Import to Georgia from Russia increased, while exports from Georgia to Russia fell sharply.
According to the Statistics Service, over the past 10 months products worth $ 467,5 million were imported from Russia to Georgia that is 30 million more than in the same period of 2014. With regard to export, it amounted to $ 126, 3 million which is 107 million less than in the same period of 2014. Official statistics show growth in demand despite buy local campaign carried out by the business and the state. Statistics show that this campaign is not enjoying much success.
What was the reason for the growth in demand for Russian products?
According to Grigol Kunchulia, the Georgian Quality Foundation President, the main reason is the lack of production in Georgia.
“Local products are not almost manufactured, and the available products are not enough to cover the needs. Several years ago Russian dairy products were actively represented in the Georgian market, but ebentually were almost completely replaced by local products,” George Kunchulia explains.
Madona Koidze, Chairperson of Georgian Consumer Federation, believes that a closer contact between the population and local producers is the only way to substitute imports.
“In many areas Georgia can substitute imports and fully satisfy local demand. But if the products are not produced in sufficient quantity, then the market will regulate the deficit by growing imports,” she notes.
In recent years, various actions with calls to buy local goods and not to buy Russian products and thus “not to fund the occupation” have begun in social networks. However, it appears that Russian import is constantly growing.