The Georgian government and World Bank are hoping a $40-million technology-development project will help economically struggling Georgia gain a competitive edge that can spur growth.
Georgia has struggled to overcome a high-tech deficit and institutional roadblocks that hamper entrepreneurial activity, in particular the education system’s inability to produce graduates who have the skills needed to fill high-tech, well-paying jobs. In 2015, the country ranked 73rd among 141 countries surveyed in the Global Innovation Index, an annual ranking that evaluates how government policies facilitate technological innovation. The index is compiled by the US-based Cornell University, France’s INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
A 2013 World Bank study of Georgia’s labor force, entitled “Georgia: Skills Mismatch and Unemployment Labor Market Changes,” found there was neither a demand for, nor a supply of skilled labor.
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Matthew Miller is a freelance writer based in Tbilisi.