On July 9 2015, a member of the Parliamentary Majority, Zurab Tkemaladze, stated that there is no single country in the world which has ever had a 10% or a 20% economic growth rate. The MP added that somewhat similar economic growth rates were only had by those countries which were attempting to "escape from the slums."

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

Economic growth is expressed in the real growth of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Gross Domestic Product is the sum of the final value of the goods and services produced in a country during a one-year period. In 2014, Georgia’s GDP was USD 16.5 billion.

Graph 1:

 GDP in Current Prices (USD billion) and GDP Real Growth Rate in 1997-2014

image001

As illustrated by the graph, since 1997 Georgia has had more than a 10% GDP real growth rate on three occasions whilst in 2003-2007 its average economic growth rate was 9.7%.

Additionally, there is a great deal of examples where different countries have registered a 10% and even more GDP growth rate.

Table 1:

Countries with a 10-20% Economic Growth

Year List of Countries
1990 Singapore, Thailand, Iran, UAE, Nigeria
1991 South Korea, Argentina, Belize, Bahrain, Iran
1992 Argentina, Chile, Macao, China, Jordan
1993 Albania, Malaysia, Singapore, China
1994 Singapore, Morocco, Peru, China
1995 Chile, China, Albania
1996 China, Malaysia, Iraq, Angola, Morocco, Ethiopia
1997 Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Belarus, Estonia
1998 Azerbaijan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1999 Ireland, South Korea, Albania, Botswana, Turkmenistan
2000 Russia, Azerbaijan, UAE
2001 Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan
2002 Azerbaijan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Rwanda
2003 China, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Libya, Armenia, Kuwait
2004 China, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kuwait, Belarus, Ukraine
2005 Latvia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Kuwait, Ethiopia, Libya, Armenia
2006 Venezuela, Belarus, Estonia, Macao, Kazakhstan, Latvia, China, Armenia
2007 Slovakia, Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, China, Panama, India
2008 Belarus, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Turkmenistan, Qatar
2009 Qatar, Liberia
2010 China, India, Singapore, Paraguay, Qatar, Ethiopia, Chad
2011 Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Panama, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Qatar
2012 Liberia, Panama, Zimbabwe, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Mongolia, Afghanistan
2013 Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Macao, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia
2014* Ethiopia, Turkmenistan (2014 data have not yet been fully published)
Source: World Bank

Table 2: 

Countries with a 20% or More Economic Growth

Year List of Countries
1990 Turkmenistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Santa Lucia
1991 Lebanon
1992 Iraq
1993 Papua New Guinea, Iraq, Kuwait
1994 Eritrea
1995 Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1996 Equatorial Guinea, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1997 Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1998 Iraq, Liberia
1999 Liberia, Equatorial Guinea
2000 Liberia
2001 Liberia, Equatorial Guinea
2002 Sierra Leone, Liberia
2003 N/A
2004 Macao, Nigeria, Iraq, Equatorial Guinea
2005 Azerbaijan
2006 Azerbaijan, Qatar, Angola
2007 Azerbaijan, Angola
2008 N/A
2009 Afghanistan
2010 Macao
2011 Macao
2012 Libya
2013 Sierra Leone
2014* South Sudan  (2014 data have not yet been fully published)
Source: World Bank

We have to consider that economically developed countries normally do not have a 10% or more economic growth rate. Usually, economically developed countries have comparably low GDP growth rates. However, developing countries have the potential to achieve a high economic growth rate. FactCheck has already published an article

on this topic. Georgia belongs to the group of economically developing countries and it is relevant for it to aim for a 10% and more economic growth. Therefore, it is wrong to compare the economic growth rate registered in our country to those of Europe and other developed countries.

Conclusion

The most widely used instrument to assess economic growth is the GDP’s real growth rate. In the period of 1997-2014, Georgia registered a 10% and more economic growth rate on three occasions. It must be noted that the average economic growth rate in 2003-2007 was 9.7%.

There are numerous examples of countries which have had a 10% and a 20% economic growth rate. In the course of the last 34 years, the members of this group have been both contemporary developed economies (Singapore, Ireland, South Korea, Chile, etc.) and developing countries. Additionally, for FactCheck,

the reason why Georgia "should not" have a 10% and more economic growth remains unclear.

FactCheck concludes that Zurab Tkemaladze’s statement is a LIE.

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