Vinexpo Hong Kong 2020 will go ahead as planned from 26 to 28 May, said Vinexpo CEO Rodolphe Lameyse at a press conference held in London.
It is Vinexpo’s flagship exhibition in the Asia region, but violent political protests in Hong Kong saw a number of cultural events cancelled last year, including the annual wine and dine festival.
‘Hong Kong is the show that everyone wants to attend – the market is in Asia,’ Lameyse told Decanter.com.
‘It would be a lie to say that the situation in Hong Kong is having no impact in terms of confidence, but I’m very confident about the show in terms of what we are going to achieve.’
He added that, while the political situation was not helping, he expected Vinexpo Hong Kong 2020 to have almost as many exhibitors as the last event, held in 2018.
‘In terms of space, we expect to be close to 12,000-square-metres,’ he said, which is down slightly on 2018’s 13,000 m2.
Andrew Davis, head of investment promotion at InvestHK, a Hong Kong government department that assists overseas businesses wanting to invest and expand in Hong Kong, said that the country is very much open for business. He added that since last year’s protests not a single HK Trade Development Council show has been cancelled.
A ‘plateau’ for wine in Asia?
Speaking about the Asian wine market, he said: ‘From a business perspective we’ve gone past peak wine to Asia. The growth in the past 10 years has been phenomenal but now we have reached a plateau.’
This is backed up by a new report commissioned by Vinexpo and undertaken by drinks data and market intelligence specialists IWSR, which shows that the Asian wine market’s momentum slowed in 2018 and 2019.
However, a recovery is expected and growth is forecast to continue, led by China.
World wine trends
The Vinexpo / IWSR report also looked at global wine trends.
It forecast that the total world value of still and sparkling wine will top $204 billion by 2023, up from $194bn in 2018.
This increase will be driven by the US, which will see its wine market hit more than £40bn – albeit the situation may depend on international trading relations and the industry’s ability to speak to millennial consumers.
China, meanwhile, will jump ahead of France into second place with value of almost £18bn.
Global wine sales by volume will remain roughly unchanged at 2.6bn cases, but the UK will continue its 10-year volume decline – showing a loss of 29.3 million cases in the 10-year period from 2013-2023.
Despite that, the UK is set to remain the second largest wine importer by volume after Germany, and should retain third spot in the value rankings for light wine.
Ahead of Vinexpo Hong Kong, Vinexpo Paris takes place next month from 10-12 February and Rodolphe Lameyse said he was looking forward to welcoming the UK trade to France for this event.
‘Paris is our flagship European show,’ he said. ‘It is a great example of the comprehensiveness of Vinexpo. We have different types of exhibitors from young winemakers up to the very fine brands, and the location plays an important part too.’