By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Georgia’s Economy Minister Natia Turnava has refuted Armenian PM Nikkol Pashinyan’s recent claims that Armenia left behind Georgia in terms of GDP per capita in 2019, saying that Pashinyan must familiarize himself with “elementary methodology”.
“This is a wrong assessment, because it does not take into account elementary methodological issues. In general, if any politician or expert seeks victory with such indicators, I call on them first of all to familiarize themselves with the elementary methodology," Turnava said on January 11.
“In November 2019, Georgia’s National Statistics Office (GeoStat) introduced a new method for calculating GDP, which is not yet reflected in the reports of international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova also calculated the VAT in accordance with the new methodology, but this happened earlier, therefore, their data are already reflected in the IMF report. Believe me, in the conditions of this high economic growth, in our estimation, per capita GDP in Georgia will reach $4,700. Consequently, all this will be reflected in the next IMF report,” Turnava concluded.
Turnava was commenting on Pashinyan’s message published on his Facebook account on January 6 where he claimed that Armenia allegedly surpassed Georgia and Azerbaijan in terms of the indicator of GDP per capita based on the data of 2019. However, later he corrected the Azerbaijani part of his post, saying that his country will surpass Azerbaijan in 2020, not in 2019.
Ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili also responded to Pashinyan, saying that Armenia never exceeded Georgia in terms of the GDP indicator.
“Nikol Pashinyan declared that Armenia has surpassed Georgia in terms of the GDP per capita for the first time ever. This hadn’t happened during my administration, Shevardnadze’s administration, and it hadn’t happened after the reign of Tigran the Great. There is no ground in terms of geography and resources for Armenian citizens to have more incomes than Georgian citizens...,” Saakashvili stated.
Georgian economist Vakhtang Charaya said on January 9 that Armenia lags behind Georgia in all respects, including GDP based on purchasing power parity, average salary, credit rating, foreign investment, employment and unemployment, and Armenia lost 200,000 jobs over 5 years.
“So how could Armenia get ahead of Georgia?” Charaya questioned.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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