HK, US sings MOU to promote wine related cooperation

18:58, May 17, 2010      

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A memorandum to expand cooperation in wine related business between Hong Kong and the United Stated was signed here in Hong Kong on Monday.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in Wine- related Businesses (MOU) with the visiting Secretary of Commerce of the United States Gary Locke.

"Today, our relationship with the U.S. takes another major step forward. Riding on this MOU, we will strengthen our joint efforts on promoting wine-related trading, tourism, investment and education," Lau said.

The MOU also covers a number of special areas, including promoting wine alongside regional and local cuisine, facilitating the organization of wine auctions in Hong Kong for US wines, and encouraging the provision of quality wine storage facilities in Hong Kong.

Locke said the MOU was a contribution to the National Export Initiative, which aimed to double American export by 2015. The agreement would help more American wine from all 50 states to Hong Kong consumers.

As one of the world's leading wine producers and exporters, the United States is Hong Kong's fourth largest wine provider. Wine imports from the United States amounted to 49 million U.S. dollars in 2009-2010, representing a five-fold increase since Hong Kong's duty exemption. The U.S. auction houses have also held regular wine auctions in Hong Kong with record-breaking sales on several occasions.

The MOU on wine between Hong Kong and the United States is the eighth co-operative agreement concluded by Hong Kong with wine producing countries/regions, coming after those with France, Bordeaux, Spain, Australia, Italy, Hungary and New Zealand.

Source: Xinhua


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