How the Georgian economy's dependence on the Russian market has changed in the last 10 years

From the day of independence, Russia was a major export market for Georgia. In the last few years, Russia holds the first place in export. In particular, in January-May, 2019, 14.9% of total exports were on Russia. Between 2005 and 2012, the value of exported goods in Russia decreased sharply. Namely, in Russia in 2005, $ 153 million goods were exported, and in 2012 - $46 million dollars. During this period, the total exports grew, but the share of Russia decreased. In 2009, the historical minimum was recorded, when the total exports to Russia decreased to $21 million. The situation changed in 2013 after cancelation of Russian embargo.

In 2018, export to EU increased by more than 67% ($293 million). Export in the EU have significantly increased since 2014, after promotion of free trade agreement.

Export to Russia by years:

• 2009 - $21.1 million

• 2010 - $34.7 million

• 2011 - $36.6 million

• 2012 - $46.8 million

• 2013 - $190.6 million

• 2014 - $274.7 million

• 2015 - $162.8 million

• 2016 - $206 million

• 2017 - $396.6 million

• 2018 - $437.3 million

Over the years, Russia was the main export market for Georgian wine producers as well. In particular, before the embargo in 2006, Russia was the only export market for Georgian wine. Despite the fact that the number of wine export markets increased and reached 55 countries, Russia remains the number one consumer of Georgian wine.

Top 5 countries by Wine export in 2018:

• Russia - 53 682 627 bottles

• Ukraine -10 687 835 bottles

• China - 6 951 019 bottles

• Kazakhstan - 3 599 143 bottles

• Poland - 3 508 122 bottles

Global purchases of imported wine totaled US$37.9 billion in 2018. Overall, the value of wine imports for all importing countries rose by an average 6.1% since 2014 when wine purchases were valued at $35.8 billion. Year over year, international purchases of wine expanded by 6% from 2017 to 2018.

Russia is among the top ten countries, investing in Georgia. In 2018, investments from Russia reached $60 million, which is 4.9% of the total FDI. According to Geostat data, direct Russian investments for last 20 years valued more than $730 million. Investments from Russia sharply decreased in 2008 after the August war. But since 2010 it has continued to grow.

Investments from Russia:

• 2005 - $75.1 million

• 2006 - $30.9 million

• 2007 - $75.1 million

• 2008 - $26.2 million

• 2009 - $10.2 million

• 2010 - $50.9 million

• 2011 - $58 million

• 2012 - $22 million

• 2013 - $7.8 million

• 2014 - $87.9 million

• 2015 - $51.4 million

• 2016 - $36 million

• 2017 - $43.7 million

• 2018 - $60.1 million

Russia is leading by the number of tourists as well. In recent years, the number of Russian visitors rose and it is the highest among neighboring countries.

Number of Russian visitors by years:

• 2018 - 1.4 million

• 2017 - 1.1 million

• 2016 - 0.8 million

• 2015 - 0.7 million

• 2014 - 0.6 million

Money transfers from abroad is a largest source of remittances for Georgia.

Money transfers from Russia to Georgia is about 30% of total transfers:

• 2018 -$451 million

• 2017 - $450 million

• 2016 - $389 million

Despite the growth of the money amount, the share of Russia in total volume decreases. Russia's share of total transfers from abroad was 33% in 2017 and 63% in 2008. In the first five months of 2019, the amount of transfers from the EU more by 57%, than from Russia (25%). When in 2013 the money transferred from Russia was 2 times more (54%) than from EU. In the same period, the share of EU transfers rose from 28% to 39%.

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