Georgia is increasing its trading powers with European markets, meaning more Georgian products are being enjoyed by consumers in Europe and possibly further abroad.
Preliminary data from the country’s National Statistics Office, Geostat, revealed Georgia had enjoyed a 21 percent increase in exports to Europe in the first three months of this year, while imports had decreased by five percent. This meant more Georgian products were being enjoyed in Europe and at the same time, Georgia was reducing its imports and using more locally-produced goods. Furthermore, the data suggested Georgia was now becoming less dependent on markets it formerly relied on, particularly Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) markets.
Geostat data showed in January-March 2015, Georgia’s external trade with the EU was up by 0.4 percent compared to the corresponding indicator of the previous year. The total value of Georgia’s external trade with EU countries amounted to $637 million USD. Specifically, exports were valued at $170 million USD, while imports amounted to $467 million USD. The value of Georgia’s External Merchandise Trade (export and imports) was on a downward trend, noted Geostat. In the first three months of 2015, Georgia’s total External Merchandise Trade (excluding non-organised trade) amounted to $2.28 billion USD. This was a 10 percent decrease year-on-year (y/y). Additionally, the value of exports decreased by 28 percent and imports dropped by three percent y/y.
Exports equalled $503 million USD while imports stood at $1.77 billion USD. The negative trade balance was $1.27 billion USD in January-March 2015 and its share in external trade turnover constituted 56 percent. Meanwhile, the external trade of Georgia with CIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) dropped 25 percent compared to January-March 2014. In the first three months of 2015, the external trade of Georgia with CIS countries totalled $675 million USD. Exports stood at $175 million USD (55 percent lower), while imports equaled $500 million USD (two percent lower).
Overall, in the first three months of 2015, 35 percent of Georgian exports went to CIS countries, 34 percent went to EU countries and 31 percent went to other countries. In terms of imports, 28 percent came from CIS countries, 26 percent of imports were from EU countries and 46 percent were from other countries, noted Geostat. Georgia’s top trading partners by turnover for the first part of the year were Turkey ($361 million USD), Azerbaijan ($214 million USD) and China ($192 million USD).