2013 – A year of significant rise in trade for Georgia
 Tbilisi 11:32 - 28.01.14 «GHN»
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The Georgian government on Monday welcomed a jump in foreign trade last year as evidence its pro-business policies - enforcing rule of law, fighting corruption, raising governance to EU standards and maintaining corporate flat taxes - are having positive impact, reports GHN based on press release of Government of Georgia.

 

Georgia's foreign trade increased 6% year-on-year in 2013 to USD 10.78 billion, with the trade gap decreasing by 9.1% to USD 4.96 billion, according to figures released by the state statistics office Geostat on 24 January. Exports increased 22% to USD 2.9 billion in 2013 and import amounted to USD 7.87 billion, a 0.4% increase over 2012.

 

World Bank has forecast 6.3% growth for Georgia in its Global Economic Prospects 2014, with continued expansion of 6.3% in 2015 and 6.5% the following year. "Our reform efforts are paying off, and we intend to keep the momentum by signing an Association Agreement with the European Union this year," said Dimitri Kumsishvili, First Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, referring to a trade and aid accord with Georgia's largest trading partner. "Improving regional relations have also helped our trade with neighbouring countries, including Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia."

 

In 2013, following the Georgian Dream coalition's victory in parliamentary elections the year before, Georgia rose to 8th place in World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business." The US-based Heritage Foundation Georgia this year listed Georgia in 22nd place on the Index of Economic Freedom, a ranking which includes 178 countries worldwide. It cited improvements in policies on government spending, labour, investment, maintaining flat corporate taxes and fighting corruption.

Georgia's exports to the EU amounted to USD 2.87 billion in 2013, a 3% year-on-year increase, accounting for 27% of country's total trade turnover. Georgia's export to EU-member states reached USD 608 million, a 72% increase.

 

Turkey remains Georgia's largest national trading partner with total turnover of USD 1.52 billion. Exports rose 28% to USD 182.8 million. Exports to Azerbaijan reached USD 710.2 million in 2013, a 13.3% year-on-year increase. The country has been expanding its investments in Georgia, a regional trade link and key byway for natural gas pipelines to Europe.

 

Trade with Russia increased by a third to USD 779.6 million in 2013, after Georgia secured limited resumption of trade relations as part of confidence-building measures aimed at ending Russia's continued occupation of Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia's exports quadrupled to USD 190.2 million, while imports from Russia amounted to USD 589.4 million, a 24.4% increase.



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