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Alternatives to the Russian market

Monday, October 13
It is obvious that the Russian market will be blocked to Georgia for a long time. The country’s administration has been desperately looking for alternative markets ever since Moscow slapped an embargo on Georgian products two years ago.

One positive consequence of the embargo was highlighted when after the August war Georgia was given extra benefits which would enable it to enter the European and US markets. Some local analysts however are very skeptical of this possibility, thinking that the EU and US markets will still be rather difficult to enter due to their strict quality controls and other details.

Economic analyst Gia Khukhashvili thinks that the US and EU market might substitute around 30% of the former Russian market. “Whatever benefits are given, Georgian products will not be compatible with the developed markets of the EU and US… the Russian market knew Georgian brands. To enter new markets Georgia has to overcome serious difficulties,” thinks Khukhashvili.

To enter the EU market certain serious demands will have to be met, and as economic analyst Lado Papava maintains, the Georgian administration is unlikely to be willing to comply with EU demands. Rather, on the contrary, “the Georgian Government does everything to make it impossible for the EU to grant a free trade regime to Georgia,” Papava says. He believes that under this Government there is no chance of Georgia receiving a free trade regime from the EU.