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The lost Georgia: 3 years of survival2011-08-08 13:22
In the post-war years, against the background of shameful failures in the international arena, the degradation of the few democratic achievements and the decay of the Georgian social institutes, Mikhail Saakashvili's government has been trying to attract the people's and world public's attention to economic success. That is why the officials are so fond of referring to various ratings. But if we go into statistics we will see that agriculture is in a saddest plight with Saakashvili being in power, while the three-year-old military adventure nearly became fatal for the country's economy.
nearly became fatal for the country's economy.
Generally speaking, all the Georgian government's attempts to prove its progress in the national economic development are instantly killed by the fact that GDP per capita in Georgia is 2690 dollars, according to World Bank. It is even lower than in the neighbouring Armenia, where this figure keeps at the level of 3090 in American currency. Having no access to the sea and being surrounded by countries with non-friendly regimes, Armenia has achieved much more in the terms of economy than Georgia has under the guidance of "the best friend of business", Mikhail Saakashvili.
However, World Bank has put the Transcaucasian republic in a leading position in the rating of states with the most favourable business environment! Why? To clear out this confusion, GeorgiaTimes correspondent turned to World Bank's statistics on the Georgian economy.
In the times of Soviet Union, the Georgian SSR was one of the richest, supplying the huge country with wine, fruit and tea. After the USSR collapse, independent Georgia, like the rest of the former Soviet republics, underwent a serious economic downturn affecting all agricultural branches. But even against the generally unfavourable background, the fall of agricultural production indicators looks terrible, the peak of the decline falling on Mikhail Saakashvili's times.
According to World Bank reports, compared to the scarcely fruitful year of 2000, productivity of land in the country reduced by over one third by 2010; cattle breeding and food gross output having fallen by one third. In 2002, Georgia cultivated 355 thousand hectares of land, while in 2009, it was only 193 thousand, with almost 48 percent of the population - which is practically one half - living in the country...
Saakashvili's government made the people totally dependent on the imported foodstuffs. Agricultural production figures have been steadily declining through the years of his rule but the most dramatic ten-percent drop occurred after 2008. The reason was clear, though. Simultaneously, the export of traditional Georgian agricultural products reduced several times after the Russian market was closed down for agricultural producers.
Perhaps, things are not that bad, with agriculture being replaced by other branches? Since World Bank gives no direct data on the country's industrial development (which fact means a lot), the dynamics can be traced by indirect indicators, such as energy production, the industry being its main consumer. In Mikhail Saakashvili's times, it reduced from 1328 thousand tons in oil equivalent in 2003 to 1077 thousand tons in 2009. Well, the result of economic policy is evident.
How do Mishiko's fellow countrymen earn their living with the agricultural complex degrading and industrial development indicators being negative? The answer is simple - by trade. According to World Bank, the share of trading operations in the Georgian GDP has reached the peak of 80 percent.