Categorized | Announcements, News, Spirits, Wines

Vinitaly Goes To Hong Kong


The organiser of VinItaly has announced that Italy is to be the official partner of the 2011 Hong Kong International Wines & Spirits Fair.

VeronaFiere, organiser of VinItaly, which claims to be the world’s largest annual wine fair (Vinexpo is biennial), has signed a deal with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to promote Italian wines to the world’s fastest growing consumption regions.

VeronaFiere has signed a trade cooperation partnership with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the HK governmental trade promotion office, to promote and sell Italian wines to the world’s fastest growing wine consumption regions, Hong Kong and China.

According to industry statistics, 2008, Italian wine exports to Hong Kong totalled €7.77million – up 33% compared to the previous year. Over the next two years, sales of Italian red wine to Hong Kong is expected to grow 36% and white wine by 38% by the end of 2012. Sales of rosé wine are projected to increase 20% for this period.

“Since the HK government abolished taxes and duties on wines and spirits in early 2008, Hong Kong has rapidly gained a global reputation as the wine capital of Asia,” said Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of HKTDC.

VeronaFiere says it will share its experience and five decades of knowledge in organising wine fairs with the HKTDC. Other mutually beneficial activities will include coordination of promotion and event activities at the two fairs, exchange of market information and official delegations from the HKTDC to VinItaly.

Wine imports into China are estimated to be growing around 30% a year and are expected to account for 58% of Asia’s imported wine market (excluding Japan) by 2017. By the end of 2009 – less than two years since wine taxes were removed, wine imports into Hong Kong had risen 80% and totalled US$412.5m. In the same year the wine taxes were eliminated, HKTDC organised the first Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair. In its second year in 2009, the HK IWSF hosted 525 exhibitors from 34 countries, and had more than 600 buyers and 12,000 public visitors attending during open day.

VeronaFiere says the partnership will also allow it to export Italy’s ‘aperitivo’ culture to Asia through its ‘Friends of Wine’ programme. VeronaFiere will promote and recruit Friends of Wine – exhibitors of fine gourmet food for pairing with wine – through its contacts and experience from the organisation of the Agrifood Club, Italy’s yearly showcase of ‘Made in Italy’ gourmet foods.

Agrifood is said to be one of the most important food events in Italy where the best of the Italian industry comes together in more than 1,000 square metres of exhibiting space.  At HK’s Wine Fair later this year, VeronaFiere’s  Agrifood Club will feature 190sqm dedicated to tastings lead by some of Italy’s master chefs.

“VinItaly’s expansion into Asia is a unique opportunity for Italian wine producers to showcase the best of Italy’s famous wine industry to buyers and influencers in Asia,” said Ettore Riello, president of VeronaFiere.  “Hong Kong is the wine and food capital of Asia and the gateway into China which is the fastest growing wine market in world.”

“China today consumes more red wine than any other country in Asia including Japan and our Italian reds are well positioned to the Chinese wine palate. Red is, I understand, a very positive colour in China and is associated with bringing good luck,” said Stevie Kim, senior advisor to the CEO of Veronafiere, acting as the new general coordinator for Vinitaly in the world.

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Tuesday, January 23, 5:56 pm

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