According to the National Wine Agency, in January to March 2016, Georgia exported 7 694 748 bottles of wines to 26 countries, up 51% compared to the same period of 2015. Total value of the exports marked 18 144 738 USD, up 20% compared to the same period of 2014.
In her interview with the Business Morning Nutsa Abramishvili, director general of Schuchmann Wines Georgia, overviews wines exports potential.
How purposefully are the exports markets potential employed?
There are a number of financial problems in the Post-Soviet countries because of devaluation of their national currencies. On the other hand, this process embraces positive elements too, because the market diversification proceeds in natural process. The crisis has necessitated the market diversification. We have been implementing active efforts to penetrate such markets as China, for example. A number of events also contribute to this objective, including the enactment of the free trade agreement.
Do you think the market players are ready to fully employ the DCFTA benefits?
I think Georgia has not taken active steps after this agreement came into force. The DCFTA agreement has no relation with the winemaking sector, because Georgia has long started exports of wines to Europe and further steps will be taken to deepen this process.
Do you think the government’s efforts are satisfactory in this respect?
Winemaking, wine tourism and everything related to wines are our priority. This is evident and I hope all government will maintain the same strategy. This direction requires more and more development and more popularization jointly with the private sector. Wine popularization is in direct relation with development of the image of Georgia. This signifies potential investors and more potential tourists will be attracted to Georgia. I believe we will reap more positive results on the stable markets if we intensify our efforts.
The Government continues developing the subsidization component. What would you recommend in terms of the wine sector subsidization?
The project implemented over the last years should be considered as promnotion of our peasants and farmers, because the market demand is low, even more so the Russian market remains closed. Therefore, our farmers cannot fully sell their harvest and this is very bad. Therefore, we should welcome the subsidization component in this specific situation.
However, along with the development and the sector regulation, the demand-supply will be balanced and then the government will not have to interfere any more. But at this stage our market needs state subsidization on temporary basis.
How does Schuchman Wines Georgia develop the exports markets?
We have widely diversified our exports markets. We have fully excluded the Russian market from our portfolio and we have shifted out attention to China, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. We are implementing various projects in various international markets. We are very content with our achievements and we believe in the next year we will have absolutely stable balance.
We are proud when we penetrate sophisticated markets through overcoming sharp competition.
We have entered the British market too that is oversaturated by world wines.
Nobody can instruct business which market to enter. This issue should be determined by the private sector absolutely. Consequently, business should not be oriented on risky markets, from where it is difficult to raise invested money.