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Negative Trade Deficit Hits Historic High

In January-September 2018 Georgia’s foreign trade turnover made up 9 124.8 million USD, up 20.8% year on year, including exports totaled 2 448.1 million USD, up 25.7% year on year;  imports amounted to 6 676.7 million USD, up 19.1%. Georgia’s negative trade balance in January-September 2018 constituted 228.6 million USD (46.3% of total foreign trade turnover).

Over the past years, the negative trade balance is declining in percentage points, but is growing in amount and the figure hit historical high in the third quarter – 4.2 billion USD. In the same period, exports without re-exports constituted 1 716.8 million USD, up 12.8% year on year.

The chart below demonstrates general standards in Georgia’s foreign trade, due to the 2013-2018 dynamic order.

In January-September 2018, Georgia’s exports to EU countries amounted to 533 million USD, up 13.2% year on year and totaled 21.8% in total exports of Georgia. Imports constituted 1 950.4 million USD, up 21.5% year on year and marked 29.2% in total imports. Trade turnover with EU countries equaled to 2 483.4 million USD, up 19.6% year on year. As to the trade deficit, in January-September 2018 its ratio in total negative trade balance amounted to 33.5%.

It is noteworthy that exports to EU countries have risen by 13.2% and totaled 533 million USD. DCFAT Information Center is one of the active and in-demand services of Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The service is to update entrepreneurs on EU market regulations. Our beneficiaries receive information about the standards that they should satisfy on the domestic market gradually. Considering the number of applications to our centre, it is evident that domestic entrepreneurs show growing interest in EU market. Besides EU, the chamber works on attracting other exports markets too. To this end, we have activated the service Find Partner and we organize international forums, as an efficient platform for attracting new international business partners for Georgian entrepreneurs.

In 2019 the Chamber plans to hold international forums in regions of Georgia. As a result, the regional business will acquire additional perspectives for international markets. We hope that our efforts and activities in the 2019 analogical statistics will be reflected in more positive figures”, Nino Chikovani, president of Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted.

In September 2018, Georgia’s exports to EU countries made up 77.2 million USD, up 25% year on year. The major rise in exports was recorded with Bulgaria (+23 million USD), Spain (up 11 million USD) and France (up 3.5 million USD). In September, the exports with the USA rose by 15.8 million USD, Azerbaijan – up 9.3 million USD, Kazakhstan – up 6.7 million USD. In January-September the major rise in exports was recorded with Azerbaijan – up 175 million USD (up 104%).

In January-September 2018, Georgia’s exports to the CIS countries made up 1 161.6 million USD, up 47.2% year on year. The figure is 47.4% in Georgia’s total exports. Imports amounted to 1 942.3 million USD, up 20.3%, which is 29.1% in total imports.

Georgia’s trade turnover with the CIS countries made up 3 014 million USD, up 29.2% year on year. As to the trade deficit, in January-September 2018 the ratio in total negative trade balance constituted 18.5%.

By Merab Janiashvili

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