Domestic alcoholic beverages are not in high demand abroad
At the meeting chaired by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on August 3, it was stated that it is necessary to include specific measures on sharply increasing the export of the industry’s products into the new program on accelerated development of viticulture and grape processing. Domestic alcoholic beverages are not in high demand abroad, the bulk of exports are wine materials. In the first half of this year, the volume of exports amounted to 9.6 million dollars, or 85 percent of the forecast.
As it is known, such grape varieties as “Pinot noir”, “Chardonnay”, “Sauvignon blanc” are not grown in Uzbekistan, allowing to produce wine at the level of world requirements. Importation of their seedlings is prohibited by the State Plant Quarantine Inspection because of the risk of spreading phylloxera, an insect pest of grapes. Therefore, it is necessary to import not saplings, but cuttings of the specified varieties and multiply them in seed plots in conditions of strict quarantine. In this regard, the State Plant Quarantine Inspection was given instruction on studying the experience of countries with developed winemaking and preparing proposals for the import of certified varieties of grapes.
Unsatisfactory level of activities in attracting direct investment in the industry was noted at the meeting. Despite the fact that most enterprises of “Uzsharobsanoat” system use obsolete equipment, winemaking and production of alcoholic beverages are one of the attractive areas for investment, it accounts for only 0.5 percent of currently used investments. This year 31 projects worth $59 million are implemented, which is 2 times more than in the last year. However, there is a low probability that at least half of them will be completed by the end of the year.
At the same time, as a result of passivity and indifference, 21 projects worth 101 million dollars, not related to the industry, are implemented without attracting foreign investment. Of these, 15 cannot be completed before the end of the year.
Responsible persons, taking into account all this, should form a list of projects on development of winemaking and modernization of production of alcoholic beverages in a two-month period with involvement of foreign investments worth at least $300 million and determine measures for their implementation within the framework of investment programs for 2019-2022.