Hong Kong: The 10th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair opened today and will continue until 11 November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the fair welcomed Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, as the guest of honour at this morning’s opening ceremony.
“Entering its 10th anniversary, the Wine & Spirits Fair has grown to become a major event of its kind in Asia,” said Margaret Fong, Executive Director of the HKTDC. “This year’s fair features 1,070 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions. We are particularly pleased to welcome first-time exhibitors from Malaysia, Mauritius, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.”
Hong Kong’s wine industry took off after the HKSAR Government eliminated all duty-related customs and administrative controls on wine in 2008. Wine imports have since jumped more than seven-fold, from HK$1.6 billion in 2007 to HK$12 billion in 2016. As the region’s renowned wine trading and distribution centre, Hong Kong serves as a gateway for global wine traders to enter Asian markets. This year’s Fair features more than 30 group pavilions representing wine-producing regions, trade organisations and governmental organisations from around the world. Among them are new pavilions organised by the Syndicat Général des Vignerons de la Champagne (SGV) of France, Southern United States Trade Association, the Russian Export Center, Enterprise Mauritius, Confederação dos Agricultores de Portugal, Setúbal Península Wines of Portugal, and Asociatia Producatorilor si Exportatorilor de Vinuri of Romania.
The central European country Slovenia, which has a growing beekeeping industry, is debuting the “Bee World” Interactive Pavilion at the fair to promote “World Bee Day” (20 May), as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. Some Slovenian exhibitors will also showcase wines made from honey. Dejan Židan, Slovenia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, attended the wine-tasting session, “A Flight of Wines from Slovenia,” to promote the country’s fine wines. Bilateral trade between Slovenia and Hong Kong has been growing in recent years, with Slovenian agricultural and wine exports to Hong Kong exceeding €500,000 in the first half of this year.