Georgia’s foreign trade grows 16% this year

From Jan to Jun 2014, Georgia’s top three trading partners were Turkey followed by Azerbaijan and China. Photo by N.Alavidze, 25 Jul 2014 - 11:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s foreign trade saw a positive movement in the first six months of this year, bringing more confidence back into the marketplace.

Georgia’s foreign trade increased by 16 percent last year, equalling $5.44 billion USD, while the trade gap decreased by 16.2 percent year-on-year (y/y) to $2.6 billion USD. 

Figures released yesterday by state statistics office Geostat showed exports grew by 15 percent and reached $1.41 billion USD, while imports increased by 16 percent and amounted to $4.02 billion USD, in the same period of 2013.     

The trade deficit equalled $2.6 billion USD and its share in trade turnover constituted 48 percent.

EU-Georgia trade 

In the first six months of 2014, the external trade of Georgia with EU countries amounted to $1.4 million USD – up 15 percent on the same time in 2013.

Export with EU member countries increased by 49 percent, had a total value of 2.9 billion USD, which accounted for 26 percent of the country’s total trade turnover.

Meanwhile, imported products from the EU also increased, and y/y figures showed a 9 percent increase, to $11.1 billion USD. 

Trade with CIS countries 

Georgia’s trade with CIS member countries stood at $1.7 billion USD for the first half of 2014 – a 10 percent y/y increase. Georgian exports grew 11 percent to $758 million USD and imports from CIS member states to Georgia increased 9 percent to $957 million USD.

Top trade partner

From Jan to Jun 2014, Georgia’s top three trading partners were Turkey followed by Azerbaijan and China. Photo by N.Alavidze

Georgia’s largest trading partner, Turkey, generated a total turnover of $940 million USD.

Top import and export commodities

Georgia imported $416.9 million USD worth of petroleum and petroleum oils – the two largest imported products - in the first six months of this year.

These two products made up 10.4 percent of total imports in the reported period. Import of motor cars was next highest, with $331.7 million USD, or 8.2 percent of imports.

Petroleum gases and other gases ranked third with $181.2 million USD or 4.5 percent of all imports.

Top imported products also include:

  • Medicines - $63.2 million USD
  • Copper ores and concentrates – $35.3 million USD
  • Mobile and other wireless phones – $36 million USD
  • Gas turbines - $66.8 million USD
  • Structures and parts of structures - $47.6 million USD
  • Wheat – $28.7 million USD
  • Automatic data processing machines – $44.9 USD

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s tougher car import laws have had a drastic effect on Georgian car exports in recent months.

But re-export of cars still led the pack in Georgia’s total exports with $289.2 million USD in the first half of 2014 despite a drop of 9 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

Azerbaijan adopted strict car import rules, which stopped imports of cars manufactured in European Union (EU) before 2005.

In April Azerbaijan introduced new regulations that only allowed the country to import cars that meet the Euro-4 ecological standard and were manufactured in the EU after 2005. Georgia’s top export products also include:

  • Exports of ferroalloys - $161 million USD
  • Copper ores and concentrates – $138 million USD
  • Wine of fresh grapes – $84 million USD
  • Mineral or chemical fertilizers, nitrogenous - $74 million USD
  • Mineral waters – $73 million USD
  • Spirituous beverages - $44 million USD
  • Bars - $39 million USD