11 March 2008
Inaugural Hong Kong International Wine Fair to open in August, 2008
March 11, 2008 - Hong Kong is poised to develop its wine trading business after the abolishment of duties on wine, beer and all alcoholic beverages, with the exception of spirits, as announced by the Financial Secretary, John Tsang in his recent budget speech.
To promote Hong Kong as Asia's wine trading, distribution and investment centre, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is organising the first Hong Kong International Wine Fair in August, which is one of a series of events under the Food and Health framework.
The TDC carried out research to study Hong Kong's potential as a wine trading and distribution centre in Asia. The research report was submitted to relevant Government authorities at the end of 2007.
According to the report, Asia's wine market is expected to grow between 10 to 20 per cent per annum over the next five years with the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea leading the charge. The consumption value in Asia (excluding Japan) is expected to double, reaching HK$130 billion in 2012 and jumping to HK$210 billion in 2017.
The Chinese mainland is expected to be the key driving force for Asia's growth. By 2017, it is expected that the mainland alone will import HK$7 billion worth of wine which tops all other Asian countries.
Meanwhile, Asia's wine investment market is seen to have tremendous growth potential. This includes wine futures trading, wine investment funds offered by private banks and wine auctions. Currently, wine investment markets are making a big splash in global financial centres like New York and London. It is projected that demand for wine investment by Asian investors will amount to HK$4 billion by 2012 and HK$8 billion by 2017.
"Hong Kong's growing wine culture coupled with awell-established financial system, free flow of capital and information and its reputation as the world's freest economy are all favourable factors for developing Hong Kong's wine trading business," said Edward Leung, TDC's Chief Economist.
To further develop Hong Kong as a wine trading and distribution centre, the report made the following recommendations:
- Strengthen wine education
and professional training
- Step-up marketing efforts
by organising wine trade fairs, attracting wine merchants to participate.
This would enhance Hong Kong's reputation as a wine trading centre
- Develop wine investment
- Abolish wine duty to reduce administrative and storage costs. This would encourage overseas wine merchants to choose Hong Kong as their base for wine distribution, storage, re-export and auction.
"If Hong Kong does develop into a regional wine trading and distribution centre, it will bring massive economic benefits far more than HK$1 billion by 2012 and close to HK$3 billion by 2017, creating thousands of new jobs," said Mr Leung.
To encourage Hong Kong companies to seize the business opportunities arising from the exemption of wine duty, the TDC will organise the first Hong Kong International Wine Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, from August 14 to 16.
TDC's Assistant Executive Director, Raymond Yip said: "Wine has been one of the many product categories exhibited at the annual Food Expo. Now, the time is ripe to organise a solo fair on wine products, to be held concurrently with the Food Expo."
"The Food Expo attracted many buyers from across the globe over the years. We are confident that they will also visit the first Hong Kong International Wine Fair and conduct business talks with quality wine dealers who are keen to reach the fast-growing Asian market," Mr Yip continued.
The expo will host wine dealers, cellars, producers and suppliers of related services from Hong Kong, Asia and the rest of the world. Exhibit categories will include liquor and beverage products, equipment and services required for wine production, and wine accessories.
"By organising the
expo, we hope to create a one-stop platform for exhibitors and buyers to meet
and explore business opportunties in the booming markets of Asia and the Chinese
mainland," added Mr Yip.
About the TDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) 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 TDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The TDC 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.tdctrade.com