Georgia’s top 10 exports accounted for 78.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Georgia’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $37.4 billion for 2016. Therefore, exports accounted for about 4.9% of total Georgian economic output.
From a continental perspective, 47.9% of Georgian exports by value are delivered to European countries while 43.1% are sold to Asian importers. Georgia ships another 6.7% worth of goods to North America, with 1.6% arriving in Africa.
Given Georgia’s population of 4.9 million people, its total $1.8 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $364 for every resident in that Middle Eastern country.
Georgia’s unemployment rate was an estimated 12% in 2015 according to Trading Economics.
Georgia’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Georgian global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Georgia.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$336.3 million (18.5% of total exports)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $272.2 million (15%)
- Iron, steel: $204.5 million (11.2%)
- Fruits, nuts: $195.8 million (10.8%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $103.5 million (5.7%)
- Gems, precious metals: $85 million (4.7%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $72.2 million (4%)
- Fertilizers: $65.8 million (3.6%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $49.9 million (2.7%)
- Live animals: $47.3 million (2.6%)
Knit or crochet clothing and accessories was the fastest-growing among Georgia’s top 10 export categories, up 481.1% for the 7-year period starting in 2009.
In second place for improving export sales were ores, slag and ash which rose 398.1%.
Georgian pharmaceuticals posted the third-fastest gain in value at 307.7% followed by fruits and nuts up 117.4%.
The following types of Georgian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$322.7 million (Up by 502.5% since 2009)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $233.6 million (Up by 158.1%)
- Fruits, nuts: $155.8 million (Up by 112%)
- Gems, precious metals: $78.7 million (Down by -29.6%)
- Fertilizers: $49.5 million (Down by -13.6%)
- Iron, steel: $46.8 million (Down by -58.4%)
- Live animals: $36.4 million (Up by 14.3%)
- Lead: $5.9 million (Up by 126.8%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $5.2 million (Down by -183.7%)
- Copper: $3 million (Down by -79.7%)
Georgia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of ores, slag and ash. In turn, these cashflows indicate Georgia’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash category and in particular for copper.
Below are exports from Georgia that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Georgia’s goods trail Georgian importer spending on foreign products.
- Pharmaceuticals: -US$2.8 billion (Up by 1,550% since 2009)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$943.4 million (Up by 30.2%)
- Machinery including computers: -$769.8 million (Up by 119.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$549.2 million (Up by 88.6%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$260 million (Up by 190.9%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$226.2 million (Up by 74.4%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$133.0 million (Up by 129.3%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: -$123.7 million (Up by 66.9%)
- Cereals: -$101.8 million (Down by -9.5%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: -$97 million (Up by 22.3%)
Georgia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for pharmaceuticals.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Georgia’s competitive disadvantages in the international pharmaceuticals market, but also represent key opportunities for Georgia to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Georgian Export Companies
Given the country’s tiny size, it should come as no surprise that not one Georgian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015.
Wikipedia does list a group of Georgian companies which gives some insight into the types of exports shipped from Georgia. Selected examples are shown below:
- Badagoni Wine Company (wine producer)
- Georgian Industrial Group (energy products)
- Kutaisi Auto Mechanical Plant (trucks, automotive parts)
- MagtiCom Ltd (telecommunications)
- JSC RMG Copper (copper, gold)
- Rustavi Steel (steel products)
- JSC Tbilaviamsheni (aerospace products)
- Wissol Petroleum (oil, gas)
Georgia’s capital and largest city is Tbilisi.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.
See also Georgia’s Top 15 Import Partners, and 20 Most Valuable Georgian Export Products
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on January 28, 2017
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 28, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on January 28, 2017
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 10, 2016