Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair 2009, China

The 2nd edition of Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, last from November 4-6, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, attracted 525 exhibitors from 34 countries and regions, showcase a wide variety of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, along with wine accessories and equipment.

The Wine & Spirits Fair is more than just an elite trading platform for wine; the event is also a showcase of market expertise that attract buyers, producers, sommeliers, hoteliers, restauranteurs, importers and distributors. There is also far more to experience than just wine as the Fair also features spirits, craft beers, cocktails and other beverages that reflect world culture.

This year the fair is honored to invite France as a partner country. A “French Night” reception take place on the first evening, and a seminar on the “ABC Guide to Bordeaux Wine” was held on November 6. Wines from Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Lyon and St Emilion was featured at the fair, and French wine accessories was on display at the fair’s Wine Gallery.

Thirteen new countries participate in this year’s fair: Belgium, Greece, Lebanon, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Exhibitors showcase a wide range of wine, spirits, beer and other beverages, along with products and services related to production and logistics, accessories and equipment. Wine education, tourism and investment exhibitors are also represented.

The fair deliver an incomparable platform of top-tier wine and spirits from across the globe and remains the perfect stage for sourcing extraordinary vintages, catering to global buyers on the search for greatness from production to sales.

The three days of intense trading among global business interests and building of interpersonal relationship, information-gathering and the furtherance of international wine culture. The event also places a strong focus on wine-related services, investment, logistics and training.

Industry trends
Hong Kong is steadily emerging as a wine-trading hub for Asia, results from wine auctions held in Hong Kong this year are also encouraging. Wine appreciation is a rising trend in Asia, as the demand for wine remains strong and consumers being increasingly wine savvy. The optimistic business outlook continue to encourage wine trade across the Pacific Ocean and fuel the vibrant wine market.

Since the Hong Kong government eliminated wine duties in 2008, Hong Kong’s wine sector has taken off. Hong Kong is turning into a regional wine-trading hub and becoming a wine gateway to the Chinese mainland.

As a duty-free port with good air connectivity and excellent storage facilities, Hong Kong is globally recognised as the most cost-effective wine distribution hub. Wine merchants worldwide favour Hong Kong as a launch pad to expand their business into Asia and the mainland.

Manufacturers need to have effective promotional channels, while buyers should adapt to market trends and address the needs of consumers, As Hong Kong provides world-class exhibition and trade services, Hong Kong’s trade fairs remain the top choice for suppliers and buyers.

In particular, Hong Kong has become a platform for trading wine with the mainland, which has long been the largest market for wines re-exported from the city. As the facilitation measures have now been extended to all customs districts, wine traders enjoy faster customs clearance and greater certainty when re-exporting wines through Hong Kong.

Adding to Hong Kong’s advantages such as advanced infrastructure, transportation networks and experienced industry professionals, the new measures further bolster Hong Kong’s standing as a wine trading hub by attracting more global wine traders to access the mainland market through the city.

Special Events
The fair invite luminaries from the wine world. There were plenty of workshops, master classes, tastings, seminars and talks. One of the highlights this year is the inaugural Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition, billed as the first Asian wine competition. With some 1,300 wines from around the world, judged by a truly pan-Asian panel. Organised in conjunction with London’s renowned International Wine & Spirit Competition, this is the world”s first authentically Asian wine competition, and its largest.

A wine-industry conference, “Hong Kong – Asian Wine Hub,” featured speakers from around the world, including Michel Bettane, CEO of Bettane & Desseauve and a noted wine critic, James Miles, Director of London’s Liv-ex Ltd, and David Wrigley, the International Development Director of the United Kingdom’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

Asia Top Sommelier Summit has chosen the fair as its platform. In 2009 it brought luminaries such as Andreas Larsson, Best Sommelier of the World, and Élyse Lambert, Best Sommelier of the Americas, to share their experience with Asian sommeliers.

The prestigious Wine Industry Conference brings together a diverse and international group of speakers, each an influential voice in the industry, to explore important aspects of winemaking, wine appreciation, wine marketing and changing wine market conditions.

Numerous exhibitors deepen appreciation of their wines by hosting wine tasting sessions while master classes are conducted to extend the knowledge of wine professionals and connoisseurs. Seminars are conducted for indepth insights.

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.