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Georgian balance - no bounce2009-12-29 16:50
Foreign trade balance of Georgia remains strongly lopsided to imports. Goods for the amount of USD 11 bn have been imported into the country, while exports amount to only USD 1 mln over 11 months. That means the country is engulfed by foreign goods and local manufacturers keep lingering on the brink of ruin.
Today Mikheil Saakasvhili boasted that the citrus fruit exports from Georgia have increased practically threefold. He noted that Belarus and Kazakhstan opened borders for Georgian harvest despite pressure from Russia. Now, the president emphasized, the Russian embargo has lost any sense.
"They (Russians - ed) won't eat our tangerines. They will eat other tangerines then - that's it." - Saakashvili added.
Obviously the authorities consider entry of Georgian citrus fruit onto the CIS market as a serious economic achievement. Well, this only confirms the country's status as a tangerine republic, like banana republics.
Production of most other goods is on a very low level in the country. In agriculture, as Paata Koguashvili, an expert, remarks, the harvest of grain crops and vegetables goes down year after year. As a result there is a catastrophic fall in per capita production of primary food products.
The subtropical country with Alpine meadows has not enough food for itself.
As for complex industrial goods - there is nothing to speak about here. From time to time the government holds pompous ribbon-cutting ceremonies launching new enterprises. But as GeorgiaTimes wrote earlier this is only for TV - and the economic reality is only getting worse.
However PM Nika Gilauri recently forecast a 3% economic rise in the last quarter. "However given no economic rise over the previous three quarters total economic rise will amount to 4%", - he added. And in March the president guaranteed GDP boost.
Economic problems are especially evident in the 11-month foreign trade balance of 2009. Georgians were most actively trading with Turks, Azerbaijan ranks second, Ukraine ranks third.
On the whole statistics show that the trade turnover is low. One third fewer goods crossed the border comparing to last year. And significant domination of imports over exports continues. Imported goods including shuttle trade amount to USD 318,918,500,000 when only USD 1,028,000,000 account for exports.
The difference between sales and purchases, or the balance, amounts to USD 2,890,500,000 not in Georgia's favor.