Qvevri – the New Wine Making Craze in Italy 

The tradition of friendly relation between Italy and Georgia continues. Italy is a coherent supporter of Georgia and its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have an active and tangible sustain in conducting non-recognition polity of our occupied regions. Italy does not consider itself in the so called group of skeptics and is a rational supporter of Georgia in every single step on the way of European integration. Italy’s approach is that the task should be clear and rational and as far as Georgia does its homework well the valuation too must be logical and definite. The Italian government finalised the procedures for ratification of Georgia EU Association Agreement within half of the time set by law and country’s regular practice and submitted the draft act for ratification to the Chamber of Deputies. We do expect the same attitude from the Italian Parliament chambers.

Although, we had bilateral meetings this year, the high and highest level official visits are being planned in Rome and Tbilisi (presumably in the last quarter of the year and/or successive year).

During the current year Georgian culture was intensively presented. Cultural days of Georgia were organised in several Italian regions. Italian translations of the books of Georgian writers and poets, handicrafts of Georgian artisans were exhibited. Organisation of wine-testing of various Georgian wines contributed to the popularisation of traditional Georgian technology of wine production. “Qvevri” becomes increasingly popular among Italian winemakers. A lot of them orders qvevris from Georgia to do the special wines in Italy. 

Piecemeal activity of Italian business increases. The embassy tries to attract and cooperates not only with small or medium business groups, but also with large business unions (central and regional confederations of industries) where the special divisions of internationalization are progressively active. The emphasis is given to the agriculture, electro-energy plants, constructions and tourism business. There is a hopeful tendency. Some of the Italian companies started operating in Georgia, creating concrete job opportunities. Special tours for Italian journalist were organised in Georgia and important articles were published in the Italian media that was good for raising awareness and understanding of Georgia.

There is also a fruitful cooperation with the UN international organisation accredited in Rome and mostly with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

The Ministers of Agriculture and Finance of Georgia signed the agreement with IFAD with the total amount of 20 millions of USD (whereas 6 million is a grant and the rest – a credit with low interests) to be spent for the development of agriculture sector in Georgia. 

In order to resolve the financial obligations of Georgia before FAO, we successfully leaded the negotiations with FAO and the debt of Georgia has been rescheduled for next five years.