This paper examined whether trade between Georgia's region of Samtskhe-Javakheti and the neighbouring Armenian region of Shirak could significantly facilitate economic development. At the current time it does not.
In order to find out why, the project carried out three surveys
• surveyed traffic moving over the Ninotsminda checkpoint in Samtskhe-Javakheti
• surveyed traffic moving over the more southerly Sadakhlo
• market survey of Samtskhe-Javakheti
These surveys were combined with an examination of Georgian/Armenian customs law, expert interviews with those involved in economic development and trade policy and a review of secondary material on economic development in the region. The final paper examined :
• The administration of exports from Georgia to Armenia and Armenia to Georgia from a legal and a practical point of view
• Current transport infrastructure and the likely impact of proposed changes
• Key agricultural production sectors in Samtskhe-Javakheti
The paper found that Georgia-Armenia trade was not an area that warranted extensive developmental work at this time because little comparative advantage existed between the two markets. It further argued that while there are market access and market orientation problems in the region, improvements in these conditions are more likely to increase import substitution than to dramatically increase exports, particularly to Armenia.