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13 November 2008 - The inaugural Hong Kong International Tea Fair will take place, 13-15 August 2009, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The fair, which will be held alongside the annual Food Expo, is being organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Chinese Tea Culture International Exchange Association.
World demand for tea and tea-related products could bring huge business opportunities to Hong Kong. Canada's Ipsos-Reid* report expects global tea sales to jump from HK$57.4 billion in 2007 to HK$116.3 billion by 2010. "And Hong Kong is set to help hit that target," said Raymond Yip, Assistant Executive Director of the HKTDC, at a press conference today for the new fair.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, tea production reached 3.87 million tonnes in 2007. China is the world's largest tea-producing country, followed by India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The five countries accounted for 77 per cent of the global export of tea in 2006. Major tea importers include Russia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, the United States and Egypt, which together accounted for more than 40 per cent of tea imports in 2006. Hong Kong has the highest tea consumption among Asian cities, and ranks ninth in the world in per capita tea consumption.
"Hong Kong's traditional tea culture, its proximity to major tea-producing regions, especially the Chinese mainland, coupled with a well-established financial system and its reputation as the world's freest economy and Asia's prime sourcing hub, are all factors favourable to the city becoming a global marketplace for tea," said Mr Yip.
The tea fair will showcase a variety of tea, processed tea and tea products, tea packaging, processing equipment and testing services, tea ware and the latest tea technology from all over the world. It will also host tea bars, tea organisations, services and publications, bringing exhibitors and buyers together from all over the region to explore business opportunities.
"The tea fair is a natural spin-off of the Food Expo. Both fairs reflect Hong Kong's role as Asia's culinary capital, and the tea fair responds to the popularity of our tea exhibits at the Food Fair over the years," said Mr Yip. "Buyers from all over the world come to the Food Expo for quality food and health products, and I believe the two fairs will complement each other very well."
"Featuring a variety of programmes and tea-tasting sessions, the fair will be a prime occasion for promoting tea culture," said Ng Tin Sang, Standing Director and Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Tea Culture International Exchange Association.
Fair highlights will include the International Tea Competition, with an internationally renowned judging panel invited to select the 10 best teas of the world; "The Most Beloved Tea," to be voted by exhibitors and buyers; the Tea Gallery, showcasing a range of select tea pots, brewing equipment, tea bricks and tea-related publications; tea-brewing performances, industry seminars and a series of public forums on tea.
The fair will be open to trade visitors only during the first two days (13-14 August) and to the public on the last day (15 August).
Sponsors of the fair include the Hong Kong & Kowloon Tea Trade Merchants Association; Association of Coffee & Tea of Hong Kong; The World Trade Union; The World Culture Association of Tea and International Chinese Tea Club.
*Ipsos-Reid is a Canadian research company formerly known as the Angus Reid Group. Ipsos-Reid is part of Ipsos, the world's second-largest, survey-based research company.
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About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, visit www.hktdc.com