HK wine imports grow 73 pct in first eight months of 2010

09:40, October 23, 2010      

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Hong Kong saw a growth of 73 percent in the value of total wine imports in the first eight months of 2010, continuing to develop as Asia's wine hub, said an official in Hong Kong on Friday.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau said HK has been making the most of its strengths in logistics, tourism and financial services to develop as a wine trading and distribution hub for Asia. It has become the world's second- largest wine auction center since the elimination of wine duty in 2008.

She made the remarks when she signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in Wine-related Businesses (MOU) with the visiting Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of Portugal, Antonio Serrano.

It was the second wine co-operation agreements the HK government has signed on Friday. Permanent Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development (Commerce, Industry & Tourism) Yvonne Choi signed a deal with officials in Burgundy, France, to enhance wine- trade ties between the region and Hong Kong.

According to Lau, the value of total wine imports into HK surged by 80 percent in 2008 and a further 40 percent year-on-year in 2009 against the backdrop of the global financial crisis.

"In the first eight months of 2010, the value of our wine imports reached 500 million U.S. dollars, up 73 percent compared with the same period last year," she said.

To consolidate Hong Kong's status as the wine hub in Asia, various supportive measures had also been introduced.

The measures covered areas such as customs facilitation, trade and investment promotion, manpower training and education, launching of a wine storage certification scheme and combating counterfeits.

Since Aug. 2008, Hong Kong has entered into wine co-operation agreements with France, Spain, Australia, Italy, Hungary, New Zealand and the United States, as well as the wine-producing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy in France, and Oregon and Washington states in the United States.

Source: Xinhua


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