Azer­bai­jani wine en­ters new mar­kets

Azer News - - Business - By Ni­gar Ab­basova

The wine ex­port of Azer­bai­jan, the coun­try with tra­di­tion­ally widely de­vel­oped vine-grow­ing, hit $3.5 mil­lion in 2016.

Head of the Wine Ex­porters' and Pro­duc­ers' As­so­ci­a­tion of Azer­bai­jan Elchin Mada­tov said that the coun­try also launched wine ex­port to new mar­kets such as China, Viet­nam, Ja­pan, South Korea, the U.S. and some Euro­pean coun­tries.

He made the re­mark while ad­dress­ing a con­fer­ence ded­i­cated to the re­sults of the state pro­gram on so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment of Azer­bai­jani re­gions in 2014-2018.

Talking about the mea­sures that stip­u­lated the growth, Mada­tov pointed to in­tro­duc­tion of an ex­port pro­mo­tion mech­a­nism, as well as pro­mo­tion of the “Made in Azer­bai­jan” brand.

“Within the mech­a­nism, en­trepreneurs have re­ceived loans worth 440,000 man­ats ($ 230,750) since Novem­ber 2016 for sup­plies of wine. In tote, the sphere re­ceived loans worth 40 mil­lion man­ats ($ 20.9 mil­lion),” he said.

Mada­tov went on saying that lo­cal wine-mak­ers will par­tic­i­pate in two ex­hi­bi­tions to be held in China and Ger­many in 2017.

He em­pha­sized that wine-mak­ing has switched to a new level of devel­op­ment in Azer­bai­jan due to pro­grams im­ple­mented in the coun­try.

“In cer­tain Azer­bai­jani re­gions, plant­ings of grapes are be­ing ex­panded and the range of do­mes­ti­cally pro­duced wines in­creases. We are now ob­serv­ing a new trend - con­sumers are start­ing to pre­fer lo­cal wines and, at the same time, our wines find their cus­tomers abroad,” said Mada­tov.

Five ma­jor wine-grow­ing re­gions of the coun­try are Shamakha, Is­maily, Ga­bala, Gandja, Tovuz. Lo­cal grape va­ri­eties in Azer­bai­jan in­clude White Shani, Der­bendi, Nail, Bayan­shire, Ga­mashara, Ganja Pink, Bendi, Madrasa, Black Shani, Zeyn­abi, Mis­gali, Khin­dogni, Ag­dam Kechiemdzheyi, Te­brizi, and Marandi.

Among the grape sorts used to pro­duce Azer­bai­jani wine are Pinot Noir, Rkat­siteli, Pinot Blanc, Alig­ote, Ma­trassa, Po­darok Ma­garacha, Per­venets Ma­garacha, Ranni Ma­garacha, Doina, Vior­ica, and Kish­mish Mol­davski.

Azer­bai­jan be­came a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Vine and Wine in June 2014. The coun­try has fo­cused since then on the devel­op­ment of vines and winer­ies as im­por­tant con­trib­u­tors to the econ­omy and agri­cul­ture.

To­day, Azer­bai­jan pro­duces 20 mil­lion bot­tles of wine per year, while the an­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of the coun­try’s winer­ies is 100 mil­lion bot­tles.

Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev, ad­dress­ing a re­cent Cab­i­net meet­ing, tasked the eco­nomic en­ti­ties, the Min­istry of Taxes and other to se­ri­ously ex­am­ine this mat­ter.

“Most of these plants were built in re­cent years. Ma­jor funds have been in­vested in them and mod­ern equip­ment in­stalled. How can it be pos­si­ble for plants with a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 100 mil­lion bot­tles to pro­duce only 20 mil­lion bot­tles of wine? Ei­ther the in­vestor does not know the value of his money or the pro­duc­tion is actually higher but it is ac­counted for. As the saying goes, there is il­le­gal pro­duc­tion. There­fore, we need to re­store or­der in this area,” he said.

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