Reaching Markets in the Far East

Thousands of buyers expected at Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair

by Kate Lavin
Exhibitors pour wine samples for trade and the public during the Hong Kong International wine & Spirits Fair in 2013.
Hong Kong—The Pearl of the Orient will welcome thousands of wine industry professionals once again Nov. 6-8, as the city hosts the seventh annual Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair.

The 2013 fair boasted more than 1,000 exhibitors and 20,000 trade buyers during the three-day event held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The same year, Hong Kong posted wine imports valued at more than $1 billion. California exported $78 million worth of wine to Hong Kong in 2013, according to Wine Institute.

Hong Kong represents a jumping-off point for many North American wine companies interested in entering the Asian market due to the common language and Western-influenced culture. As Wines & Vines reported in 2013, the growing middle class in mainland China is the next frontier for wine following government crackdowns on excess spending. California exported $77 million worth of wine to mainland China in 2013.

The air also offers Westerners a chance to experience wine the way Chinese do. “It doesn’t matter what they match with. If they are happy, they continue, and that’s enough,” Li Demei, vice-general secretary of the Chinese Wine Association told Wines & Vines.

Who attends the fair?
Representatives for importers serving other Asian countries make a point of attending the Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Fair every year. According to figures from Wine Institute, in 2013 California exported $101.6 million worth of wine to Japan, $18.3 million to South Korea, $12.7 million to Vietnam and $9.1 million to Thailand.

Confirmed attendees from North America include the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Pelee Island Winery of Ontario and Coastal Black Estate Winery from British Columbia, among others.

For more information about the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, visit hktdc.com/fair/hkwinefair-en.

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