April 1st marks my five year anniversary since I opted to move to this amazing country on the edge where East meets West - Republic of Georgia.
Today, to celebrate this small anniversary I decided to take a look back - to see economic developments in Georgia 2011-2016 - how things how changed since I first landed at Tbilisi airport back at at April 1st, 2011.
As for a small country, pretty much of daily life in Georgia is related to politics. During past five years a major political turnover happened at the end of 2012, when former Presidents Mikheil Saakashvilli party United National Movement lost a majority to rival Georgian Dream coalition, a year latter, when Presidents term of office ended, Misha flew away country (by know Mikheil Saakashvili has been appointed a governor of Odessa oblast in Ukraine).
Very rarely I have found some useful information about country's economic developments, instead there are plenty of politics, public dirty laundry and sometimes some information about tourists visiting Georgia, oh, yes, there are a lot of talks about Lari devaluation. Seems Georgians are not too much worried about actual economic developments. GDP is a term I rarely have ever talked about with anybody here in Georgia. OK, I agree the late comedy shows on Rustavi 2 most probably are lot more interesting than some boring talks about gross domestic product.
I took following data from GeoStat and found following:
|GDP at current prices, mil. USD||11,636.50||14,438.50||15,846.80||16,139.90||16,507.80||13,959.90|
|GDP per capita (at current prices), USD||2,623||3,230.70||3,523.40||3,599.60||3,676.20||3,743.10|
|GDP real growth, percent||6.2||24.07||9.75||1.84||2.27||-15.43|
The GDP growth for past five years is rather modest, not to say humble. Well, I arrived here in 2011, when total GDP of Georgia was 14,4 bln USD, in 2015 total economic output of Georgia didn't even reached 14 billion dollars. Yikes. Five years is a lot. I feel pretty shocked of such slow and even negative GDP growth for Georgia. Will Georgia crack 20 billion GDP milestone by the end of this decade? Doable, but for now - I wouldn't be so optimistic.