Investments from the United Arab Emirates exceeded USD 800 million
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Verdict: Dimitri Kumsishvili’s statement is TRUE.

 

Summary: In 2017, the United Arab Emirates made investments in Georgia in the amount of USD 62.7 million. With this indicator, it became Georgia’s seventh largest investor country. Azerbaijan is in the first place with its investment in Georgia amounting to USD 482 million.

The first investment from the United Arab Emirates was made in 2003 and the cumulative amount of investments since then until 2017 amounts to USD 885 million. With this indicator, the UAE is in the sixth place among the investor countries, falling behind Azerbaijan, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United States.

 

Analysis

On 9 April 2018, the Minister of Economy of Georgia, Dimitri Kumsishvili, stated that the United Arab Emirates are in the seventh place by investments made in Georgia. Mr Kumsishvili also added that investments from the UAE currently exceed USD 800 million.

The National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) publishes statistics about foreign direct investment made in Georgia. According to Geostat, investments worth USD 1,862 million were made in Georgia in 2017. This number is unprecedentedly high in absolute terms.[1] Investments constitute 12.4% of the 2017 GDP which is the third highest point in the reporting period and only lags behind the indicators for 2006 and 2007.

In 2017, Azerbaijan held the first place among the top ten investor countries with investments worth USD 481 million. Azerbaijan was followed by Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Investments worth USD 62.7 million were made in Georgia from the UAE in 2017 which placed the country in the seventh position. Panama, China and Cyprus complete the top ten. It is noteworthy that Russia is in twelfth place.

The first investment from the United Arab Emirates to Georgia, worth USD 290 thousand, was made in 2003. The UAE did not invest any funds in Georgia in 2004.

Most of the investments from the United Arab Emirates in the reporting period (2003-2017) were made in 2008 and worth USD 307 million. The largest amount was recorded in 2007 with investments growing 287 times. Market effects also contributed to such a high growth rate in UAE investment.

Investments in Georgia from the United Arab Emirates shrank between 2009 and 2012. In 2013-2017, excluding 2014, the dynamic of the inflow of investments from the UAE was constantly increasing. The 2017 indicator is the second largest after 2013.

In parallel with the investments, the position of the United Arab Emirates in the list of investor countries was also changing. Georgia was a top investment choice in 2008-2009. The 2017 indicator is not the highest in terms of the UAE’s position in the list of investor countries; nevertheless, it does reflect a positive tendency.

 

Table 1: Investments made by the United Arab Emirates in Georgia in 2003-2017[2]

Investment (USD million) Growth (%) Position among Investor Countries Share in the Total Investments (%)
2003 0.29 - - 0.09%
2005 0.28 -4% 31 0.06%
2006 0.42 51% 34 0.04%
2007 120.2 28,336% 6 6.9%
2008 306.6 155% 1 19.5%
2009 162.8 -47% 1 24.5%
2010 55.5 -66% 5 6.6%
2011 42.3 -24% 9 3.7%
2012 24.4 -42% 14 2.4%
2013 63.7 161% 5 6.2%
2014 4.4 -93% 27 0.2%
2015 8.2 86% 24 0.5%
2016 34.1 315% 11 2.1%
2017 62.7 84% 7 3.4%

Source: Geostat

 

In 2003-2017, the United Arab Emirates invested more than USD 885 million in Georgia. The UAE is in the sixth position among investor countries with this indicator. In this period, most of the investments in Georgia were made by Azerbaijan – USD 2.5 billion. The United Kingdom invested USD 2.4 billion in Georgia. The Netherlands, Turkey and the United States complete the top five investor countries list. Russia is in the eighth position in the 2003-2017 ranking, falling behind the Czech Republic. It is noteworthy that European Union countries invested USD 7 billion in Georgia in 2003-2017 which exceeds the amount received from the Commonwealth of Independent States by USD 600 million. With this indicator, the EU is in the first position by country groups.

 

[1] Importantly, Geostat edited the foreign direct investment indicators twice, in November 2017 and March 2018, following recommendations from the International Monetary Fund. Therefore, the hitherto historical quantitative indicator of investments decreased by USD 262 million. FactCheck has already written about this issue.

[2] Georgia did not receive any investments from the United Arab Emirates in 2004.

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