An estimated 14,000 wine & spirits buyers and professionals converge from
VINEXPO Asia-Pacific 2012 returned to Hong Kong in record-breaking style today, setting new benchmarks for Asia’s largest wine and spirits expo at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) until May 31.
VINEXPO Asia-Pacific 2012 was officially opened by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So and Madam Dominique Hériard Dubreuil, Chairman of VINEXPO Asia-Pacific.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. So said: “It is a great honour for Hong Kong to host this major wine exhibition again. Similar to the many fine wines on display, Hong Kong has all the ingredients to ensure another memorable VINEXPO Asia-Pacific.
Madam Dominique Hériard Dubreuil said: “We are delighted to be back in Hong Kong for our seventh VINEXPO Asia-Pacific. This is, and will continue to be one of the most attractive places on the planet to do business and there is no location as perfect as VINEXPO for wine and spirits professionals to network and exchange ideas. I can feel the positive energy with registration already upwards of 14,000 visitors, and I feel great opportunities are indeed afoot.”
Additionally, VINEXPO Chief Executive Mr Robert Beynat said: “VINEXPO Asia-Pacific 2012 is showcasing the international wine & spirits industry in the ‘nerve centre’ of its most important new market. I would specially like to thank the 1,050 exhibitors who are here from 28 countries. They put their trust in VINEXPO and their investment in Asia Pacific and we are thankful for this.”
Concluding the opening ceremony, Mr So, Madam Hériard Dubreuil and Mr Beynat toured around the venue meeting select exhibitors such as Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Rémy Cointreau and China’s Dynasty Fine Wine, as well as the pavilions of California, New Zealand, South Africa, Sicily and Germany amongst others, where they tasted some of the latest products on offer.
VINEXPO Asia-Pacific 2012 was booked-out six months in advance despite exhibition space expanded from the last 2010 expo by nearly 25 per cent to 10,500 sqm. Attendance is also expected to break the record 12,617 visitors set at the 2010 exhibition.
Among exhibitors, France’s greatest brands are out in force, with a 1,000 sq. m French pavilion accommodating a host of smaller French winemakers. Pacific producers are shattering their attendance record with nearly 50 wineries from Australia and New Zealand. Australia has reserved six times the space it last occupied.
With 30 wineries represented, South Africa has more than doubled its total stand area. With Californian and State of Washington pavilions, the United States has also doubled its exhibitor attendance. South American wineries, traditionally led by Chile and Argentina, are this year joined by 15 producers at a Uruguay pavilion. Exhibitors extend from major wine exporters such as Italy and Spain to little-known producers like Lebanon and Greece.
The VINEXPO Asia-Pacific Academy meanwhile features more than 60 events over the three days, enabling visitors to develop and enhance their knowledge of the wine and spirits sector at tastings, seminars and presentations by experts and industry specialists.
Asian wine and spirits professionals also have the opportunity to earn a VINEXPO Asia-Pacific Academy Certificate by attending three master classes during the exhibition.
Hong Kong has emerged as Asia’s wine drinking capital as well as regional hub for the trade, according to the latest survey of the market by IWSR (International Wine and Spirit Research). Since scrapping import duty on wine, Hong Kong is also firmly established as regional hub to the booming China /Asian market – shipping onwards 40% of wine imported.
The survey also found that China, with Hong Kong consumption included, has joined the world’s top five wine markets – soaring ahead of the UK as the 5th largest national consumer. China and Hong Kong’s wine consumption grew by 33.4% in just one year in 2010.
China and Hong Kong are also again the world’s largest consumers of spirits – and Asia-Pacific the leading spirits-consuming region, accounting for 59% of global market share. China is now also the 6th largest wine-producer.
VINEXPO is the world’s largest wines and spirits trade exhibition, staged annually in alternative years between Bordeaux and Hong Kong.
VINEXPO Asia-Pacific takes place on 29, 30 and 31 May 2012
Source = VINEXPO