A call for Hong Kong to become the Asian hub for wine distribution was made in Paris earlier this week by the island’s Chief Secretary.
Henry Tang, a wealthy wine connoisseur, is the second in command in the Hong Kong administration.
Speaking on a visit to Paris earlier this week, he said that since the lifting of import duties on wine into Hong Kong earlier this year, volumes were up by about 78% and values by 215%.
The figures apply to the period from 27 February – the start of the financial year in Hong Kong – to mid April, compared with the same period last year.
‘I hope French wine merchants will be attracted by the new opportunities that duty free trade will undoubtedly bring, and help make Hong Kong the centre of wine distribution in Asia,’ Tang said in a lunchtime speech at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in Paris on Wednesday.
Hong Kong already has a good location, transport and logistics infrastructure and experience in promoting, storing and distributing wine, Tang said.
What was needed was more wine education, he added.
A spokesperson for the Brussels based Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Linda Sansbury, also said it seemed clear there was a role for Hong Kong to play as a wine hub.
‘We understand that about 20% of fine wine that goes into London goes on to Hong Kong, which means there is a demand,’ Sansbury said.
Written by Sophie Kevany in Bordeaux