Debt Management Performance Assessment

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Georgia Debt Management Performance Assessment

2013-08, World Bank

After a prolonged economic downturn in the early 1990s Georgia has succeeded in improving economic performance. The Government of Georgia undertook large-scale reforms that encouraged increased output growth. Over the period 2003-2012 the Georgian economy grew at an average annual rate of 6.6 percent. Privatization, new simplified tax codes introduced in 2005 and 2010 which reduced the complexity and number of taxes, the cancellation of import duties on approximately 90 percent of goods, and an 88 percent reduction in the number of licenses for doing business resulted in increasing foreign investment inflows into the country. Large external public borrowing to finance energy imports during the first years of independence resulted in a quick accumulation of external debt stock, which exceeded 80 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the end of 1994. As a result of strong performance in 1996-1998 when the country's economy grew at 10 percent annually on average, the external debt declined sharply to below 58 percent of GDP. However, depreciation of the Lari against the US dollar during the Russian crisis diminished these achievements. The declining of the debt-to-GDP ratio resumed in 2000. From June 17-26, 2013, a World Bank tea