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By Eric Livny, Mack Ott, Karine Torosyan, ISET With the support of the DFID Impact of Russian Sanctions on the Georgian Economy.

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Presentation on theme: "By Eric Livny, Mack Ott, Karine Torosyan, ISET With the support of the DFID Impact of Russian Sanctions on the Georgian Economy."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Eric Livny, Mack Ott, Karine Torosyan, ISET With the support of the DFID Impact of Russian Sanctions on the Georgian Economy

2 Sanctions timetable Date Description Dec 19, 2005Restrictions on imports of agricultural products from Georgia Jan 2006Sharp increase in the price of gas imported from Russia Mar 15, 2006Ban on Georgian wine, wine products, brandy and champagne May 5, 2006Ban on imports of Georgian mineral water July 8, 2006Georgian-Russian border checkpoint at Verkhniy Lars closed Sep 27, 2006Arrest of Russian officers by Georgian authorities Sep 28, 2006 Russia recalled its ambassador in Georgia, and began a partial evacuation of Russian diplomatic staff from Georgia Oct 3, 2006 Russia suspended air, rail, road, sea and postal links to Georgia, and stopped issuing entry visas to Georgian citizens Jan 2007Another sharp increase in the price of gas imported from Russia

3 Purpose of study To quantitatively assess the economic impact of the sanctions regime on Georgia: Analysis of macroeconomic aggregates: GDP – overall growth and structure, inflation, unemployment and capital. Sector-specific analysis for industries affected directly (e.g. agriculture, transportation) and indirectly (e.g. trade and services, construction) Analysis of international trade data Analysis of data on migration and remittances which have direct implications for the Georgian labor market as well as household spending and investment patterns

4 Limitations As always in social science research, lack of a reliable counterfactual. In our case, other factors are far from equal: extremely rapid growth in the neighboring countries (Azerbaijan and Armenia in particular) and surge in international assistance Capturing only the short-term effect, whereas a full adjustment to new trade barriers and higher energy prices will take more time Short time series reducing the reliability of quantitative estimates (primarily within the confidence bounds) Official data capturing only the “tip of the iceberg” whereas much of the “redirection” effort takes place far from the official eye. The macro indicators and average industry estimates not capturing the differentiated impact on Tbilisi and the rural parts of Georgia, except for data on agricultural output.

5 “View from Mars” The sanction regime appears to have little impact at the level of macro aggregates, at least not an easily discernible one. GDP growth is running ahead of the NBG estimates for2006 and has been reported to be well above the forecasts in the first quarter of 2007—a preliminary estimate of GDP growth in 2007/I is 13%. Inflation rate, as measured by the CPI, accelerates in 2006 II- III, but drops back to under 10% in 2006 IV Unemployment edged up slightly in 2006/III, but remained at or below the 2005 rate, being consistent with real GDP growth

6 Detailed view (major findings) - I The total losses for the Georgian economy at the level of up to $600 million current (2006) dollars. Despite this powerful blow on the Georgian economy, GDP growth performance in 2006 was very strong: between 8.5 and 9% The biggest drop was in the agricultural sector. A few other sectors (trade services, repair services, transportation and storage) increased production above the long-term trend line, partially compensating for the slowdown in agriculture Countercyclical fiscal and monetary measures as well as policies aimed at redirection of effort and resources have partially offset the impact of Russian sanctions

7 Detailed view (major findings) - II Drop in exports to Russia is 175 million. There may have also been some damage to exports to other important trade partners. The direct impact of Russian embargo and transport blockage on the labor migration from Georgia to Russia is quite limited: the flow Georgian citizens to Russia has already been restricted by the visa regime that had been put in place before the recent escalation in sanctions There is no sizeable decrease in the flow of remittances from Russia, while there is a sharp drop is the outflow of remittances to Russia

8 Analysis of Aggregate GDP Data: aggregate quarterly GDP, constant USD (1996) Time period: I.1996-IV.2006 for the total of 40 quarters Source: Department of Statistics under Ministry of Economic Development of Georgia Method:  Fit a quadratic time trend with seasonal adjustment through pre-sanction GDP data (36 quarters before 2006)  Extrapolate the trend to post-sanction time periods (4 quarters in 2006)  Compare predicted with actual GDP in each quarter of 2006

9 Predicted and Actual Quarterly GDP ( ) Values are in million constant (1996) USD

10 Aggregate GDP: Results The overall GDP loss for 2006 is about 635 million current USD, or about 7.8% of the predicted GDP. In all 4 quarters of 2006 the actual GDP was within the 95% confidence interval, but it was consistently closer to the lower bound of the interval. Results suggest that there has been a level shift effect post embargo, but the growth rate of real GDP has not been reduced.

11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing Agriculture is the largest sector of production in Georgia with 19% GDP share in Trade in agricultural products with Russia has been rather high before sanctions. Agricultural output in 2006 was below its predicted level by about 425 million current USD, which comprises:  More than 5% of GDP in 2006  Almost 25% of the predicted output in agriculture  65% of estimated underproduction in Georgia in 2006

12 Predicted and Actual Quarterly Agricultural Output ( ) Values are in million constant (1996) USD

13 Manufacturing Another very important sector in Georgian economy is manufacturing with 11% GDP share. We find evidence of some underproduction in manufacturing sector in the first quarter of 2006, but production level catches up with the predicted level for the rest of the year. Overall, the estimated decrease in manufacturing is about 24 million current USD, which comprises  Only 0.3% of actual GDP in 2006  About 2.6% of predicted manufacturing output in 2006

14 No Effect in Manufacturing? Manufacturing is one of the most important and quickly developing sectors in Georgia, and the lack of impact from the embargo is encouraging. To understand this we conducted a series of interviews with producers of mineral water, wine, locomotives. It appears that:  Even though sales to Russia were drastically reduced, production level was kept high, increasing firm inventories  Some output was redirected to other markets  Companies started development and production of new products

15 Construction The relative share of construction in total production rose from 2.5% in 1996 to 9% in During all four quarters in 2006 there was under- production in this sector compared to predicted output. Overall loss in production in this sector is estimated to be about 127 million current USD, which is  1.6% of actual GDP in 2006  15% below predicted output in construction in 2006.

