Georgia - Market OverviewGeorgia - Market Overview
In June 2014, Georgia signed an Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the European Union. Through reduced tariffs and the removal of technical barriers to entry, the DCFTA gives Georgian products access to over 500 million people in the EU. Reciprocally, products from the EU now enjoy easier access to the Georgian market.
Following the launch of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission (SPC) in 2009, the U.S. Department of State holds regular meetings with its Georgian counterparts across various working groups. One of these dialogues is the Economic, Energy, and Trade Working Group which aims to coordinate Georgia’s strategy for development in these areas and to explore ways to expand bilateral economic cooperation. In addition to the SPC, in May 2012, the U.S. and Georgia launched a High-Level Trade Dialogue with a view to expanding the bilateral trade exchange.
From 2003 forward, the World Bank has recognized Georgia as one of the world’s fastest reforming economies and as a leader in fighting corruption. Georgia’s strategic location makes it a natural logistics and transit hub along the “New Silk Road” linking Asia and Europe via the Caucasus and is ranked by the World Bank as 15th in the world (out of 189 countries surveyed) for ease of doing business.
The Georgian economy has grown at approximately 5 percent for the past five years. However, external shocks in the region, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and related international sanctions, have had a negative impact on Georgia’s economy and contributed to a 2015 growth forecast of 2-3 percent.
Due to a 2006 embargo imposed by Russia, Georgia reoriented its trade and continues to search for new trading partners in Europe, North America, and Asia. In 2012 the embargo was partially lifted. Following successful Swiss-mediated negotiations with Russia on Russia’s WTO accession in 2012, and government efforts to normalize relations with Russia, exports to Russia have expanded rapidly and Russia reemerged as Georgia’s third largest export market in 2013 and 2014. The majority of trade is related to significant increases in exports of Georgian wine, mineral water, and other agricultural products to Russia.
At present, Georgia’s main export markets are Azerbaijan (13%), Armenia (7%), Bulgaria (8%), Turkey (8%), and the United States (6%). Turkey (18%), China (9%), Azerbaijan (9%), Russia (8%) and Ukraine (6%) are Georgia’s main sources of imported goods. Oil and gas imports are the primary imports from Azerbaijan.
Georgia’s main imports are petroleum products and natural gas, automobiles, medicines, sugar, turbines for power generation, and wheat. After years of declining domestic manufacturing, most consumer goods are imported from abroad as well. The majority of inputs are imported.
The government of Georgia does not control the separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which have been occupied by Russia since the 2008 Georgia-Russia war. The situation along the administrative boundary line (ABL) between Georgian‐controlled territory and the separatist regions remains tense, with ongoing borderization efforts and continued detentions of those allegedly “illegally” crossing the ABL. Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.
Georgia Trade Development and Promotion