In accordance with the economic growth forecasts, Georgia will have the best performance in the region in 2017-2022
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In his speech before the Parliament of Georgia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Dimitri Kumsishvili, stated: “In accordance with the latest edition of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, Georgia will have the best performance in the region in 2017-2022 according to economic growth forecasts.”

FactCheck took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

International Monetary Fund publishes World Economic Outlook reports several times during a year. The document, which Dimitri Kumsishvili has reffered in his statement, indicates that in 2017 Georgia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate will be 4%, whilst in 2018 and 2022 GDP growth rate will be 4.2% and 5.5% respectively.

It is important to clearly define the concept of Georgia’s region. Even though Georgia is no longer a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the International Monetary Fund continues to group Georgia as part of CIS in the statistical charts. The narrow definition postulates that neighbour countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Russia) should be considered as Georgia’s region. In accordance to FactCheck’s approach, given Georgia’s European aspiration, it is relevant to use the World Bank’s regional classification, which puts Georgia into Europe and Central Asia Country Group (in total the group includes 24 nations).

 

Table 1: Georgia’s Economic Growth Statistics In 2017-2022

2017

2018

2022

1

Turkmenistan

6.5%

6.3%

5.4%

2

Uzbekistan

6.0%

6.0%

6.0%

3

Romania

5.5%

4.4%

3.3%

4

Turkey

5.1%

3.5%

3.6%

5

Tajikistan

4.5%

4.0%

4.0%

6

Georgia

4.0%

4.2%

5.5%

7

Moldova

4.0%

3.7%

3.9%

8

Poland

3.8%

3.3%

2.6%

9

Albania

3.7%

3.7%

4.0%

10

Bulgaria

3.6%

3.2%

2.5%

11

Armenia

3.5%

2.9%

4.0%

12

Kosovo i

3.5%

3.5%

4.0%

13

Kyrgyzstan

3.4%

3.8%

5.4%

14

Kazakhstan

3.3%

2.8%

4.3%

15

Hungary

3.2%

3.4%

2.2%

16

Montenegro

3.0%

2.8%

3.1%

17

Serbia

3.0%

3.5%

4.0%

18

Croatia

2.9%

2.7%

2.1%

19

Bosnia and Herzegovina

2.5%

2.6%

3.0%

20

Macedonia

2.5%

3.2%

3.8%

21

Ukraine

2.0%

3.2%

4.0%

22

Russia

1.8%

1.6%

1.5%

23

Belarus

0.7%

0.7%

2.0%

24

Azerbaijan

-1.0%

1.3%

3.1%

Source: International Monetary Fund

 

In accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s report, Georgia is at the 6th position in Europe and Central Asia Region in terms of economic growth. Countries with higher GDP growth as compared to Georgia are Tajikistan (4.5%), Turkey (5.1%), Romania (5.5%), Uzbekistan (6.0%) and Turkmenistan (6.5%). According to the 2018 prognosis, Georgia will take the 4th position after Turkmenistan (6.5%), Uzbekistan (6.0%) and Romania (4.4%). In 2022, Georgia will be ranked 2nd with 5.5% growth rate behind Uzbekistan (6.0%).

Georgia’s economic growth rate forecasts are the best if we consider the only four neighbour countries as the region. Otherwise, Georgia will not be the best in terms of economic growth in the region, although it is always among the leaders.

 

Conclusion

If we consider the CIS countries (International Monetary Fund considers Georgia as part of that group) or Europe and Central Asia Countries (World Bank puts Georgia in that region) as Georgia’s region, Georgia will not become a leader in terms of the economic growth rate for the next five years.

However, if consider the immediate four neighbours as Georgia’s region, in 2017 only Turkey is ranked above Georgia, whilst in 2018-2022, the latter is ranked first for each consecutive year. Of note is that Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia are far ahead Georgia in terms of present economic development level and therefore for them it is more difficult to achieve high economic growth.

FactCheck concludes that Dimitri Kumsishvili’s statement is HALF TRUE.

 

i Georgia does not recognise the Republic of Kosovo

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