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Ana Bibilashvili: “Investments in Tbilisi decreased fivefold in the last four years.”

Verdict: FactCheck concludes that Ana Bibilashvili’s statement is Half True.

Resume: In 2020, investments dropped to a 15-year low. The total volume of foreign direct investments (FDI) made in the entire Georgia was USD 572 million. Of that amount, Tbilisi accounted for USD 326 million of the FDI which is 4.3 times less as compared to 2016. However, of important note is that the sharp drop in investments in 2020, together with being a part of the last years’ trend, was also partially stipulated by the pandemic crisis which is a significant problem for the whole world. In 2019, FDI in Tbilisi decreased by 1.5 times as compared to 2016.

The pandemic-related factor’s effect over declining investments, which was substantial both in Georgia and the world, is not discernible in Ana Bibilashvili’s statement. However, investments in Georgia and Tbilisi were also declining prior to the pandemic. Therefore, FactCheck concludes that Ana Bibilashvili’s statement is half true.

Analysis

One of the leaders of the Lelo for Georgia party and a former candidate for the Mayor of Tbilisi, Ana Bibilashvili, in her interview with the Tabula online magazine, stated: “Investments in Tbilisi decreased fivefold in the last four years.”

FactCheck decided to verify the accuracy of this statement.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) implies a resident of one country owning a share in a foreign-based enterprise and carrying out different types of economic operations related to that enterprise. An investor is considered to be a direct one if he has at least a 10% ownership stake in a foreign-based enterprise’s shares or the equivalent of such participation.

In 2016, the total volume of FDI in Georgia was USD 1.65 billion of which Tbilisi accounted for USD 1.41 billion. In the period of 2016-2017, FDI in Tbilisi was growing and reached USD 1.5 billion USD. However, the total FDI in 2018 decreased sharply by nearly 30% as compared to the previous periods. The FDI continued to shrink in 2019 as well.

Graph 1: Foreign Direct Investments in 2016-2020, USD Million

Source: National Statistics Office of Georgia

In 2020, investments dropped to a 15-year low. The total volume of foreign direct investments (FDI) made in the entire Georgia was USD 572 million. Of that amount, Tbilisi accounted for USD 326 million of FDI which is 4.3 times less as compared to 2016. However, of important note is that the sharp drop in investments in 2020, together with being part of the last years’ trend, was also partially stipulated by the pandemic crisis which is a significant problem for the whole world.


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