2021 real economic growth 2.5 times higher than forecast

Georgia’s actual economic growth over the past year has been 2.5 times higher than originally forecast, with government savings in 2022 expected to approach the pre-pandemic mark, Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili said on Thursday. in Parliament.

Addressing MPs as part of the minister’s format of the hour, Khutsishvili said the final growth estimate for 2021 had reached 10.6%, marking a significant increase from initial projections.

The Minister also told lawmakers that compared to 2019, the growth rate improved by 3.1% and saw nominal GDP increase to 59.6 billion GEL, instead of the 53.4 billion originally forecast. .

The government’s efforts to support businesses during the early stages of the pandemic resulted in the “reported number of employees” in 2021 exceeding the 2019 figure by 4.0%,” the minister’s report also explained. .

The projected rate of tax revenue doubled in 2021 bringing the total figure to 1,226,000,000 GEL, Khutsishvili pointed out while sharing revenue data for the year which showed 13,820,000,000 GEL or 23.2% of the GDP, mobilized from taxes.

“Along with the economic recovery, the level of government savings in 2022 will approach the pre-pandemic mark and exceed 4%,” Khutsishvili said in comments on macroeconomic indicators for the current year. Photo: Georgian Ministry of Finance.

The financial authorities have drawn up a reform strategy in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, the finance minister also told MPs, as well as the approval of the Corporate Governance Code for public companies.

The official’s comments in parliament also included data on the figure for VAT refunds in 2021, which amounted to 930 million GEL – 900 million more than in 2020 and an increase of 300 million compared to 2019 – to following the full implementation of the automatic return system.

Khutshishvili highlighted “the steady momentum of reforms and the efficiency of tax administration, which is essential for the country’s economy” in his assessments.

The head of the Ministry of Finance said that a project for accelerated customs registration of goods was being developed, in addition to the introduction of a unified electronic goods database and a system of issuance of permits with commodity codes.

The introduction of an electronic licensing system – called STRATLINK – for strategic goods, and the creation of a new computerized transit system NCTS were also among the minister’s talking points, who said the reforms would contribute to a efficient tax administration and simplification of customs procedures.

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