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Delhi Wine Club
Record Participation at Vinexpo HK

Posted: Thursday, 14 June 2012 11:19

Record Participation at Vinexpo HK

June 14 : The recently concluded biennial Vinexpo Asia Pacific recorded the highest increase from visitors from India (42%), surpassing even the increases from China (38%) and Hong Kong (40%) while the average growth of visitors at about 16,000 from 24 countries was 25% over the previous edition in 2010, according to the official statistics announced by the organizers.

The other significant increase was from Taiwan (31%), Japan (30%) and Macau (28%). In 2008 Hong Kong had waived off duties making wines cheaper for the locals as well as Chinese who could procure it from Hong Kong. Macau followed suit and is also reaping the benefits in terms of added sales and increase in tourism.

The figures also showed that 1,050 exhibitors from 28 countries, took up a total of 10,500 sq. m of stand floor space. There were 700 exhibitors for 7,300 square meters in 1998 when it was held for the first time amidst fears that it would cut into the visitor presence at the main Vinexpo in Bordeaux every odd year; after trying out overseas in New York and Japan, it finally anchored in Hong Kong in 2006 (even years) and this was the 4th consecutive presence, getting the expected boost from the duty waiver in 2008.

In fact the growth has become stunted due to lack of space, having Dominique Hériard Dubreuil, chairman of Vinexpo Asia-Pacific reportedly make a cautious statement, ‘a decision hasn’t yet been made taken and would depend on the results of a survey of exhibitors. We know that Hong Kong is a good location, right in the heart of Asia, but we also know we have an issue with space so far. So we will have to consider increasing the space because we increased the exhibition space by 25% and still couldn’t meet the demand.’

Speaking at the closing press conference, Robert Beynat, CEO of Vinexpo expressed total satisfaction with the growth of the Asian market and the Show. He indicated that their forecasts indicate a growth of 4% in the Asian market for the next 5 years compared with the average annual growth of less than 1% in the world market. With saturation in the European market, it was not surprising to see so many producers rushing to the growing Asian market.

Earlier, Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development said: "Since 2008, Hong Kong has reaped a great harvest as a major wine trading and distribution centre in Asia. As a duty-free port, Hong Kong has become a much more cost-effective and competitive entry and exit point for wine trading in the region." A little known fact is that Hong Kong has the region's biggest per capita annual wine consumption at 5 liters per adult.

The response from the visitors has been positive and is summed up by Francois Mauss, Convenor of the annual World Wine Symposium at Villa d’Este, who had gone to Hong Kong to promote it there. ‘Asia Markets are in some way spoiled by too many outstanding events, offered free or at a low cost: it is a kind of "too much" situation. But mainly European producers complain about the difficulty to enter these markets, for instance customs laws in China, financial aspects, language barrier are negative factors. His conclusion? Still, for every one, a "must" event to attend.

Indian importers have placed higher than usual interest in the Show this time. Debjit Dasgupta, Director of Ace Beveragez was at the show with many other importers. He says, 'It has helped us a lot to meet with almost all our existing principals & discuss & the plan for future. Moreover, we also got a cross exposure of other countries in terms of their government policies & local market trends on wines through various importers who participated from different countries. It helped us to identify some prestigious producers whom we shall bring into India very soon.'

Vinisud Asia 2013

Gauging the success of the French wines in China and the gradual opening of the market, Vinisud, the other wine show in France held every two years in Montpellier has also decided to hold one in Shanghai next year. Christened as Vinisud Asia 2013, it will organize in Shanghai the second edition of this successful wine show. From 26th till 28th February, 2013, Shanghai, symbolic city of a modern China will welcome the 1st edition of VINISUD ASIA, the International Mediterranean Wines & Spirits Trade show.

Created in 1994 by the Region Languedoc-Roussillon, VINISUD became one of the major meetings of the world in the wine industry. In 2012, VINISUD celebrated its 10th session in Montpellier, and based on its experience, its growing fame, and its 18 years of experience, it has decided to open new horizons to its exhibitors.

In the meantime, Bordeaux is getting ready to host the next Vinexpo in 2013.

Subhash Arora


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