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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Director of Tbilvino predicts Georgian wine sales slowdown in Russia

09.07.2014. (Hvino News) A few days ago Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would  take measures to protect its market, if Ukraine's and Georgia's parliaments ratify the Association Agreements with the EU.

Medvedev said that measures would be similar to those that had been taken with regard to Moldova. On July 4, two days later after the ratification of the Association Agreement by Moldova, Russia imposed large scale restrictions on the meat from Moldova. Russia's sanitation department said that the Moldovan producers had committed  a serious  violation of veterinary - sanitary norms imposed by the Customs Union. In addition, the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission will discuss the possibility of taking other measures against Moldova on July 16.

According to Chairman of the Committee on Sector Economy and Economic  Policy Zurab Tkemaladze, Georgia does not have a trade agreement with Russia and, accordingly, we are insured from nothing, especially when our country  has a negative experience in this matter, but he does not expect Russia  to take this decision.

Zurab  Margvelashvili, general director of  Tbilvino,  considers the threats more realistic, but still less likely and says  he doesn’t  exclude Russian embargo on Georgian products.

"Personally, I do not think that Moscow will impose a wine embargo against Georgia because Georgia is not so dependent on the Russian market, as it was earlier, "- Margvelashvili says but adds that nothing is excluded.

In his words,  in 2006 when Russia announced an embargo, 50% of the company’s products exported to Russia,  today not more than  30%, because the Russian market is risky. According to him, Tbilgvino sold 600-700 thousand bottles in Russia last year, this year - 1.5 million.

Margvelashvili notes the company has a stable geography and sells wine in 30 countries of the world.
He says that  Georgian wine is very popular  in Russia, and there was "a missing" moment. But he notes that sales are reducing slowly and  by the end of the year there can  be a slight reduction in sales.

In the first half of the year the Georgian wine export to 34 countries amounted to  26.9 million (0.75 liter) bottles, where Russia leads with 66%.

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