In January-September 2014, the 10 largest trade partners of Georgia accounted for 68% of the country’s total foreign trade turnover.
Traditionally, Turkey remains the largest trade partner of Georgia ( USD 1.4 billion), followed by Azerbaijan ( USD 879 million) and China ( USD 614 million).
China accounts for 7.3% of the total foreign trade turnover of Georgia, and is ahead of Russia by this indicator for 6 months.
In particular, exports from Georgia to China amount to USD 64.6 million (3% of total exports), which is almost 2 times more than in the same period of 2013. Imports from China amounts to USD 549.1 million that is 8.8% of the total imports and 29.2% more than in the same period of 2013.
Exports to China increased mainly due to the start of exports of copper concentrates to the country in the amount of USD 46.9 million. Import growth is observed in all types of products.
Copper concentrates ( USD 46.9 million), scrap metal ( USD 13.8 million) and wine ( USD 3.2 million) are the top three export products to China.
Wine exports to China amounted to 586.1 tons that is 6.4% more than in the same period of 2014.
As for imports, in this direction leading positions are occupied by computer facilities ( USD 34.1 million), metal structures ( USD 28.9 million) and phones of all types ( USD 18.8 million).
In January-April 2014, Azerbaijan and Russia were among the main trade partners of Georgia which accounted for 7.3% of trade turnover, exports amounted to USD 87 million, imports – USD 164. 5 million.
As of 9 months of 2014, Russia ceded the third place to China and moved to the 4th position in the overall trade turnover. However, despite this, Russia is still on the 3rd place with USD 212 million by a volume of exports to Georgia that is 9.9% of the total exports.
In terms of imports, Russia is on the 5th place with USD 371 million and 6% of total imports.
During the first 9 months of 2014, exports to Russia increased 2-fold, imports decreased by 6.4%.
According to the expert Badri Ramishvili, the current government came to power promising to open the Russian market, and they’ve managed to achieve this goal.
“As for the data for China, they may be associated with the overall situation in the country. China’s foreign share is growing all over the world, and there is nothing surprising in the fact that it is also growing in Georgia. Especially when we import mainly electronics from China that is the world leader in this regard. As for the export of Georgian wine, it would be nice if this market developed rapidly in the country. The Chinese are not consumers of wine, they have a very different culture, however, it is a huge country, and we have to work in this regard, “- the expert notes.
In his words, if we compare Russian and Chinese markets in terms of logistics, a comparison will be in favor of the first.
“In terms of transport accessibility, Russia is certainly more convenient, but the Russian market is so politicized and unpredictable, that based on the risks, it is unpromising in the long run,” – Badri Ramishvili says.
In addition, in his opinion, the EU market is attractive primarily due to the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, and when the agreement takes full effect in terms of trade, the EU will take a leading position in exports.