Hong Kong officials have predicted that the value of wine imports into Asia will top €1bn by 2017.

Speaking at the opening of the first Hong Kong International Wine Fair earlier this month, acting financial secretary for the fair, Carrie Lam Cheng, announced that in eight years, the Asian market, excluding Japan, would be worth £800m (€1bn, US$1.5bn).

Lam also predicted that China’s wine imports will grow to £465m (€590m, US$870m) by 2017.

China and Hong Kong command around 60% of the Asian wine market – Japan boasts under one third.

‘Global wine demand is shifting from traditional markets like Europe and the US to Asia,’ said Lam.

The trade fair, which opened on 14 August, and the removal of wine import taxes earlier this year, are part of Hong Kong’s bid to become Asia’s fine-wine trade hub.

Written by Sophie Kevany