Alibaba aims to boost Argentine wines

Argentine Malbec exports to Asia are expected to rise after China’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba, becomes the official channel to sell Argentina’s top agricultural products, following a memorandum signed between the Argentine government and Alibaba group.

Some of winning Malbecs showcased in Hong Kong by Wines of Argentina

The memorandum of understanding (MOU), which was signed during Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma’s visit with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, will focus on two main categories of products, namely wine and fresh foods, as reported by Alizila, Alibaba’s news portal.

“Argentina produces some of the best wine and foods in the world,” Alibaba group president, Michael Evans, said in a statement. “Chinese consumers have an ever-growing appetite for buying fresh produce and quality international products.”

Argentina’s wine only accounts for 1.1.% of the market share in China judging by the figures released by China Association for Imports & Exports of Wines and Spirits.

The country’s wine production in 2015 reached 1.34 million litres, the fifth largest worldwide, according to the US-based The Wine Institute. Its exports in the same year were worth US$819 million, a drop from its peak in 2012 of US$912 million as shown by figures from its INV national wine institute.

The country’s wine exports are expected to rise given a series of new stimulus plans put in place by the new government.

After a change in the Argentine government in 2015, the newly-elected president Mauricio Macri immediately eliminated the 5% wine export duty and devalued the peso by 35%, giving an edge to the country’s wine exports.

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