The stated Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili in the beginning of this year, pragmatic policy for the withdrawal of Georgian-Russian relations out of the impasse, apparently, beginning to bear fruit – especially from the point of view of the economy. Georgia was able not only to increase exports to Russia, but also to bring Russian tourists. That, in turn, returned the interest to the Russian language.
Russia this year moved from fourth to third place among the trade partners of Georgia. The export of Georgian goods to Russia is growing explosively, while last year the turnover was falling. For seven months of this year Georgia managed to increase the export of its goods in Russia 119,2% to 101,6 million dollars. Russian goods Georgians also began to buy more: imports increased by 15.1% to 358 million dollars.
“In the center of Tbilisi, on the streets of the old town, restaurants and cafes everywhere – the guests from Russia”
Georgia exports to Russia, of course, wine and mineral water, hazelnut, and ferro-alloys. From Russia imports mainly oil and oil products, deliveries of which increased by more than twice the gas, and also wheat and electricity.
It is worth noting the growth of exports of Georgian wine. After a seven-year ban on wine for three years, as returned to the shelves of Russian stores. However, the process of a new conquest of the Russian consumer for a long time was slow. The devaluation of the ruble has made Georgian wines are more expensive, serious competition was inexpensive and high-quality Russian wine – Kuban and Crimea, as well as the growth of imports from Latin America. However, this year the situation is different: for seven months in Georgia increased supplies to Russia by 50%, to 12.7 million bottles. Russia remains the main buyer of Georgian wines. Georgia sends to Russia more than half of the total wine exports (23.9 million bottles). In second place – Ukraine, which is quite logical. And the third unexpectedly China, which bought as many as 2.5 million bottles of Georgian wine, significantly increasing their exports.
However, we can say that Georgia was unable to regain the share in the Russian market, which was held before the rupture of relations with Russia – more than 10%. And are unlikely to be able to do it. Released to the market place was immediately cleaned himself and other providers, and recently his score and brings the policy of import substitution.
Canadian wonder in Georgia
I wonder who was in first and second place in trade turnover with Georgia and ahead of Russia (9%). This is Canada and Turkey, which account for 19.9% and 13.6%. Close ties with Turkey is clear – this is a traditional trade partner of Georgia and Russia. But the appearance of Canada among the leaders is very surprising. Actually, Canada is generally first appeared in the first place and never took any serious place. Even last year was not a hint of such a serious breakthrough in economic relations of Georgia with the country from overseas.
But in the first half of this year the trade turnover between the two countries increased by almost 25 thousand percent and amounted to 1.3 billion dollars. Such growth is like a miracle. However, in practice, neither of which the miracle question. And equal these trade relations can not be named. This is a one-way street: Canada has increased its exports to Georgia and Georgian exports to Canada were scanty.
So, Canada had supplied Georgia goods to 1.29 billion dollars, and Georgia to Canada – a total of 36.6 million dollars (mostly brought gold and some alloys). This miracle is due to the policy of the Georgian government, which has decided to purchase medicines in Canada. Medications are necessary for running the country for five years of the program “Georgia without hepatitis C”, in which free treatment will be able to get 200 thousand citizens, said Minister of health David Sergeenko. I wonder what the lobbyists for this program are the Center for disease control, US and us pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, which produces antiviral drugs.
That is created by this American company are extremely expensive drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C “Cavaldi (sofosbuvir) and “Harmony” (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and buys the Georgia.
For example, in Germany a course of treatment, “Harmony” costs about 20 thousand Euro, and in the U.S. – about 25 thousand dollars a month. 12 weeks of treatment, “Harmony” in Israel, the insurance costs about 90 thousand dollars.
In fact, Georgia has signed up for the experiment of the American company that wants money at the expense of the Georgian budget to show how when a sufficient volume of investments in a particular region and even the country, you can eliminate a particular disease.
For the population of Georgia the drugs, of course, free. However, the cost budget of Georgia, is not so rich country to the experiments of the American farmkompanii rather dubious. What is more, there are cheaper generic versions of these expensive drugs. The questions arise – whether adequate price purchasing medicines Georgian policy, and whether to depend on the drugs of only one pharmaceutical company?
Boom of Russian tourists
Meanwhile, the Russians are helping not only Georgian wine and the Georgian tourism sector. In the first half of the number of Russian tourists rose again by 12% to almost 400 thousand people. Today the Russian language in Tbilisi and Georgia’s black sea coast has become again, as thirty years ago, is commonplace.
In the black sea pearl of Georgia, in the capital of Adjara – Batumi – you can find a lot of cars with Russian numbers. Remove the housing is easy and simple in the middle of the day in a three-room apartment with all amenities will cost 100 lari, which is about $ 45. Georgian cuisine attracts not only delicious but also affordable prices. In Batumi on entertainment – from visiting the Dolphinarium to many restaurants and bars – enough day in the same gel 100, and you can keep half this amount.
Ajarians say that Russians are actively buying housing in buildings of Batumi. Studio 25 000 dollars is quite reasonable for the Russians.
No prejudice against citizens of Russia. As if there was war in 2008. The economy won policy. Georgia need money, and the Russians join the Georgian budget.
In the first quarter of this year, tourism revenues amounted to 354 million dollars. It is more than 15% more than in the first quarter of 2015. Rising income Georgians, is included in the tourist industry – from family hotels to large tourist complexes.
“I welcome what is coming to us so a lot of Russian tourists – said the newspaper VIEW Chairman of the Committee on economy of Parliament of Georgia Zurab Tkemaladze. – All this plays a positive role for the Georgian budget for the improvement of bilateral relations.”
“Our Russian is viewed very positively. Managed to separate politics from humanitarian and economic ties. Plus we must not forget how important for Georgia the Russian market. We can choose our friends but cannot choose our neighbours, so we need to come out of this,” he continues.
In the center of Tbilisi, on the streets of the old town, restaurants and cafes everywhere – the guests from Russia. “We are very friendly, no problems. Weather, service, prices – all good. We were with friends in the regions of Georgia, in the mountains of Svaneti very much. The sea not yet done, but hopefully not the last time in Georgia” – says Anna, a student from Moscow.
Arthur, the Moscow businessman, says that the most surprising for him was communication with police in Tbilisi: “the Car I rented stalled in the center, on Rustaveli Avenue. Immediately drove patrol, got out of the car, asked what happened, and helped to move our car to the curb. Then contacted the company that we rented a car, waited for appeared, its representatives and made sure that we won’t have problems. And wished good luck.
“There were guests from Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Kazan, Elista and even from Sakhalin,” says professional guide Irina, which is about twice a week, takes tourists from Russia. – That is, tourists come and not the large cities of Russia. A very popular wine tours in Kakheti”. Tours cost on average $ 50 (big money for Georgia, by the way, where the average monthly salary is about 12 thousand rubles).
The only problem that faced Georgia, – lack of English speaking staff. When ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili Russian language was squeezed out from use. In the end, the Georgian young people often speak English, but not in Russian. But this is one of the competitive advantages of Georgian tourism on a par with the cheapness. In the Windows of many shops and catering facilities in Tbilisi and other Georgian cities of signs – requires the Russian-speaking”.
However, the situation began to improve after the Georgian government changed the tone in the dialogue with Moscow. Once spiked the interest of Russians to Georgia, so just and ordinary Georgians towards the Russian language. Specialist in Russian language and literature Vladimir Sarishvili says the newspaper LOOK that he had after the break again appeared in private practice – Georgian family, without abandoning the English and other European languages, so that their children knew well and Russian. It will only help in future job search.