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On 21 August 2014, during his visit to Armenia, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, made a statement:  “We increased the trade turnover with Armenia by 42% in the first six months of 2014 and by 50% last year as compared to 2012. This indicated that the trade relations between our countries are improving.”

FactCheck

took interest in the numbers stated by the Prime Minister and verified their accuracy.

According to the data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, export from Georgia to Armenia amounted to USD 141 million from January to June 2013 whilst the import was equal to USD 50 million. Hence, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to USD 191 (141+50) million.

Export from Georgia to Armenia amounted to USD 156 million from January to July 2014. The total value of import from Armenia to Georgia in the same period was equal to USD 114 million. Hence, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to USD 270 (156+114) million.

Accordingly, the trade turnover between Georgia and Armenia increased by 41.4% in the first six months of 2014 which is quite close to the number stated by Mr Gharibashvili (42%).

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We also checked the accuracy of another part of the statement where the Prime Minister said that the trade turnover between Armenia and Georgia increased by 50% in 2013 as compared to 2012.

According to the data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, export from Georgia to Armenia amounted to USD 258 million in 2012 whilst the import was equal to USD 71 million. Hence, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to USD 329 (258+71) million.

As for 2013, the export from Georgia to Armenia amounted to USD 315 million whilst the import was equal to USD 181 million. Hence, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to USD 496 (315+181) million.

Accordingly, the 2013 trade turnover between Georgia and Armenia increased by 51.1% as compared to that of 2012, confirming Mr Gharibashvili’s statement.

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The lightweight motor vehicles constituted the largest segment of export from Georgia to Armenia in the first six months of 2012, 2013 and 2014. The second position was held by wheat and meslin in 2012 and 2013 whilst mineral or chemical fertilisers held the second place from January to June 2014.

Major Commodity Groups Exported from Georgia to Armenia in 2012

Product

 USD Million

1 Lightweight Motor Vehicles

101

2 Wheat and Meslin

38.7

3 Trucks

8.7

4 Timber Shaving Plates

8.0

5 Corn

6.8

6 Surface-Active Organic Substances, Cleaning and Washing Agents

5.6

7 Oil-cake and other Solid Wastes Derived from Soybean Oil Extraction

4.9

8 Products made of Gypsum or its Compounds

4.8

9 Carbon Steel Rods Without further Processing

4.4

10 Remedies

4.2

Other Goods

71

Total

258

Major Commodity Groups Exported from Georgia to Armenia in 2013

  Product

USD Million

1 Lightweight Motor Vehicles

120.6

2 Wheat and Meslin

45.6

3 Mineral or Chemical, Nitrogen Fertilisers

12.5

4 Corn

12.0

5 Trucks

8.5

6 Oil-cake and other Solid Wastes Derived from Soybean Oil Extraction

7.9

7 Timber Shaving Plates

7.3

8 Carbon Steel Rods Without further Processing

6.3

9 Products made of Gypsum or its Compounds

5.5

10 Remedies

5.2

Other Goods

83.9

Total

315

Major Commodity Groups Exported from Georgia to Armenia from January to June 2014

Product

USD Million

1

Lightweight Motor Vehicles

74.3

2

Mineral or Chemical, Nitrogen Fertilisers

10.4

3

Wheat and Meslin

6.8

4

Electricity

6.1

5

Corn

4.4

6

Trucks

4.3

7

Oil-cake and other Solid Wastes Derived from Soybean Oil Extraction

4.1

8

Products made of Gypsum or its Compounds

3.0

9

Timber Shaving Plates

2.8

10

Remedies

2.5

Other Goods

37.2

Total

156

Cement was the largest segment of export from Armenia to Georgia in 2012 whilst in the first two quarters of 2013 and 2014 the position was held by copper ores and concentrates. In all three periods, carboys, bottles and other glass containers held the second position.

Major Commodity Groups Exported from Armenia to Georgia in 2012

 

Product

USD Million

1

Cement

9.9

2

Carboys, Bottles and other Glass Containers

9.7

3

Plastic Packing Materials for Transportation or other Purposes

5.6

4

Coffee, Roasted or Unroasted

3.0

5

Remedies

2.7

6

Cigars, Cigarillos and Cigarettes of Tobacco or of Tobacco Substitutes

2.6

7

Petroleum Gases and other Gaseous Hydrocarbons

2.4

8

Ethyl Alcohol with Less than 80% Alcohol Concentration, Alcohol Drinks

1.8

9

Ethyl Alcohol with More than 80% Alcohol Concentration

1.6

10

Live Sheep and Goats

1.6

 

Other Goods

29.8

 

Total

71

Major Commodity Groups Exported from Armenia to Georgia in 2013

Product

USD Million

1

Copper Ores and Concentrates

100.0

2

Carboys, Bottles and other Glass Containers

16.4

3

Cement

12.6

4

Ethyl Alcohol with More than 80% Alcohol Concentration

6.6

5

Plastic Packing Materials for Transportation or other Purposes

5.4

6

Cigars, Cigarillos and Cigarettes of Tobacco or of Tobacco Substitutes

3.7

7

Ethyl Alcohol with Less than 80% Alcohol Concentration, Alcohol Drinks

2.7

8

Remedies

2.6

9

Coffee, Roasted or Unroasted

2.4

10

Sausages and other Similar Products of Meat, Meat Sub-Products or Blood

1.5

Other Goods

28.0

Total

182

Major Commodity Groups Exported from Armenia to Georgia from January to June 2014

  Product

USD Million

1 Copper Ores and Concentrates

79.0

2 Carboys, Bottles and other Glass Containers

7.5

3 Potatoes, Fresh or Frozen

2.7

4 Plastic Packing Materials for Transportation or other Purposes

2.1

5 Cement

1.8

6 Ethyl Alcohol with More than 80% Alcohol Concentration

1.8

7 Cigars, Cigarillos and Cigarettes of Tobacco or of Tobacco Substitutes

1.7

8 Ethyl Alcohol with Less than 80% Alcohol Concentration, Alcohol Drinks

1.4

9 Remedies

1.4

10 Grapes, Fresh or Dried

1.1

Other Goods

14

Total

114

Conclusion

According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the trade turnover between Armenia and Georgia was equal to USD 191 million in the first six months of 2013 whilst in the same period of 2014 it was equal to USD 270 million which is 41.4% more.

The trade turnover between Armenia and Georgia was USD 329 million whilst in 2013 it was equal to USD 496 million, amounting to 51.1% growth.

FactCheck concludes that Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement:  “We increased the trade turnover with Armenia by 42% in the first six months of 2014 and by 50% last year as compared to 2012,” is TRUE.