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Resume: The term region is somehow indefinite in itself since the countries comprising the group and the principles upon which it is created are usually unknown. However, it is certain that Georgia’s region certainly includes its neighbour countries at the very least – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and Turkey. It is also clear from the statement that Giorgi Gakharia refers to the current factual data or/and that of the nearest past. Therefore, 2018-2019 indicators are of particular interest. Of these years, only 2018’s factual data are currently available whilst the International Monetary Fund gives only preliminary estimates as of October 2019. FactCheck’s analysis is based on these figures.

In regard to growth figures per se, Armenia and Turkey were ahead of Georgia in terms of their economic growth rate in 2015. Only Turkey had a better economic growth rate than Georgia in 2016. Both Turkey and Armenia showed a better economic growth rate in 2017 and Armenia by itself had a better economic growth rate according to 2018’s factual data and preliminary estimates for 2019. Therefore, Georgia has not had the highest economic in any year in the period of 2015-2019 among the neighbour countries or the region and at least one country has always been ahead. In this period, Armenia had a better economic growth rate with 2016 being the only exception. Furthermore, Turkey’s economic growth rate was higher in 2015-2017 as compared to Georgia’s. Of particular note is that Turkey is an economically developed country and, theoretically, it should be more difficult for it to achieve a higher economic growth rate than Georgia.

In addition, Armenia’s real GDP in 2015-2018 increased by 16.9% in total (difference between 2014’s and 2018’s figures) with the exception of certain years whilst Georgia’s real GDP increased by 16.4% in the same period. Therefore, the claim that Georgia currently is the fastest growing economy does not correspond to the reality.

Analysis

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, in his interview with media outlets, stated that Georgia has the highest growing economy and specified that he meant the fast economic growth.

In order to analyse the extent to which his statement corresponds to the reality, it is important to define what the Prime Minister means in using the term “region.” The term region is somehow indefinite in itself since the countries comprising the group and the principles upon which it is created are usually unknown. However, it is certain that Georgia’s region certainly includes its neighbour countries at the very least – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and Turkey. It is also clear from the statement that Giorgi Gakharia refers to the current factual data or/and that of the nearest past. Therefore, 2018-2019 indicators are of particular interest. Of these years, only 2018’s factual data are currently available whilst the International Monetary Fund gives only preliminary estimates as of October 2019. FactCheck’s analysis is based on these figures.

Graph 1: Economic Growth Rate in Georgia and the Neighbour Countries

Source: International Monetary Fund

As illustrated by the graph, Armenia and Turkey were ahead of Georgia in terms of their economic growth rates in 2015. Only Turkey had a better economic growth rate than Georgia in 2016. Both Turkey and Armenia showed a better economic growth rate in 2017 and Armenia by itself had a better economic growth rate according to 2018’s factual data and preliminary estimates for 2019. Therefore, Georgia has not had the highest economic in any year in the period of 2015-2019 among the neighbour countries or the region and at least one country has always been ahead. In this period, Armenia had a better economic growth rate with 2016 being the only exception. Furthermore, Turkey’s economic growth rate was higher in 2015-2017 as compared to Georgia’s. Of particular note is that Turkey is an economically developed country and, theoretically, it should be more difficult for it to achieve a higher economic growth rate than Georgia. Only Turkey had a better economic growth rate than Georgia. In addition, Armenia’s real GDP in 2015-2018 increased by 16.9% in total (difference between 2014’s and 2018’s figures) with the exception of certain years whilst Georgia’s real GDP increased by 16.4% in the same period.


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