ADB: COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacts Georgia's households, small businesses

Business Materials 9 July 2020 17:03 (UTC +04:00)
ADB: COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacts Georgia's households, small businesses

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 9

By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:

The pandemic has already significantly impacted Georgian economy, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Georgia Shane Rosenthal told Trend.

"In the tourism sector alone, global travel restrictions led to an almost 60-percent decline in international visits to Georgia in March year-on-year. These restrictions coupled with containment measures and the anticipation of a global economic crisis have also led to trade disruptions, capital outflow, and an increase in the cost of finance," Rosenthal said.

According to him, the impact on households and small businesses has been particularly severe.

Yet Georgia has been able to draw lessons on the importance of supporting households, the unemployed, and businesses from the previous downturns including the global financial crisis, Rosenthal said.

"Having a lasting recovery will depend on keeping the pandemic at bay. In addition to the human cost and the immediate impact on tourism, a major recurrence would add to the fiscal burden and compromise the country’s reputation as a safe place to visit and do business," the country director added.

It’s also important to monitor and refine schemes that protect the poor, unemployed and other vulnerable groups of the population and to ensure the schemes reach the intended beneficiaries, he noted.

"They are essential for preventing vulnerable households from backsliding into poverty during future economic downturns, and can be strengthened over time to help individuals and businesses adapt, for example by providing skills training and working with businesses to update their business strategies and adapt to post-COVID opportunities," Rosenthal added.


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