New Zealand wine producers should maximise business relations with Hong Kong, given the city’s status as the wine hub of Asia, said the Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, Mr Arthur Au.
Speaking at the recent Hong Kong Festival in Auckland, Mr Au said Hong Kong is a market of over 60 million residents and visitors, though the size of Auckland.
“Just only in the first half of this year, Hong Kong has imported 26 million litres of wine. Of that, 15 million litres were consumed in Hong Kong alone.”
He encouraged local wine producers to make use of the city’s distinctive advantages to expand their business opportunities.
“Since 2008, the Hong Kong Government has abolished wine duty, and in 2010, the world’s first Wine Storage Management System Certification Scheme was introduced in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Wine Registration Scheme was launched last year,” said Mr Au.
The Wine Storage Management System Certification Scheme ensures wine in Hong Kong is stored in the most optimal conditions, while the wine registration scheme gives transparency to the wine supply chain to enhance consumers’ confidence in wine products.
With such policies in place, Hong Kong has developed into the world’s largest wine auction centre and the wine hub of Asia. Hong Kong and New Zealand enjoy close economic and trade ties. Since the first free trade agreement was signed in 2010, bilateral trade between the two places has been growing, with an annual average growth of 8 percent in the past five years.
Mr Au encouraged enterprises from New Zealand to develop businesses in Hong Kong by taking advantage of the city’s strategic location as a platform to enter the Chinese market. More than half of foreign direct investment into China originates from Hong Kong and half of Mainland’s overseas investment is destined to or channelled through Hong Kong.
“These figures speak for the fact that Hong Kong is the premier gateway into China,” said Mr Au.
Along with the city’s friendly business environment – low and simple tax system, strong tradition of the rule of law and a transparent regulatory environment – Hong Kong offers lots of business opportunities for New Zealand enterprises.
“New Zealand’s reputation as a world class producer of premium quality products and services is well placed to capitalise on these business opportunities through Hong Kong’s business platform,” said Mr Au.