Kazbegi Plans to Launch Joint Enterprise of Soft Drinks in Iraq

Gogi Topadze, president for Kazbegi company, plans to repeatedly leave for the town of Erbil by the invitation of the regional government of Kurdistan, Iraq, to provide consultations in soft drink industry to the local government.

Topadze says Kazbegi may launch a mineral water and lemonade production in Kurdistan jointly with a consortium of French companies.

"Under an agreement with the government of Kurdistan, Kazbegi has developed a business plan and recommendations for acquisition of technological equipment. We have also conducted a laboratory research on water", Topadze said.

The form of the future cooperation is not divulged, but it is known French banks are interested in making investments in Kurdistan. Topadze assumes a joint company may be founded in Iraq.

"Kazbegi products were widely consumed in the northern regions of Iraq. The Government of Iraqi Kurdistan is interested in manufacturing ecologically clean products and bottling mineral waters. They are expected to even acquire Kazbegi-produced aromatizers. Kzbegi welcomes French partners to take part in the project", Topadze noted.

Currently, the Iraqi Kurdistan has wide autonomous rights and is one of the calm and economically quickly developing regions in Iraq with 5 million residents. For the last two years, the investing volume has risen by 2 million GEL (up 28 percent). Arab and European companies are actively making investments in the Region.

Foreign companies are showing interest in the preferences the regional government of Kurdistan has introduced. Namely, investors are exempted from taxes for 5 years. Moreover, if the investors reinvest the profits, the tax preferences will be extended.

Kazbegi launched operation in Iraq in 2003. Kazbegi transported eight varieties of beer and five varieties of soft drinks to Iraq in partnership with Teta Turkish transportation company.