Tsang cuts ribbon at HKIWSFBy Euan McKirdy
The man responsible for Hong Kong’s impressive stature in the wine world took to the stage this morning in front of a grateful audience to open the sixth International Wine and Spirits Fair (HKIWSF).
Since Financial Secretary John Tsang announced the repeal of duty on wine back in 2008, the city has become a regional and international wine hub, and arguably the world’s preeminent wine auction venue.
With a nod to Spain, the HKIWSF partner country this year, Tsang said, “ there is a Spanish proverb that says ‘good wine ruins the purse, bad wine ruins the stomach.’ I think [the repeal of wine tax] in 2008 proves that good wine can also be good for your bank account.”
He also noted that the value of the industry in Hong Kong, which has included growth in all sectors from wine storage to education, has increased fivefold.
Before introducing the Financial Secretary, Fred Lam, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) lauded the development of the industry region-wide, saying that Asian sales reached US$70.7 billion this year – US$40 billion of which came from the China market – and were expected to grow by 11% in 2014.
This event continues to grow and this year sees exhibitors from Jordan, Lithuania, Jordan and Montenegro.
The fair runs until Saturday and includes the wine conference, the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition – which attracted well over 1,000 entries this year – and attracts numerous events around the city, such as the American Express Wine and Dine Festival, a four-day consumer bonanza.