TSU Professor Emzar Jgerenaia
What is a free economic zone?
I adore September. First, because many my favorite people including myself were born this month. Second, because this is a fascinating and beautiful time in Georgia, full of colors, abundant and plentiful.
September is bringing misfortune for United States of America. Serious economic catastrophe happened in September last year – American biggest investment bank Lehman Brothers that was dominant in engineering of global securities got bankrupted on 15 September. This was quite logical – main guilty in crisis left the scene. However, hysteria started year ago proved to be wrong – capitalism did not die. GDP reduction made up 4% in USA, 5% in England, 6% in Germany and 8% in Japan, while 10% in Russia1. (Only Georgia escaped such fall. According to our official data, no matter how surprising it might look, economic growth has made up 6%. This is unbelievable reality of national statistics)2, but game rules still remain the same on financial and business map of the world – America is still dominating, and USD is still subject to income and constant disputes. However, everything is not as simple as it seems -economic theories and conceptions have changed in developing countries and everything is entangled in economic theories – everyone forgot License Fire principle and Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”. Everybody is talking about regulation and state intervention. Approaches, categories and economic concept are being changed. For instance, in the past, free economic zone meant a vast territory that was separated from the rest territory of some country. The business and bureaucracy were full of swing and taxes were set to minimum in three major zones of Dubai and China. Today, Kutaisi habitants invented new definition – free economic zone is a separated, roofed, asphalt-paved and completely free territory, where there is no production or sales, the territory is just free. This is a new and comprehensive definition and to my mind quite correct! If one calls some territory a free, it might be actually free!!! Economic dictionary of XXI century will be extremely different and what is more interesting Georgians will take a part in establishing some definitions. Anyway, new variant of definition of free economic zone belongs to us.
Russians are creating new definitions for the dictionary in amazing field. State regulations – President Medvedev issued a special decree that orders a government to decrease consumption of alcoholic spirits up to the end of this year3! How? – One might ask? Simply – consumption should be reduced and that’s all! This is a state regulation. And the schedule is already planned -15 December so that population would meet New Year completely sober. Turnover of illegal alcoholic spirits must be eradicated till 1 December. According to experts illegal turnover of alcoholic spirits amounts 35% of total turnover! (Oh, then you’ll see revolution in Russia). As a man to man, I understand Medvedev – Putin doesn’t allow him to get into the swing of things and thus he has nothing left to do, but to take care of alcoholism in Russia (I guess this idea came to him after summit of Big Eight). Maybe, he cannot get rid of Putin by himself and is trying to do this by means of revolted alcoholics. Anyway, the president ordered his population to drink less, a population for whom drinking is a lifestyle. Therefore, now this is Putin’s headache how to manage this! Maybe he sews their mouths or makes them to swear on mother!
Sober Russia might be quite dangerous!!! Vodka is an economic category and indivisible part of a management in Russia. So it should be regulated… I guess. We might expect that other states start to decrease consumption of other goods. For instance, Germany and Czech Republic reduce beer consumption, Italy decreases consumption of Spaghetti, Kazakhs stop eating so much pilaff, and Chinese won’t drink much tea. This is quite acceptable, in principle! Why not? If business and homeland require this and this even might be the way out of crisis. Imagine, if Georgians reduce consumption of first ten commodities in the basket of goods of import. These are petrol, gas, bread, sugar, medicines, cigarettes, meat and cars… Every problems would have been solved – we wouldn’t eat bread and get slimmer (Sitchinava would become so delighted and sales of Ksenikal would fall). We wouldn’t use sugar and thus be healthier, we would reduce petrol consumption and stop polluting environment, and we wouldn’t smoke cigarettes and have stronger lungs and thus take less medicines and become free of chemicals! That would be great; we would direct billions to domestic investment. Economics theories are quite surprising. New dissertation and scientific works will be written – “Role of a diet in overcoming economic crisis”, or Alcohol and problems of transitive economy”. How do you like this? (Then we would read our scientific reports at world economic forums and they would give us a certificate that our report was the best. What, there is no such certificate? This is individual, for some people it exists and for some it doesn’t. We would establish separate program on this issue, it would have become serious subject and we would win a contest for having such an innovative subject, my eye!), or less cigarettes and more investments, Tchiatura and Zestaponi habitants would say – less black smoke and more coal for the homeland. Monographs on the subject – “Down with medicine, long live to grass!” – Or the real way to restoration of an economy.
It seems that first problems for research are already revealed. For instance, in order to decrease consumption of alcoholic spirits and cigarettes it was said that they kill people. So, due to such life and problems they have no desire to live and thus smoke more and drink more. It seems that Medvedev is a great creator – it is easier to imagine Russia without air than Russia without vodka! Power of economic theory is bottomless, bless your creator! Man might see and experience everything in this life! I should change my profession; I do not want to be an economist any more. I have never thought that vodka would become economic category and alcoholism – economic theory. I will become a lawyer – everything is easy there; there is one good phrase – “it depends on case”.
TSU Professor Emzar Jgerenaia
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