Great Wall Wine in talks for overseas vineyards

09:41, May 25, 2010      

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China's Great Wall Wine Company is actively seeking overseas vineyards, as it moves to speed up its international business, according to China Securities News.

"Great Wall Wine is negotiating with vineyards in France and Chile, and an official statement is expected to be released soon," Qu Zhe, assistant to the general manager of China Oil & Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO), which manages Great Wall Wine, said at a press conference Sunday in Shanghai.

Great Wall Wine, based in North China's Hebei Province, is the country's largest wine enterprise by production volume. The company's annual wine production is 50,000 tons. At present, Great Wall Wine has 74.8 hectares of its own vineyards, mostly located in East China's Shandong Province.

"China's wine market has great potential, and the country imports more than 20 percent of its good wine each year," said Li Zhuo, an analyst with Everbright Securities. "Great Wall's overseas move will improve its wine quality by including better vineyards and enhancing its international competitiveness."

However, Li noted that Chinese companies still need to adapt to the tastes of foreign wine drinkers. "Foreign consumers might not like the taste of Chinese wine," she said.

In China, drinking wine is considered fashionable and a sign of social status.

Though global wine consumption has declined in recent years, sales have increased in the Asian market, especially in China.

The China Wine Market Investment Analyses and Forecast 2010- 2015 by China Investment Consulting shows China's wine sales reached 6.08 billion yuan ($890.5 million) in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 30.24 percent over the same period in 2009.

"The road to internationalization will not be easy for Great Wall, as there are too many great competitors in the market," said Chen Chen, chief researcher of China Investment Consulting.

Source: Global Times


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