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Results BriefsAugust 17, 2023

Georgia Country Economic Memorandum: Delivering Another Decade of Success


The World Bank helped inform Georgia’s new Vision 2030 strategy by producing cutting-edge analysis through the Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) on firm performance, market access and exports, access to finance, and labor. Subsequent operations supported the implementation of key report recommendations, including around facilitating access to land and strengthening competition in financial services.
“Going forward, growth in Georgia will increasingly need to come from improvements in firm productivity and advancement in their ability to exploit opportunities in external markets. In addition, more active and better-skilled labor can help offset existing demographic trends and augment productivity.”
Evgenij Najdov,
World Bank Senior Economist

A room full of participants at the launch event for the Georgia Country Economic Memorandum in December 2022
Participants at the launch of the Georgia Country Economic Memorandum in Tbilisi on December 6, 2022 Photo: World Bank


Over the past decade, Georgia has established a strong and widely acknowledged record of economic success thanks to prudent economic management and a top-notch investment climate. Georgia was the second fastest growing economy in Europe and Central Asia—5.2 percent on average in per capita terms during 2010-2019—and saw its poverty rate almost halved since during this period. However, the country’s future growth prospects will be impacted by an ageing population, incomplete structural transformation, stagnant firm-level productivity, skills gaps and mismatches, and increased global uncertainty.


The CEM aimed to assess the country’s growth prospects and identify key reforms for sustained growth, providing a strong evidence base for policy recommendations. For the first time, firm-level total factor productivity and mark-ups analyses were undertaken to gain insights on firm-level productivity and competitive pressures on Georgian markets. Additionally, the report represented one of the first attempts to shed light on the corporate sector’s energy footprint. The CEM also incorporated innovative data analysis techniques—web scrapping was leveraged for the analysis of jobs demand, and density and connectivity were mapped at the municipal level through spatial analyses.


  • The World Bank’s Georgia CEM has served as one of the critical  documents helping inform the preparation of the Vision 2030 – Development Strategy of Georgia, including on issues such as foreign trade policy, business support and export promotion, access to finance and land, and logistics and trade facilitation.
  • The CEM identified key challenges that the country is facing, such as weak productivity growth, limited integration into global and regional value chains, and skills gaps and mismatches—all the result of an incomplete structural transformation and a lack of quality jobs. Based on this analysis, World Bank projects have supported some of the recommendations provided in the CEM, helping the government address these challenges and achieve effective results. For instance, the Bank’s First Green and Resilient Georgia Development Policy Operation (DPO) involved supporting improvements in SOE corporate governance, access to land, and costing of irrigation services as well as expanded e-payments and interoperability to ensure non-discriminative access to finance.
  • Overall, the CEM strengthened the quality of the policy dialogue with key government agencies, including with the Ministries of Economy and of Finance, as well as the National Bank of Georgia.
  • Dissemination resulted in about 40 media hits, including print, online and broadcast media, helping raise awareness among civil society, academics, and the wider public on the World Bank’s critical analytical work and robust technical-financial support for Georgia.  

Bank Group Contribution

An outstanding team of nearly 50 individuals from more than a dozen units across the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation produced the CEM. This team collaborated with colleagues working on financial sector and enterprise support projects as well as analytical and advisory activities in the areas of agriculture, trade and logistics, digital development, and human capital, among others. Preparation costs were $450,000, of which $200,000 came from the Umbrella for Trade Trust Fund.


The CEM team engaged with a wide range of stakeholders in preparing and disseminating the report, building on existing strong collaboration with Georgian institutions such as the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the Revenue Service, and various ministries. Thematic areas covered by the CEM included topics explicitly requested by Georgian authorities, but also areas that emerged from discussions with the private sector, including business associations and large exporters. The report was publicly launched on December 6, 2022 in a multi-stakeholder event.1

Looking Ahead

The report informs the ten-year strategy of the Government of Georgia and its implementation. The Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance has demonstrated strong willingness to partner with the World Bank to implement the recommendations of the CEM, including through budget support operations and investment operations. The CEM also provided a sound starting point for the preparation of the Georgia Systematic Country Diagnostic update, which will feature consultations and further debate around some of the findings in the CEM and will inform the preparation of the next World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for Georgia.

[1] The CEM public launch was co-hosted by Levan Davitashvili, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, and Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia. It was attended by representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliament, development partners, business associations and private sector, civil society, think-tanks, academia, and the media.