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WSET opens HK office

WSET has opened its first international office in Hong Kong in response to a high demand for wine and spirit education across Greater China.

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The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) will mark the official opening of its Hong Kong office on 10 November at the upcoming Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair – complete with traditional Cantonese suckling pig.

As the wine drinking scene evolves across the Greater China region wine, there has been greater demand for formal wine and spirits education and WSET chose the tax-free wine hub of Hong Kong for its first international foray.

Following the UK, China has overtaken the USA to be the second biggest market for WSET and the largest growth market, with candidate numbers for 2015/16 up 38% on the previous year and course registrations for 2016/17 showing no signs of slowing, according to WSET.

The new office in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district will serve to support its existing Approved Programme Providers (APPs) across Greater China and Hong Kong.

WSET chief executive, Ian Harris said: “We have provided WSET qualifications through providers in Hong Kong since the turn of the millennium, and the expansion into, and across mainland China over the past 10 years has been phenomenal.

“The decision to open an administrative office in Hong Kong was taken last year, as it will enable us to better serve the community across Asia. There is a new wave of younger millennials in China, and across Asia, who are interested in wine and spirits, so we are stepping in to further enhance the service we provide to support our providers in the region, as well as businesses who will benefit from wine and spirit education and qualifications.

“This is our first administration office outside the UK, and with the international growth of WSET growing at such a rate fast, I am sure it will not be our last.”

WSET began offering courses in China in 2006, and now over 130 APPs offer courses across the region serving the trade and wine and spirits enthusiasts.

The full range of WSET courses is available from WSET Level 1 Awards in Wines, Spirits and Sake to the specialist Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

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