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Hong Kong Round Up
By Lindsay Watkin,
Sr. director, Global Wine & Spirits

It’s my first day back to the office after the Hong Kong show, and I’m still trying to catch up on my jetlag after 17 hours of travel time; but it was well worth it! Hong Kong is always an interesting trip, both workwise and personally.

The city bustles with traffic, people everywhere, amazing food with restaurants and kiosks on every corner, shopping at Louis Vuitton or at local street markets. It’s dynamic; full of life and diversity. And a city in which wine consumption continues to grow year over year.

Increase in Buyer Traffic
The Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (Nov
5-7) this year was equally bustling, with lots of good buyer traffic. The show reported an increase of 2.4% over last year in trade buyer attendance, totaling approximately 20,000 buyers from 75 countries. Just over 1,000 exhibitors represented wines from 32 countries. While French wines continue to be popular with buyers in Hong Kong, interest is also growing in wines from other producing regions as the market evolves. Portugal, the show’s partner country, attracted a lot of attention. Our pavilion also featured a producer from the Douro region in Portugal – Cabral – and buyers were definitely curious.

I was lucky to work with a great group of members this year who exhibited with us. In addition to Portuguese wines, our pavilion also featured Italian, French, and American wines, as well as fine Scotch whisky. We had a great time (and adventure!) eating a traditional Cantonese meal at our dinner event, where we hosted our exhibitors and specially invited buyers from Hong Kong, China and Japan. With such an eclectic mix, it made for a really fun night!

New Customs Agreement Solidifies Hong Kong's Wine Trading Hub Status
Interestingly, the Hong Kong government’s Financial Secretary John Tsang, announced a new customs agreement at the at the show’s opening ceremonies. Now, wines shipped through Hong Kong to the regions of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are entitled to immediate customs clearance by Mainland Customs officials. This helps increase the importance of Hong Kong as a gateway and distribution centre for wines to Mainland China.

Our next adventure: Global Wine Meetings in 2016
We’re looking forward to our next big project on the horizon: Global Wine Meetings will take place in Taipei April 19 & 20, 2016. The show will feature about 60 exhibitors from around the world, and attract hundreds of local buyers, as well as a select group of VIP buyers from various countries in Asia who will guarantee some face-to-face meetings with our members. We’ll also host master classes, offer a tasting zone, and put on a gala dinner for our seller and buyer guests.

Here’s to the next adventure!
Cheers,
Lindsay Watkin
Sr. Director, Global Wine & Spirits

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