International rankings and indicators help us to understand and assess how countries are performing in different areas. In this bulletin, Georgia’s positions in international rankings and their dynamics are reviewed based on recent data, and these are also compared to other Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus).
The spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a global pandemic, followed by an abrupt economic crisis due to the necessary measures taken to reduce infection and death rates. In this bulletin, we focus on the countries of the Black Sea region, specifically their preparedness for an economic crisis and their actual economic performance during the pandemic, before presenting forecasts for 2021.
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, total trade turnover in Ukraine amounted to 72.8 bln USD, which is a 6.9 bln (9%) decrease, compared to the corresponding period of 2019;
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, Ukrainian exports decreased by 6% compared to the corresponding period of 2019, while Ukrainian imports dropped by 11%;
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, Ukraine’s trade deficit amounted to 2.98 bln USD, which is 2.6 bln USD (47%) decrease compared to the corresponding period of 2019;
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, the main export partners were China, Poland and Russia, with shares in total export volume of 13.8%, 6.7% and 5.8% respectively. The main import partners were China (15.3% of total imports), Germany (10.2%) and Russia (8.8%).
The number of international travelers declined by 93.1% in November compared to the same period of 2019, while the number of international visitors fell by 91.6% and the number of international tourists fell by 88.3%;
The price changes in Adjara and Guria are the most representative of tourism’s decline. In November 2020, the year over year Hotel Price Index decreased by 45.8% in Guria and by 28.5% in Adjara. Hotel prices in other regions do not provide an accurate guidance of the situation in accommodation market due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
The number of visits by domestic visitors in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 of 2020) has declined by 5.6%, compared to the same period of 2019;
The number of visits with the purpose of visiting friends or relatives has declined the most in Q3 of 2020, compared to the corresponding figure in 2019, having declined by 19.8%. Whereas, the number of visits with the purpose of visiting another house (cottage, etc.) has increased by 45.4% in Q3 of 2020, compared to Q3 of 2019. Perhaps, the main reason for these changes in the structure of the visit purpose is existing fears of traveling caused by the ongoing pandemic.
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 113 GEL per night in November 2020, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 176 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 67 GEL per night.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing economic shock, has prompted governments all around the globe to act swiftly and decisively to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the crisis. Each country has responded in its way, and it is useful to look at these different responses to identify good practices. In this issue, we will be looking at the case studies of Ukraine, Georgia, and Albania, including an analysis of the fiscal measures these countries have taken and an overview of the economic forecasts for 2020 and 2021.
The number of international visitors declined by 92.9% in October compared to the same period of 2019, and the number of international tourists fell by 90%. Georgia experienced a fall of at least 90% in the number of foreign arrivals every month since April 2020, compared to the corresponding period of 2019;
The price changes in Adjara and Guria are the most representative of tourism’s decline. In October 2020, the year over year Hotel Price Index decreased by 51% in Guria and by 27.2% in Adjara;
The number of international visits to Georgia grew significantly over the period of 2015 to 2019, and this growth was mostly attributable to an increase in the number of visits for holiday, leisure and recreation purposes. However, due to safety concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visits in this category has been declining significantly, and this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future;
The number of business or professional visits, despite contributing only a modest share of the total visits, also registered significant growth, as it grew by an average of 11% year-on-year from 2015 to 2019.
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 120 GEL per night in October 2020, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 211 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 67 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in October 2020 was 387 GEL per night. In Tbilisi, the average price was 454 GEL, followed by Guria - 432 GEL, Samtskhe-Javakheti - 424 GEL and Kakheti – 395 GEL.
“The Great Lockdown”, referring to the period in which COVID-19 containment measures were put in place worldwide, has had a significant toll on the global economy. In the specific case of Ukraine, even though the country entered the crisis in better macroeconomic condition than in previous global crisis in 2008, its economy is still expected to be hit hard. In this issue, we provide an overview of the impacts of the ongoing pandemic on the Ukrainian economy that are already visible and try to supply an economic forecast for the country for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021, looking at the performance of each economic sector in the process.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, Georgian economic climate did not change significantly, compared to the previous quarter. In this period, Georgian economists assessed Georgia’s present economic situation negatively. The assessment of present economic situation in this quarter slightly improved compared to the third quarter of 2020, but worsened compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Georgia’s economic situation for the next six months was also assessed negatively by Georgian economists. Furthermore, expectations for the next six months deteriorated slightly compared to both the third quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2020.