BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 21
By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:
Vehicle re-export from Georgia has dropped in half in 2020, Trend reports via Georgian media.
The drop resulted in $329 million.
Re-export is 45 percent down comparing to 2019. The largest decrease is noted in the direction of cars among the 10 major commodity groups by exports, where the decrease is more than $348 million, it means a decrease of 31.4 percent compared to 2019.
As auto importers said the decrease in export-import is not only related to the pandemic and the closure of borders. One of the main factors in the decline is the closure of the Armenian market. Armenia stopped importing cars from Georgia due to the increased customs tariffs by the Armenian government from 2020.
"The pandemic cannot be directly blamed in 45 percent drop of exports, we should take into account the Armenian factor, then the drop will be 10-15 percent. It is true that the borders are closed and car dealers are unable to arrive, but the market has shifted to remote mode. So 2020 was not a very bad year for the auto industry. The balance is maintained and sales are pretty good today. We think the car market will open on February 1 and sales will return to normal," said Alexander Vekua, sales director of Caucasus Autoimport.
According to him, Armenian market is partly replaced by new players, along with Azerbaijan and Ukraine, which raises optimistic expectations for the businesses.
"Georgia still maintains the function of a hub. Azerbaijan and Ukraine are still making purchases; moreover, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan are added, Iraq is in the statistics, and Poland also makes exports. These new markets give optimistic expectations. We think 2021 will be much productive, at least because new players have appeared on the market," Vekua said.
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