16 The Winning Sectors Trade and Repair Services The relative share of trade services and repair services is15%. Of the GDP. This sector exhibited 18 million current USD excess in the level of actual production over predicted for Transport and Storage Current share of this sector in total GDP is 9%. Post sanction production in this sector was 44 million USD above the predicted trend.

17 Impact on External Economic Relations: Georgian Exports The most direct effect of the Russian embargo was on Georgia’s exports. We look at the aggregate monthly export data for Georgia for  72 pre-sanction  15 post-sanction months. Georgian exports since January 2006 is 295 millions USD below its predicted level. Losses in exports to Russia are estimated to be around 175 millions of USD. Exports to some other key partners has dropped, too.

18 Analysis of Aggregate Exports

19 Georgian Exports to Russia

20 Georgian Exports to Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Ukraine The estimated “over-exports” to Armenia is about 19 million USD:  Only in May of 2006, when the ban on Georgian exports of wine to Russia was imposed, the excess exports to Armenia is almost 5 millions of USD Contrary to our expectations, we estimate a net loss of in exports to Azerbaijan (45 mln USD) and to the Ukraine (25 mln USD) since January of However, it may well be the case that official data do not reflect many export-import transactions that took place to traverse the embargo.

21 Georgian Exports to Germany, Turkey, and the USA We also observe the following changes in exports:  Exports going to Germany is below its predicted level by 22 millions of current USD.  Exports to Turkey is 42 millions less than predicted.  Exports to the USA show an increase of 24 million above the estimated time trend. However, these results must be interpreted with caution: the precision of our estimates in the case of these countries is not very high.

22 Labor Migration We use data from the CRRC Annual Household Surveys conducted for regionally representative sample of households in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Russia is the most popular migration destination, hosting  80% of all migrants from Armenia  90% of all migrants from Azerbaijan  only 38% of all migrants from Georgia The shares of migrants who are in Russia to work is:  85% of all Armenian migrants who are in Russia  90% of all Azeri migrants who are in Russia  only 44% of all Georgian migrants who are in Russia

23 Labor Migration Because of visa regime with Russia since 2000, Georgia migration has been diversifying away from Russia. With current sanction by Russia we expect further diversification away from Russia and towards other countries. With time, as richer network of migrants is built in “new” destination countries, these countries will become increasingly attractive for Georgians. In addition, since the work motive is much weaker for Georgian migrants it makes Georgia relatively immune to Russian sanctions.

24 Remittances We use data on monthly money transfers available from the National Bank of Georgia to study the trend in remittances. Starting in , the flow of remittances from Russia started to grow at a very high rate, reaching millions USD per month in Also, the volatility of transfers has increased compared to pre There is no drop in remittance inflows from Russia. After October 2006 money transfers from Georgia to Russia dropped by 7.3 million USD per month.

25 Remittance Inflows from Russia, Thousands of Current USD

26 Remittance Outflows to Russia, Thousands of Current USD

27 Interpretation - lack of a noticeable aggregate impact? Positive changes in the external environment (rapid economic growth in Armenia and Azerbaijan, surge in international assistance) allowing for a “soft landing”. Georgia being on a take off path following fundamental changes in the policy environment and investment climate. The imposition of economic sanctions being preceded by political stand- off and the introduction of visa regime, diverting Georgian trade and migration flows away from Russia. Ability of large companies (Borjomi, Samtrest, Electro Wagon Repair Works) to find new markets (for inputs and outputs), redirect trade flows and maintain employment levels. Government measures to temporarily soften budget constraints and encourage production (e.g. increasing inventories of wine).

28 Interpretation - lack of a noticeable aggregate impact? Prudent policy by the National Bank of Georgia that allowed preventing an outburst of inflation following measures to soften credits for producers directly affected by the sanctions Countercyclical fiscal measures by the Government of Georgia Inadvertent positive impact: repatriation of capital and labor (potential migrants not leaving and finding employment in Georgia; capital outflows to Russia declining). Producers’ ability to sustain “temporary” increases in production costs and carry larger inventories.

29 Policy recommendations Greater caution in the use of expansionary measures by NBG and the Georgian government should Russian sanction be extended to avoid overheating and inflationary pressures. Diversifying trade and industrial production away from Russia- bound exports will require continued investment in road and railway infrastructure to reduce the costs of transportation to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Inducing greater competition and quality control in industries with products that can be re-oriented to traditional and new markets (EU and North America). Great role for producer cooperatives such as Samtrest in the wine industry Introducing active labor market policy specifically targeting potential migrants and rural population.

30 Thanks you for your attention! We welcome questions, comments and critique. Please contact us by s:   The full version of the paper is available upon request. The current (draft) version is available on the ISET website: 


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