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Vinexpo heads east again

Vinexpo has announced it will hold its second Hong Kong event in May next year.

The first Vinexpo Overseas event was held in Hong Kong in 1998. Since then four shows have been held in Japan and the USA.

The company decided to go back to Hong Kong, it said, because surveys of exhibitors showed two-to-one support for returning to Asia, and a significant preference for Hong Kong.

Vinexpo spokeswoman Catherine Rabanier said this was because the exhibitors see huge growth potential in Asian markets. Additionally, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific shows in Japan have proved very successful compared to those in Chicago and New York where the market is harder to penetrate. Crucially, producers feel they are likely to get greater financial returns in Asia than in the US.

The Hong Kong exhibition will be much smaller than the Bordeaux events. Rabanier anticipates 500-600 exhibitors, many fewer than the 2000-plus visitors who attended Vinexpo 2003 in Bordeaux.

Another key difference is that the Hong Kong event is open only to the Asia-Pacific wine trade.

It is too early to confirm exhibitors’ details for 2006. As for those who will be notable by their absence from Bordeaux 2005 – including Gallo, Beringer-Blass and the New Zealand generic body – Rabanier said, ‘We hope to welcome the whole world of wine to Hong Kong. We hope that New Zealand will come.’

Vinexpo Hong Kong will run from 23-25 May 2006.

Written by Matthew Hemming

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