Russia’s WTO Entry Does Not Cancel Ban on Georgian Products Automatically
17 November, 2011
Russia’s WTO Entry Does Not Cancel Ban on Georgian Products Automatically

Russian ban on Georgian products won’t be removed automatically after Russia joins the World Trade Organization since officially it was linked with quality problems. 

“Russia’s enrolment within the World Trade organization (WTO) does not mean Russian market will open automatically for Georgian wine and Borjomi,” Genadi Onishchenko, top official of Russian Sanitary Service, was reported saying on November 8, 2011, on the eve of official endorsement of Georgian-Russian agreement in Geneva on November 9. This document secured the long-awaited consent of

Georgia, already the WTO member, to Russia’s WTO bid as sides agreed to admit international monitors to control cargo turnover within Georgian conflict zones.

According to the Georgian government, this is the key achievement as Georgia got a tool to control its borders in its breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which had been completely uncontrolled since early 90s when the conflicts broke out.

Georgian economic analysts think the actual benefit of Russia’s WTO membership will be lifting the five-year ban on Georgian wine, mineral water and agriculture products imposed by Russia in 2006 under the alleged high amount of pesticides in the product.

The WTO regulation does not allow trade embargo between its member states and requires putting of all trade partners in similar conditions. So quality requirements of Russia for Georgia and Italy for example must be equal. On the other hand, the quality pains that Georgia has faced in Russia will be transferred to WTO and settled through mediation of the WTO dispute council and independent audit.

“Russia can no longer practice discriminating approach toward Georgia thanks to the WTO standards,” Irakli Kovzanadze, an economic analyst, told Georgian Journal. “

How quickly it will happen is another question as officially Russia imposed no trade embargo [that is removed automatically as soon as Russia joins the WTO] but banned Georgian product for quality reasons. And bypassing of those reasons is at Moscow’ discretion.

“It’s up to Russia to make decision and nobody can make a prognosis when it happens. It may take a short time, or a very long time. We are to start working in this direction,” Irakli Matkava, Deputy Economic Minister of Georgia, told GJ. “The good news is that thanks to WTO Russia will be  placed within the international frameworks and we can use this WTO tool.”

This means that if Georgian entrepreneurs want to reenter the Russian market they will have to appeal to Onishchenkos’ office first to be accredited and if the latter snubs Georgian product again they may settle the issue through the WTO that may take indefinite time.

On the other hand, Georgian government finds Russian market attractive but risky and prefers to be focused on alternative markets; especially Chinese one where Georgian wine turned out quite successful lately.

Kakha Kukava, leader of the Free Georgia oppositional party, claims Georgian government presses on business latently to hold them from getting back to Russian market. Due to this very reason only six wine companies became interested to undertake accreditation procedures at Russian sanitary office after Onishchenko expressed a will in this past summer to allow Georgian product back if they go through due certification procedures.

“Companies prefer to remain confidential till procedures are completed,” Kukava said adding that Georgian products will be sold at the Russian market from January 2012.

Those who appealed to Onishchenko’s office openly either changed mind later or make no comment at the moment.  IDS Borjomi Georgia, producing Borjomi mineral water, which started negotiations with Russian sanitary office in summer, does not make comments at the moment. Sarajishvili Company, producing Georgian brandy, appealed to Russian sanitary office a fortnight ago and was supposed to present due papers for certification past week as Onishchenko reported in his comments, however after the visit of Zaza Gorozia, agriculture minister, Sarajishvili changed its mind, Pirveli news agency reported on November 8.

Guja Bubuteishvili, Director General of Sarajishvili, in the cell interview with GJ eluded direct answers whether or not Sarajishvili appealed to Onishchenko’s office or withdrew the request ultimately but did not conceal his intention to reappear at Russian market.

“If someone is supposed to buy our product we will sell it,” he said adding a certain American company plans to take Sarajishvili’s product to Russia. He did not elaborate more details.

Matkava asures government does not dictate business where to export.

“We want Russian market, but Georgian wine and mineral water started hitting alternative markets. It will be good if we get Russian market back but if not it is not the single market where we are competitive,” he said.

Bigger part of Georgian wine-companies considers getting back to Russian market very cautiously as they finds it risky. According to Tina Kezeli, President of Georgian Wine Association, Georgian wine sector learnt a lesson in 2006 when it underwent through a collapse as it was by 90% dependent on Russia, and now once it got recovered, improved its quality and hit new markets, it is focused on more diversification and new export directions in China and Asian countries appear quite promising.

Giorgi Barisashvili, a wine expert, believes Georgian wine sector that came to senses at last after it lost  Russian market that was kind of narcotic as consumed low quality and falsified wine thus providing by easy profit, should focus on qualified product and target at premium segment European markets.

Other Stories
Doing business in Georgia has become easier than in America
According to the Doing Business 2019 report published by the World Bank, Georgia ranked 6th among 190 countries in terms of simplicity of doing business. This was an improvement over two ranks compared to last year.
Problems that foreigners frequently face in Georgia
The importance of Georgia as a tourism hub is growing year after year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Head Speaker List featuring Circle, and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.
Equivalent to buried treasure – resources that are underused in Georgia
For 2018 the IMF Commission has forecast an annual economic growth for the Georgian economy of about 5,5%.
Does the quality of Georgian wine increase and how the export affects it
If we look at the data collected about modern Georgian wine, we will find out that the Georgian wines produced between 2015-2017 are much better in terms of their quality and Oenologic features rather than the wines produced between 2009-2011.
Japan simplifies the visa requirements for Georgian citizens
Diplomatic and economic relations between Georgia and Japan are now moving to a new phase. Recently Japan has decided to simplify the visa requirements for Georgian citizens.
M&S (Marks and Spencer) and H&M collections to be produced in Georgia
Garments manufacturer MGMTEX will start production of the M&S and H&M trendy collections from this September.
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Exchange Rates
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
November 2018
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