By Leman Mammadova
Georgia’s National Statistics Office has disclosed the amount of foreign investment made in the country's economy as well as the top investor countries and the sectors of economy that received the bulk of foreign investment.
The report says that Azerbaijan invested $15.4 million in the economy of Georgia in the first quarter of 2019.
The share of investments of Azerbaijan in the total foreign direct investment in Georgia amounted to 5.5 percent in January-March 2019.
Thus, Azerbaijan became the sixth in terms of investment in the neighboring country. Azerbaijan’s investments in the Georgian economy have reduced by $41.2 million or 72 percent compared to last year.
The total volume of investments in the economy of Georgia amounted to $281.1 million in January-March 2019, which is 6.3 percent less than in the same period last year.
According to the Statistics Office, completion of major pipeline projects as well as the transfer of property rights from non-residents to residents are among the main reasons for the decline in investments.
Meanwhile, over the first three months of this year, the volume of foreign investment in Georgia increased by 42.6 percent compared with the fourth quarter of last year.
Ireland holds the first place in terms of the amount of investments in the economy of Georgia for the first quarter of this year - $133.2 million (47.4 percent share).
It is followed by the United Kingdom - $42.4 million (15.1 percent), the U.S. - $22.5 million (8 percent), Japan - $18.2 million (6.5 percent), Panama - $16.7 million (5.9 percent), Azerbaijan - $15.4 million (5.5 percent), as well as Russia, from where the inflow of direct investments increased by 17.1 percent compared to the same period of 2018, to $14.4 million (5.1 percent), and other countries.
The largest investments were made to the service sector ($139.8 million), financial sector ($42.7 million) and transport sector ($28.6 million).
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan was named the number one investor in Georgia in 2018. Last year, Azerbaijan invested $240 million in Georgia's economy. Azerbaijan's share in direct investments in the economy of the neighboring country was 19.5 percent. Although it is 1.9 times less than in 2017, Azerbaijan maintained its leadership.
In 1995-2018, Georgia invested $93.8 million in the Azerbaijani economy, while Azerbaijan invested $3 billion in Georgia. Since 2012, Azerbaijan has been holding the first place in terms of investments in Georgia. Currently, more than 300 Georgian companies are registered in Azerbaijan, while some 650 Azerbaijani companies operate in Georgia.
The trade turnover between Georgia and Azerbaijan amounted to $1.1 billion in 2018. The share of Azerbaijan in the total trade turnover of the neighboring country made 8.7 percent last year. Georgian exports to Azerbaijan amounted to $502.7 million in 2018. In turn, Azerbaijan exported goods worth $586 million to Georgia.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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