The European Union is the main import market in the world for wine. It accounts for 55% of the worlds wine imports. Almost 70% of the global wine consumption currently takes place in the EU. As a result of growing globalization, the EU wine market is facing changing circumstances and increasingly sharp competition. In the last two decades, wines from non-EU countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile have become widespread. Simultaneously, wines from South East Europe, represented by countries as Slovenia, Romania and Hungary are increasingly exported. These successes have encouraged other countries in the region to revive their own rich wine tradition and cultures.
Through its experience in the region and based on value chain analyses, CBI acknowledges the export potential of four countries that are eligible for CBI support: Armenia, Georgia, Macedonia and Moldova.
At the same time, a number of constraints have been identified, which hamper potential exports from these countries. These constraints are related to both production, management and marketing issues. While private investors and donors like the European Investment Bank (EIB) and USAID are making the necessary investments on the production side, CBI will focus on the management and marketing issues through the proposed regional wine programme.
This programme is called SEEWINE (South East Europe Wine). The programme objective is to develop, promote and brand wines from these countries with the aim to increase their exports to the EU market. The programme will be implemented in the period 2012-2016. To realise the programme objective, an integrated approach is used that includes activities with all mayor stakeholders in the selected value chains: individual wineries, business support organizations, government institutions and (EU) importers. Where the wineries are supported through training, export coaching and market entry activities, the BSOs and government institutions will be supported with the development of their strategies and service offering."