SOME ASPECTS OF THE GEORGIA-CIS TRADE RELATIONS

Tamaz Zubiashvili, Tamar ATANELISHVILI

Abstract


The paper emphasizes that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was created after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. In addition to the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), all the former Soviet republics united in this Commonwealth in 1991: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan (an associate member since 2005), Ukraine (withdrew from the organization in 2018) and Georgia (withdrew in 2009, 1993). On August 26, 2005 Turkmenistan refused to be a full member and now it is an associate member. Initially, the maintenance of traditional economic ties was very important for the post-Soviet countries included in the CIS. Soon it became clear that Russia used the CIS to strengthen its influence on its member states. Because of this, some countries, including Georgia, left the "Commonwealth" and expressly chose the European course. Nevertheless, up to date foreign trade, on the free basis, plays an important role in Georgia's economic development. According to the conclusion made in the paper: Georgia's export to the CIS countries is much higher than to the EU countries - despite the increase of the share of the EU countries in recent years. According to the data of 11 months of 2018, the CIS countries - Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia occupy 1-3 places of the five largest export countries of Georgia. Import of Georgia from the CIS countries in 2003-2017 increased 6.7 times; in Georgia's total import from the CIS countries in 2017 Russia had the highest percentage - 23.3%, Azerbaijan - 16.2% and Ukraine - 13.5%. In spite of difficult political relations, trade between Georgia and Russia did not cease: increased both exports and imports indicators. In addition, the difference between them is 2 times more for Russia; the CIS countries are important partner countries for foreign trade, including a large partner-the Russian Federation, but its market is often unstable due to political pressure (it does not fulfill its commitment to WTO membership), which further accelerates Georgia's foreign markets diversification.

Keywords


Foreign Trade, Georgia, EU, CIS, Azerbaijan, Russia.

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