‘We have taken significant steps to take Azerbaijani wines to world markets’

Baku, January 13, AZERTAC

“Azerbaijan produces 20 million bottles of wine per year. Exports are very small. Our entrepreneurs get only 2-3 million dollars from wine exports. Therefore, we have taken significant steps to take Azerbaijani wines to world markets. We have participated in several international exhibitions and signed contracts. We conduct direct talks with friendly and partner countries, so that they allocated a quota for our wine in their markets and we could export it. Business people should also be more active here. It is in their best interest,” said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev as he addressed the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socioeconomic development of 2016 and objectives for the future.

“But the current situation associated with winemaking should be seriously analyzed – by economic entities, the Ministry of Taxes and law enforcement agencies. A very strange picture transpires here. The annual production capacity of our wineries is 100 million bottles. 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 seriously examine this matter and, as I said, all relevant agencies should prepare a note for me. We need to restore order in this area. This is an area that can bring big profits,” the President said.

“In the time of the great leader, in the 1970s, we picked 2 million tons of grapes. Farmers received a large income. Unfortunately, the Soviet leadership and the local leaders who want to please the Soviet leadership subsequently destroyed some of the vineyards. We are restoring them now. When restoring them, we must consider the entire chain. Otherwise we will set up vineyards but where will we then sell the products and process them? It is necessary to take these unified comprehensive measures. There should be clarity here,” the head of state added.

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