President Giorgi Margvelashvili met on January 23 Georgian central bank chief, Giorgi Kadagidze, as national currency, Lari, fell to its lowest level since April, 2004.
GEL, which was stable throughout most of 2014, lost more than 12% of its value against the U.S. dollar in a period between early November and early December. Although the Georgian national currency gained a bit by late December, GEL again started to depreciate and lost up to 6% of its value since January 1, falling to 1.9935 per U.S. dollar.
President’s office said that at the meeting Margvelashvili and Kadagidze spoke about “economic difficulties in the country and about measures needed to overcome them.”
“Declining exports and money transfers [from abroad to Georgia] and its negative impact on the national currency was also noted,” president’s office said.
Exports from Georgia declined by 2% in 2014 compared to previous year to USD 2.86 billion, caused mostly by decreasing re-export of vehicles. Remittances to Georgia were down by 2.45% y/y in 2014 to USD 1.44 billion; decline was caused by falling transfers from Russia, which is the largest source of remittances for Georgia.