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Georgia’s Foreign Trade Grows at High Paces

Georgia Has Positive Trade Balance with only Bulgaria among Top 10 Trade Partners.

In January-June 2018 Georgia’s external trade turnover (excluding undeclared trade) made up 5 985.9 million USD, up 24.3% year on year. According to Geostat, national statistics service of Georgia, exports constituted 1 593.6 million USD (+28.5%) and imports marked 4 392.3 million USD (+22.9%).

It is noteworthy that the first half of 2018 recorded the best external trade indicator over the past years. For example, since 2013 the highest indicators of exports and imports were recorded in 2018. At the same time, the mentioned period recorded the lowest negative trade balance.

Georgia’s negative trade balance in January-June 2018 made up 2 798.7 million USD, which is 46.8% in external trade balance. In the same period, exports without re-exports made up 1 148.5 million USD, up 16.3% compared to the same period of 2017.

In the mentioned period, Georgia’s foreign trade turnover with EU countries made up 1 644.5 million USD, up 25.2% year on year, including exports constituted 367.8 million USD and imports marked 1 276.7 million USD. The foreign trade turnover with CIS countries made up 2 037.3 million USD, up 33.9% as compared to January-June 2017, including exports made up 720.1 million USD and imports constituted 1 317.1 million USD.

As noted, in the first half of 2018 Georgia’s exports to EU made up 368 million USD, up 80% compared to exports to Russian Federation in the same period. In the first half of 2018, Georgia’s exports to EU rose by 21% and to Russia – by 10%.

Since 2004 the value of Georgian exports to EU market has been annually growing compared to exports to Russian Federation. Over the past 11 years, in 2007-2017, we the value of exports to Europe is 3.5 times higher (+3.6 billion USD) compared to the exports to Russian Federation.

In 2018 Bulgaria emerged as the country, where Georgia’s exports constituted major value  among EU countries – 128 million USD. Lithuania is second with 29 million USD, France is third with 28.3 million USD and Romania is fourth with 27.8 million USD. In whole, Georgia’s exports to the mentioned four countries exceeds the value of exports to Russia.

In January-June 2018 the ratio of top ten major trade partners in Georgia’s total foreign trade turnover made up 66.8%. Major trade partners are Turkey (858.1 million USD), Russia (650.1 million USD) and China  (510.0 million USD). Bulgaria is an only country among top 10 trade partners with which Georgia has positive trade balance, in January-June 2018 exports with Bulgaria made up 127 million USD and imports constituted 88 million USD.

In January-June 2018 copper ores and concentrates rank first in top 10 exports items with 242.2 million USD and 15.2% ratio in total exports. Ferroalloys exports made up 186 million USD, 11.7% in total exports. Motorcars ranked third.

At the same time, oil and oil products emerged as major imports items with  with 402 million USD, 9.2% ratio in total imports. Motorcars ranked second with 272.9 million USD, 6.2% and coper ores and concentrates ranked third with 181.2 million USD (4.1% in imports).

By Merab Janiashvili
Economic Analyst
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