The FINANCIAL — The Minister of Finance of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, in his speech before the Parliament of Georgia, stated: “For the last five years, our dependence on remittances [from Russia] has decreased. Whilst in 2012 nearly 60% of all remittances was transferred from one single country, today Russia’s share in total remittances is only 32%.”
FactCheck took interest in the accuracy of the statement.
The National Bank of Georgia publishes statistics in regard to remittances to Georgia. According to the National Bank’s data, the total amount of remittances transferred to Georgia in the first 11 months of 2017 was USD 1.2 billion which is USD 200 million more as compared to the same figure of the previous year. The highest amount of remittances (in the first 11 months of the year) in the period of 2012-2017 was registered in 2014.In 2015 the amount of remittances was USD 978 million which is the lowest figure since 2009.
The largest amount of remittances to Georgia comes from Russia. In the first 11 months of 2017, USD 410 million was transferred from Russia to Georgia which exceeds the figures for 2014 and 2015. Despite this fact, Russia’s share of remittances in the total amount of remittances has been dropping annually since 2012 which is certainly a good trend. Specifically, Russia’s share in total remittances was 56% in the first 11 months of 2012 and 33% in the same period in 2017.
Apart from Russia, a significant share of remittances to Georgia is transferred from Italy, Greece, Israel and the USA. Since 2014, the amount of remittances from Greece has decreased significantly whilst dependence on remittances from the USA has increased considerably. In 2017, the amount of remittances from the USA doubled as compared to 2012. In the last five years the amount of remittances from Israel has had record growth with 2017’s figure showing a fivefold increase as compared to 2012 and a twofold increase as compared to the figure of the previous year.
Mamuka Bakhtadze has not specified the country to which he refers in his statement. However, by looking at percentage figures, it is evident that the country is the Russian Federation. In the first 11 months of 2017, USD 410 million remittances were transferred from Russia to Georgia which constituted 33% of the total amount of remittances to Georgia. For the last five years, the aforementioned ratio has been declining. The 2017 figure is 23 percentage points less as compared to the 2012 figure.
Therefore, FactCheck concludes that Mamuka Bakhtadze’s statement is TRUE.