A major theme throughout my internship was that I have been exposed to all levels of coordination in a country’s economy. In other words, I aided with communication and cooperation between the Georgian government, small to mid-sized entrepreneurs and high level business people. Through these interactions, I was able to understand the individual mindset that each person or organization represented. I aided in the synthesis of different information into something that would have been useful for the mission of the Georgia Industrial Development Group in the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. I now have a general understanding of what is required of each individual entity and the thought process behind their actions.
On August 4-5, the Forum on Economic Development of Georgia was held in Tbilisi, where I helped in the organization of the overall event. Dani Rodrik of Harvard University and Charles Sabel of Columbia University were keynote speakers. Through their speeches, the Georgian public were able to understand the government’s future actions and thus increased government transparency. Furthermore, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, outlined his economic vision for the future and emphasized the importance of Georgia Industrial Development Group as one of the leading contributors for economic growth in Georgia. Throughout the forum, Georgia’s specific economic problems and activities were outlined. Agriculture makes up a significant amount of Georgia’s GDP. However, Georgian agriculture has a long ways to go to meet EU and US productivity standards. While increased productivity is a goal, the Prime Minister, Dani Rodrik, and Charles Sabel all emphasized the need for increased manufacturing and industrial projects. I was extremely pleased and excited that there was a culmination of my summer internship where the Georgian public was made aware of our work and the Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for our work.
In terms of my career goals, I believe that my internship allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to be successful in each economic sphere. My goals remain the same, but I am now more able to operate independently and productively for the task required. One of my greatest learning moments during my internship was that I realized that not everything will work out according to what one wishes to accomplish, but if one has a plan and vision in place there will be future times where the obstacle can be reevaluated and addressed. The biggest example of this is when we were, at first, unable to obtain much investor interest in basalt stone manufacturing. However, with more time and exposure, our group was able to identify interested parties.
The forum was a very exciting experience for me as the country’s top decision makers were gathered together and began talks to address rapid economic development. If anybody is interested in reading more about the forum, please visit the link below.