With its flat rate taxes and sky-high growth rates, Nagorno-Karabakh has been described by some as a Caucasian Tiger. In addition, money from abroad funds a generous, but militaristic social welfare system — combining to keep and grow its border villages, and swell the army’s ranks.
Two years after the twice devaluation of the manat and three years after world oil prices plummeted, official statistics in Azerbaijan suggest a rosy picture of the economy. Meanwhile, local companies continue to shut down, each day adding more people to the country’s army of unemployed.
Georgia used to be a regional hub for importing and then re-exporting used cars across the Caucasus and Central Asia. Import tariffs from the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union as well as regulations on older and right-hand drive cars have stripped the car markets of Rustavi of this valuable trade. [Read more…]