In 2022, Georgia imported a record-breaking $323 million (904 million GEL) worth of mobile phones, a $98 million increase from the previous year.
The majority of these imports originated from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the world's largest smartphone re-export centers, supplying the Middle East and Eastern Europe regions.
The share of UAE imports in 2022 grew, with $155 million worth of smartphones, or 48% of total imports, coming from the country. The Czech Republic followed as the second-largest supplier with $47 million in imports, while Hong Kong ranked third with $32 million.
Prior to the war in Ukraine, Georgia sourced a portion of its smartphones from Russia. In 2021, $37 million worth of smartphones were imported from Russia, dropping to $29 million in 2020. In 2022, only $9 million in mobile phones were imported from Russia, with the majority occurring in the first quarter.
Although China and Hong Kong are the world's largest smartphone producers, Georgia primarily imports mobile phones through intermediary countries. The top 10 countries from which Georgia sources smartphones are as follows:
United Arab Emirates - $155.1 million;
Czech Republic - $47 million;
Hong Kong - $32 million;
China - $19 million;
Vietnam - $17 million;
The Netherlands - $12 million;
Russia - $9 million;
Sweden - $7 million;
India - $6 million;
Switzerland - $3 million.
Georgia is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the UAE. Once trade barriers between the two countries are removed, the import of mobile phones is expected to become even more accessible.