Georgian Export Stumbles Over Tbilisi’s Uncertain Political Will
13 September, 2012
Georgian Export Stumbles Over Tbilisi’s Uncertain Political Will

Georgian export stumbles over the equivocal political will of Georgian administration. On the one hand, official Tbilisi lingers to get back to traditional Russian market because distrusts it since the embargo of  2006. Neither does it hurry toward its declared priority of the EU market that offers to unfold its free market prospects to Georgia if the liberally inclined Tbilisi changes its mind and undertakes the European way of stronger market regulations focused on safer and high quality product. 

After a

year since Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia seems ready to get more docile and reopen its market to Georgian products, mainly wine, mineral water and agriculture products that Genadi Onishchenko, Russian top sanitary, hurled away in 2006 for alleged quality reasons. Now Onishchenko touts Georgian products back. As he said to Interfax on September 6, 2012, many Georgian companies have already submitted paper-work at RosPotrebNadzor, Sanitary Service of Russian Federation, for further approval so as to start exporting Georgian product to Russian market.

These papers include a year-long applications of IDS Borjomi Georgia, producing mineral water Borjomi, and Sarajishvili brandy company, both reputable companies holding international quality certificates and exporting to post- Soviet, as well as, European countries.

Onishchenko assures the fault falls with Georgian government who apparently is not interested in the solution of  this problem.

“As I said a year ago, in order to allow the entry into the Russian market either Borjomi, that also had problems, or Georgian wines, at least Sarajishvili brandy, we just need to inspect the territories of the said enterprises. They have already submitted the papers,” Onishchenko was reported by Rusisan media past week.  “But Georgian government apparently is not interested in it.”

Guja Bubuteishvili, Director General of Srajishvili company, does not trust Onishchenko who is well aware of Sarajishvili brandy’s quality.

“I will believe the Russian market is open when not Onishchenko but Russian government will say this. This is a quibbling of words. Onishchenko has visited my plant for numerous times and has been praising my enterprise in about 170 articles in Russian media, but our negotiations with Russian side has shown no progress,” Bubuteishvili said in the interview to Georgian Journal.

Georgian Ministry of Agriculture in response to Onishchenko’s accusations released an official statement on September 6, 2012 and stressed that Georgian state welcomes any foreign certifying/testing organ to visit Georgia on purpose to grant Georgian companies the export permission ultimately, and the state never interferes in the relationship between foreign certification organs and local business.

Demur Giorkhelidze, an economic expert with the oppositionist Georgian Dream political coalition, does not trust the governmental message for the reality confirms different scenario.

“The reality is that business depends on government in Georgia and it does not dare to undertake a move toward Russian market that is traditional and spares business of millions of investments to be spent on advertisement that are necessary at other markets including the EU,” He said to Georgian Journal.  “The year of 2013 is supposed to be very hard and Russian market is very important to us, it falls in the interest of Georgia not Russia to reappear at Russian market.”

Giorkhelidze believes Georgian administration has no political will to get back to Russian market that may facilitate the business to get wealthier, stronger, more independent and thus get out of governmental control. Therefore, the authorities latently press on Georgian business to forget Russian market and the business appeases as it fears to be shut down.

Badri Ramishvili, a marketing expert, thinks it is the political will of the Kremlin to keep Georgia off  the Russian market. Ramishvili believes that Georgia should be focused on the EU market that offers free trade rather than bargain with Russia that promises no trade preferences.

That’s nonsense that Georgian administration lost Russian market in 2006. It was Russian policy to divert Georgia from its political course through sundry economic tools.  Russian ideologist Dugin openly says that Russia has tried different remedies including gas cut-offs and trade embargo to make Georgia change its political course but to no avail,” Ramishvili said in the interview to GJ.

He believes Russian embargo did a good job to Georgia in fact as it impelled the business to take care of quality and seek other markets that is much more important rather than to bargain with Russia on some preferences that will have political price, the price that is not worth of commercial benefits Georgia may enjoy as an aftermath.

Since Russia joined the WTO that prohibits any kind of trade embargo between its member-states, Georgia, also a WTO member-state, already may have trade with Russia and has nothing to bargain about except the trade preferences that will include political price by all means,” Ramishvili said. He believes Russian market is not worth of paying political price.

“We had Russian market before 2006 and so what, were we thriving? No,” he said and advised to focus on the free trade with the EU that may really boost Georgian economy.

The tariff-free trade prospects with the EU with about 500 million of population and ten-fold bigger capacity than Russian market is much more enticing perspective to think of. Thanks to the Black Sea logistics to European countries, which is cheaper rather than transportation to remote Russian regions 2-3 thousand kilometers away of Georgia and fixing high customs tariffs on top of it.

Moreover, the quality problem that hampers Georgian export to the EU at the moment will hurdle it in Russia in future as wel.

