Hong Kong and New Zealand's fresh wine partnership

Last week, the New Zealand Government signed an arrangement with officials in Hong Kong to improve wine business between the two countries.

The deal will involve greater transfer of wine-education, and will also improve the marketing of fine wines in each others' countries.

New Zealand's viticultural profile is to be raised with Hong Kong, where its sustainability will be promoted as its key selling point.

This is only the latest news in Hong Kong's continuing growth as a major force in the wine trading market. A year and a half ago, it cancelled its excise tax on wine with this strategy in mind.

Earlier this year, Sothebys' Hong Kong wine auction proved a runwaway success, including a world record price of $94,000 for a bottle of Château Pétrus.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's wine exports recently exceeded NZ$1bn (US$723,000). Its sales to Hong Kong in the year running up to June 2009 were up 44% to NZ$8.9m (US$6.4m).

"Hong Kong is fast developing a sophisticated wine culture and is becoming the wine hub of the region," Tim Groser, New Zealand's trade minister.

"New Zealand looks forward to a continued partnership with Hong Kong as it develops as a regional wine wholesaling, marketing and distribution centre in Asia."

Image: stuart_sjb at stock.xchng

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