By Amy Looker in Hong Kong
Hong Kong holds the key to the future growth of wine in Asia, according to Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.
The Hon Gregory So Kam-leung told delegates at the HKTDC International Wine and Spirits Fair that total wine imports to Hong Kong increased to USD$1.2 billion in 2011, securing its place as a premium wine hub for the Asian region.
"Within a short span of time Hong Kong has surpassed New York and London as the leading wine auction capital in the world," he said. 
"Since we did away with wine duty five years ago, we have started a great story. We cut the stamp duty by half in 2007 and abolished it in 2008, which ushered in a new scene. The government has pulled together a range of supportive strategies to support the wine industry, and we are strict on customs to ensure that the counterfeit wine trade will not rear its ugly head again."
So Kam-leung said that Asia will account for over half the growth of consumption in the world by 2015, with Hong Kong acting as a trend-setter that can bridge the gap between the East and the West. 
"Mainland China has grown by 140 per cent, now the fifth largest consumption in the world, with a further 54 per cent growth expected by 2015," he revealed.
"Imports of wine have become more popular on the mainland in the past five years. Consumers in mainland China are also calling for better quality wines as they become more affluent and develop a palate for better wines – and Hong Kong is perfectly placed to cater to this growth."
Wine Australia regional director Aaron Brasher, who spoke with TheShout in Hong Kong, said Hong Kong is one of the highest value export markets per litres for Australian wineries, "so it's a high return market".
"It's not massive volumes but what we find for Hong Kong is it's a branding exercise, so what happens in Hong Kong will happen in mainland China and we can use that as a precursor of what will happen in that market," he said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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