“Competition in Russia will be getting stronger with the time as the WTO standards will be gaining strength. More and more western reputable companies will enter there and Georgia will face stronger competition in Russia as in Europe. So what is better, to focus on the tariff-free trade with the EU or Russia that fixes customs tariffs?” Ramishvili asks.

What puzzles Ramishvili is that official Tbilisi lingers to enjoy the EU free trade offer due to its liberal inclinations. Actually, when talks on free trade with the EU started in 2008, the EU forecast was to enforce the promised trade regime starting 2011-2012. Now the prospect is delayed by three years. The reason is that Tbilisi is reluctant to implement the EU requirements on market regulation as obligatory preconditions for starting the free trade.

“As soon as the EU free market becomes attainable, I expect investments influx in Georgia and export curve going high,” Ramishvili said. As of now the lack of markets suffocates Georgian export leaving it pending for better time and sensible political will.

Other Stories
Everything of comfortable life in one space – Second part of construction of one of the largest apartment complexes finished in Tbilisi
Apartment in ecologically clean environment, thousands of square meters of green yard, swimming pools, places for various sports activities, treks for walking and running, commercial spaces – all these available in one space is not a fantasy.
Batumi awarded Europe's Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2019
World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2019 took place on the 8th of June in Madeira, Portugal.
Coca Cola to open new factory in Georgia, will hire female drivers
Coca Cola is opening new factory in Georgia in December.
World's best party supply company now on the Georgian market
The largest party supply store in Georgia - MyDay is launching as the official distributor of AMSCAN from 2019.
Live as a marketing tool and an unprecedented live stream launched by Livetag
Sharing information has become smoother and more versatile in today’s technological world. Recently, live streaming, an online streaming media has become especially popular.
Theme and program of Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019 changed
“The 8th International Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019, scheduled for June 21, will focus on the development of the Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the field of economy and energy”,
Misunderstanding over Poti deep sea ports
There was misunderstanding around deep sea ports in Georgia – in Poti.
High demand for dollars or the investment decline – Why Georgian Lari depreciates
$1 equals GEL 2,7470 in the official rate set by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals.
New life to be given to Dashbashi Canyon
Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas is planning to give new life to Dashbashi Canyon in Tsalka (southeastern Georgia).
Who is constructing “Khadori 3” Hydropower Plant in Pankisi Gorge?
Clashes broke out in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia’s northeastern region between special forces and residents
Business Positive – Successful radio program from Radio Positive
Starting point of radio program Business Positive is to meet interesting people, communicate with them and deliver information that is interesting for the audience.
A factory of electric vehicles to be built in Kutaisi
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that a factory of electric vehicles will be built in Kutaisi at the presentation of the Aigroup business group.
Qvevri-shaped hotel complex to be built in Telavi
A Qvevri-shaped hotel complex is scheduled to be built in the village of Shalauri in Telavi, Kakheti (east part of Georgia).
Georgian designers presented at Fashion World Tokyo 2019
The products of 11 Georgian designers are showcased at Fashion World Tokyo 2019,
Silknet raises $200 million in Eurobond issue
27 March 2019 - JSC Silknet (“Silknet”), one of Georgia’s leading telecommunications operators, has successfully priced a debut $200 million 5-year 11% senior unsecured bonds issue (the “Notes”).
Pistachio trees will be planted in Georgia
Dozens of hectares of Pistachio are planned to be planted in Georgia this year.
Toyota Safety Sense and Hybrid Technology
Toyota Caucasus, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla at Rustavi International Motorpark, several days ago.
Bidzina Ivanishvili “became number one oppressor of businesses in Georgia” - ICC Georgia chairman Fady Asly
Mr. Ivanishvili promised the business community to protect them from harassment and pressure, unfortunately his words died with the sunset of that day
The best brands of Belarus will be exhibited on a large-scale exposition in Tbilisi
"The Belarusians like to come to Georgia to relax near the sea in Batumi as well as to stay in sunny Kakhetia."
Don’t treat business like a hooker! - Georgian businessman Vasil Soprpmadze addresses politicians
Businessman Vasil Sopromadze, founder of the company "Fresco", addresses politicians
RAV4 No Compromise and Corolla Set to Impress – Two New Cars Presented by Toyota
Toyota Caucasus, the company constantly aspiring to greatness, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla.
Mamuka Khazaradze quits TBC bank, does not sell the TBC Bank share
I made a decision to leave TBC bank where I spent 27 years of my life
10 Reasons to buy an apartment in the suburbs
There is a tendency for Tbilisi dwellers to move from central parts of the capital to the suburbs.
Georgian citizens are granted the right to work in France
The French Embassy in Georgia made remarks on granting Georgian citizens the right to work in France
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
July 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31