UK: Whisky to benefit from Russia WTO membership, predicts SWA
Distillers should see a boost from Russia joining the WTO
Whisky producers will get a boost from Russia joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as it will create a more "stable" business environment, a trade body has claimed.
David Williamson, the Scotch Whisky Association's deputy director of international affairs, welcomed the news that Russia joined the WTO on Wednesday (22 August) after 18 years of negotiations. "This matters to Scotch whisky distillers because the agreement delivers real benefits," he said.
A 30% reduction of the whisky tariff should be in place by 2015, Williamson added.
The WTO's dispute settlement system will also be open to both sides to resolve disagreements, he said. "This will, hopefully, create a more predictable and stable business environment in Russia," Williamson said.
However, he warned that Russia's regulatory situation "remains fluid and complex". But he added the SWA will "continue to push for a more transparent operating environment".
Williamson concluded: "It (Russia) is an exciting and growing market. Industry experts consistently predict that volumes should double over the next three years given the appeal of Scotch whisky to increasingly affluent consumers."
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