Armenian exporters are again facing difficulties as the road in Lars is closed due to weather, and trucks stop on the way. The head of Armenian Winemakers Association Avag Harutiunyan told Lragir.am that the situation is very difficult.
“Right now is the season of most intensive exports, drinks are taken to Russia for the holiday season. One thirds of all load of our wine and brandy exports is in October, November, December but we have what we have,” Avag Harutiunyan says.
Entrepreneurs face this problem for decades, the government discusses different proposals but the issue is not resolved. There was a proposal on ferry transportation but ferry is expensive, exporters do not use this option.
“The ferry is expensive compared with trucks that’s why they don’t use. Besides, the owner of the ferry refused because there is no regular supply of loads. The solution would be government support to ferry transportation. For example, the government could become a shareholder of a ferry and subsidize. Then, of course, producers will repay their debt,” he said.
Besides, according to Avag Harutiunyan, having an alternative road is important but nothing is being done. Iran could be a life saver in terms of exports but we still need to study this direction.
“Iran has joined an international convention prohibiting transportation of highly hazardous and toxic substances. We need to try to find out if alcohol could be considered a highly hazardous and toxic substance. No steps are made towards facilitating exports. There is this road that can take to Russia via the Caspian Sea. But this direction may also be expensive. In brief, the situation is not good,” Harutiunyan says.
He says levels of exports of wine and brandy is up this year. The growth totaled 30-40%.