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Hong Kong Widely Seen as Wine-Trading Hub, Survey Shows
More than 18,800 Buyers and Visitors from 55 Countries and Regions at
First Hong Kong Wine Fair

HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Raymond Yip and Christine Kwok, Managing Consultant of Actrium Solutions (HK) Ltd, announce the results of the wine fair's independent survey at a press briefing today

18 August 2008 - Hong Kong is regarded as an important wine-trading centre for those looking to Asia and, in particular, the Chinese mainland market, according to more than 80 per cent of buyers interviewed during the inaugural Hong Kong International Wine Fair, 14-16 August.

The independent survey, conducted during the fair period by Actrium Solutions (HK) Ltd, questioned exhibitors, buyers and public visitors on their views about Hong Kong as a wine trading centre and their comments about the fair in general.

"The removal of the wine duty is our leading advantage, while our proximity to the booming Chinese mainland market, world-class infrastructure and logistics services are also key success factors," said Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Assistant Executive Director Raymond Yip, responding to the survey results.

"Hong Kong is a level playing field for international business. Our sound legal system to protect intellectual property rights and our expertise in brand marketing and professionalism in organising trade events, also make it an ideal platform for conducting wine trading," added Mr Yip.

A total of 8,758 trade buyers from 55 countries and regions and 10,096 public visitors took in the inaugural Hong Kong International Wine Fair, organised by the HKTDC. Among trade buyers, 25 per cent came from outside Hong Kong, with Chinese mainland visitors topping the list.

In addition, more than 2,800 visitors attended the fair's wine industry conference, seminars and wine-tasting sessions. These served to educate the attendees about wine and provided promotional opportunities for the brands involved. Results of "The Most Beloved Wine" voting game saw The Down South Wine Company take the red wine category with its Chairman's Reserve 2004. The Old School Heidenreich Estate 2008, from Australia's 1847 & Heidenreich Estate, captured the contest's white wine honours.

The survey also found that around 90 per cent of buyers interviewed sourced new products, found new suppliers and took in the latest market trends at the fair. As for exhibitors, 98 per cent of those interviewed said they were satisfied with their fair results. About 80 per cent said they had achieved their objectives of finding new customers, promoting their company image or product brand and understanding the market potential of Asia and the Chinese
mainland. Exhibitors regard the Chinese mainland/Hong Kong as the most important markets in Asia, followed by Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, India, Korea, Thailand and Macau.

Consumer spending habits were also surveyed, with 80 per cent of those interviewed noting that they generally spend between HK$100 and HK$499 for a bottle of wine. About 40 per cent of the interviewed consumers who have wine stored outside Hong Kong plan to ship their fine wine back to Hong Kong.

In general, the vast majority of survey respondents say they will attend the fair next year and will recommend it to others. The second edition of the Hong Kong International Wine Fair is scheduled to take place 4-6 November 2009.

At next year's wine fair, the HKTDC will launch the first Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition, focusing on the Asian market. Judges will include Asian wine critics. The competition will be modeled after London's International Wine and Spirit Competition, the premier event of its kind in the world.

Exhibitor Comments:
"We met one of the biggest importers in Hong Kong for three hours and agreed on a subsequent distribution agreement on some of our products," said LeÏla Boulanger, Export Manager of France's GRM Vins SAS.

"We've met a number of collectors, sommeliers and hotel chain representatives here," said Chris Deas, Vice President of Italian Wine Merchants. "This is a very good beginning, and we hope to set up an office in Hong Kong by January 2009."

"In view of the Asian market potential, we plan to set up a Hong Kong office this autumn," said Stephen Bachmann, CEO of Vinfolio, a San Francisco-based fine wine and collector services company.

"I am amazed by the number of knowledgeable wine lovers at the fair," said Paul Dunleavy, Managing Director of New Zealand's Te Motu Vineyard. "I've had a couple of promising negotiations with trade companies and exclusive wine clubs from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland."

"Consumers are looking for products with unique quality," said Eric Kwok, Executive Manager of Merit Wine Boutique. "So far, we've sold 10 bottles of our Gold Champagne, at HK$3,000 a bottle."

"We have made a deal with a Hong Kong department store, which has ordered one container of wine every two months, including shiraz and other medium-to-premium quality wines," said Kim Chambers, of Australia's Banksia Grove Wines.

"A private collector has bought two bottles of Italian fine wine from us," said Valerie Sung, Operations Manager, Hong Kong and China, for Casamia Wines. "The wine, Masseto 1997, retails for HK$12,000 a bottle"

"We participated in the wine fair because it will be recognised as the most prestigious trade fair for fine wines in the Asian region," said Martin Kain, Chairman of The Down South Wine Company.

Canada's Portfolio Asia Wines & Spirits, which carries boutique wine from all over the world, had a fruitful discussion with a Zhuhai-based company. The two plan to cooperate in wine education.

Please download the survey findings at the following link:

Media enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Media and Public Affairs Department:
Katherine Chan     Tel: (852) 2584 4537     Email: katherine.cm.chan@tdc.org.hk

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

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