On June 7, together with the Parliament of Georgia, under the USAID Georgia Economic Security Program, a public private dialogue entitled “Shared Intellectual Services Sector in Georgia: Development Perspectives and Best International Practice” was held, during which legislators, executive representatives, industry experts, and representatives of the private sector as well as international organizations discussed key challenges in the shared intellectual services sector and the ways to address them.
During the event, Dr. Giorgi Khishtovani, Research Director at PMCG, presented a policy brief, which examines the current state of the shared intellectual services sector in the Georgian economy, outlines the existing difficulties and potential in the sector, analyzes the best practices of Estonia, Ireland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, and introduces corresponding recommendations. A discussion thereon was then held among all above mentioned stakeholders.
Export-oriented intellectual services is one of the most competitive sectors in Georgia in terms of creating high-paying jobs, attracting investment, and generating income. The sector combines the following priority value chains: ICT, business process outsourcing (BPO), and e-commerce. In particular, BPO covers areas such as: finance and accounting (F&A); architecture, design, and engineering (ADE); customer relationship management (CRM); human resource management (HRM); and information technology (IT). However, as Dr. Khishtovani outlined, the research had shown that the ICT and BPO value chains in Georgia still face a number of challenges, including: a shortage of skilled labor; a lack of education programs of sufficient quality; low-quality internet and other infrastructural problems in the regions; the problem of access to finance and a lack of adjusted funding opportunities; and the low visibility of Georgia among potential investors.
The five-year USAID Georgia Economic Security Program is being implemented by PMCG, as a subcontractor of DAI Global, and it aims to foster broad growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) outside of agriculture that show strong potential to create jobs, increase income, and support diversification to ensure more productive economic activities in various sectors including tourism.