domestic material consumption grew in parallel in the EU, leading to relatively constant resource productivity.

The FINANCIAL -- More than four in ten working adults (44%) say their current job has an impact on their overall health, and one in four (28%) say that impact is positive, a new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll finds. However, in the survey of more than 1,600 workers in the U.S., one in six workers (16%) report that their current job has a negative impact on their health. Workers most likely to say their job has a negative impact on their overall health include those with disabilities (35%), those in dangerous jobs (27%), those in low-paying jobs (26%), those working 50+ hours per week (25%), and those working in the retail sector (26%).

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