Trade Liberalisation and Export Performance in Transition: The Case of Georgia


  • This article draws on a study undertaken for the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region of the World Bank, which financially supported the study. We are grateful to Kazi Matin for comments.


This paper examines export performance in Georgia in the process of transition from central planning to a market-oriented economy. Policy reforms undertaken with the support of the Bretton Woods institutions since the mid-1990s have made Georgia one of the most market-friendly economies among the Commonwealth of Independent States. However, the reforms have so far failed to transform the lopsided export structure inherited from the Soviet era in line with emerging opportunities for global economic integration. The orthodox liberalisation reforms are unlikely to improve export performance unless accompanied by concrete measures to redress supply-side constraints faced by export producers and to sustain their international competitiveness.