At the beginning of summer, a delegation of Ukrainian wine producers visited the United States as part of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) Program. They came to explore opportunities for exporting Ukrainian wines to the U.S. market as well as to learn about American business practices and to potentially develop partnerships with entrepreneurs in the United States.
The visitors were Vitaliy Shmulevych of Alcoline in Odesa, Aleksandra Polischuk of the Chizay Winery and Vineyard in the Transcarpathia Region, Oleksandr Kovach of the Association of Private Winegrowers and Winemakers of Transcarpathia, and Valentyna Parsaieva of the Odesa-based Shabo winery.
During a meeting at the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation on May 31st the group described their successes and challenges in promoting Ukrainian wines and brandy abroad, and the growing popularity of wine tourism in Ukraine. Ms. Parsaieva discussed these issues in a television interview with the Voice of America’s Ukrainian Service. The group also traveled to several East Coast and West Coast wineries and vineyards.
During their visit to USUF, the Ukrainian wine producers were accompanied by Tanner Johnson, a SABIT program International Trade Specialist, who has planned and coordinated the U.S. visits of numerous Ukrainian business delegations.
As described by the SABIT website, the program “builds partnerships and provides technical assistance by training Eurasian business leaders in U.S. business practices. These training programs directly support Eurasian economic and civil society development by encouraging market-based reforms, while generating valuable export and investment opportunities for U.S. industry… SABIT enables U.S. companies to develop… local knowledge by establishing partnerships and training local Eurasian management.”