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London, December 11, 2007 – Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, the biggest wine and spirit exhibition in the region, will take place in Hong Kong from May 27 to 29 next year when record numbers of exhibitors and visitors are expected to attend.

Current figures for stand bookings and visitor requests show that more than 600 exhibitors will showcase wine and spirits to visitors from at least 30 countries. In 2006 Vinexpo Asia- Pacific, also hosted in Hong Kong, featured 568 exhibitors and nearly 7,000 professional visitors from wine and spirits sectors.

Hong Kong was chosen to host the wine and spirits exhibition because of its strategic position at the centre of a booming wine consuming region. Consumption of wine in Asia is growing at 7.9% a year compared with 1% for the rest of the world.

Research commissioned by Vinexpo shows that consumption of grape wine in Asia, exceeded one billion bottles in 2006 – higher than previous forecasts. At the same time, low capita consumption underlines the growth potential in these markets.

China, for example, became the tenth largest wine consuming country in the world in 2005 and is forecast to reach 8th place in 2011. This rise will see wine consumption growing by nearly 70% between 2006 and 2011. In Japan, meanwhile, the second biggest wine market in Asia, consumption has resumed a positive growth track after a decline between 2002 and 2006.

This remarkable growth explains the importance of Vinexpo as the leading wine and spirit exhibition in the region which is backed by a large scale promotional campaign to attract wine and spirits importers, wholesalers, retail and duty free buyers as well as sommeliers and restaurateurs.

By April next year the Vinexpo Asia-Pacific team will have made presentations in seven leading cities in the region: Beijing, New Delhi, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong. More than 30,000 brochures printed in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and English will be distributed in countries from Australia to Vietnam.

The promotional campaign is based on authoritative research and forecasts for worldwide wine and spirit consumption and production, prepared by international research consultancy ISWR. Vinexpo has published similar research for the last 14 years.

Mr Robert Beynat, General Manager of Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, said “Our decision to exhibit in Hong Kong reflects the potential for development in the 18 Asian markets and the strategic position of Hong Kong at the geographic centre of this impressive gateway to Asia”.

Mr Beynat added that Hong Kong had other attractions – stability, economic growth, transport and communication infrastructure – which met the needs of an international event such as Vinexpo Asia-Pacific.

Since it first exhibited in Hong Kong in 1998, Vinexpo has maintained a constructive relationship with the local authorities. In 2006 an exemption from paying customs duties was negotiated for exhibitors at the exhibition. Exhibitors will also benefit from this exemption in 2008.

Vinexpo then joined the Hong Kong Wine and Spirits Industry Coalition campaign to lobby for reductions in customs levies. As a result, in February 2007 the Hong Kong government announced a reduction in the customs duty on wines from 80% to 40% and from 40% to 20% for spirits of less than 30% ABV.

Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2008 is held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 27 to May 29.
For more details visit the VINEXPO ASIA-PACIFIC website: www.vinexpo.com

UK media enquiries:

VOICE
Riverbank House,
1 Putney Bridge Approach
London SW6 3JD
UK

France media enquiries:

VINEXPO
2 Cours du XXX Juillet
33074 Bordeaux Cedex France
France

Eugène Bacot
Tel: 020 7731 4526
Email: eugene@voice-pr.co.uk
Colin Lewis
Tel: 020 7731 4489
Email: colin@voice-pr.co.uk

Anne Cusson- Deputy Director Press
Tel:+33 (0) 5 56 56 00 29
Fax:+33 (0) 5 56 56 00 12
Email: presse@vinexpo.fr

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Voice PR Ltd in the following categories: Food & Drink, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.