The coronavirus pandemic has an
unprecedented negative impact on the global economy, including Georgia, but the
reports in the media that the Georgian national currency is the first in the
world by power of devaluation are not true, Koba Gvenetadze, President of the
National Bank, says.
According to Gvenetadze,
the lari depreciated approximately as much
as the national currencies of other emerging markets.
According to Bloomberg, from
January 1 to March 31, 2020, the Georgian lari is the 12th in the world by
power of devaluation. Zambian kwacha (24%), Brazilian real (23%), Russian ruble
(22%), South African rand (22%), Namibian dollar (22%), Swaziland lilingan
(22%), Sudanese pound (21%), Mexican peso (19%), Colombian peso (18%),
Belarusian ruble (13%), Lesotho lot (16%) are ahead of Georgian national
The Georgian lari
devalued by 14% almost as much as the Ukrainian hryvnia (13%).
the Norwegian krone is
also among the depreciated currencies despite it’s a currency
of a highly developed country and fell by
13%, almost as much as the lari
Expert Nika Shengelia
says the statement of the central bank’s President is not true, and the lari
has fallen more than all the currencies of the region and developing countries
not only due to the COVID-19 outbreak but the banking regulations as well.
“For example, the
Armenian dram has fallen by 20% in 2 years, while the lari in the same period
has lost 70-80% of its value. The same happens to the Azerbaijani manat, which
has not changed at all in recent weeks. The Russian ruble is dependent on oil while our currency
is no less dependent on tourism. The National Bank is not coping with its responsibilities,
and is trying to find an excuse in the coronavirus outbreak. But the pandemic
equally affects both Georgia and Armenia as well as other countries where the epidemic situation is much worse than
ours, ”the expert explains.