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TDC Chairman Welcomes Today's Budget Proposals
Hong Kong to hold International Wine Fair Later this Year

February 27, 2008 - Jack So, Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), welcomes the initiatives announced today by Financial Secretary John Tsang in his budget speech.

Mr So notes that the proposals will help promote Hong Kong's exhibition and convention industry, the creative industries and the wine trading business. He believes that by exempting the duty on wine, beer and all other alcoholic beverages, with the exception of spirits, Hong Kong now has the potential to become the Asian hub for wine trading, promotion and investment.

As the Financial Secretary pointed out, Hong Kong is Asia's leading logistics, trading, financial and exhibition centre. Equipped with sophisticated communications and transportation networks, it offers the best environment for traders worldwide. The wine duty exemption will bring more opportunities to Hong Kong, including auctions and wine distribution and storage.

With its proximity to the Chinese mainland and the new wine duty exemption, Hong Kong is now set to become the international wine industry's preferred platform for promoting wine to the mainland market.

Responding to these favourable conditions, the TDC will organise its first Hong Kong International Wine Fair later this year, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"Hong Kong is experienced in organising trade fairs for all kinds of merchandise," said Jack So. "We believe that the first Wine Fair will attract international suppliers and dealers of table wine and related accessories. We are confident that the expo will enhance Hong Kong's status as a wine trading, promotion and investment hub," said Mr So.

The TDC also supports the Financial Secretary's proposal to boost the promotion of Hong Kong's convention, exhibition and tourism industries. The atrium expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) will open next year, increasing overall exhibition space at the HKCEC by 40 per cent, to about 66,000 square metres. This will allow existing fairs to expand and enable Hong Kong to host more international mega conventions and exhibitions.

The TDC embraces plans outlined in the budget speech to accelerate the development of Hong Kong's creative economy. The creative industries have been among the TDC's major promotional efforts in recent years. Entertainment Expo, to be held next month, and Inno Design Tech Expo, are just two of the TDC's annual events on behalf of the creative industries. In future, the TDC will organise more exhibitions, seminars and missions to overseas countries and the Chinese mainland to showcase Hong Kong brands and design excellence.

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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

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