South Australian wines aim to reconquer China at major international expo

South Australia aims to revitalise its wine exports to China, with Trade Minister Joe Szakacs leading a crucial delegation to Hong Kong’s VinExpo.

South Australia’s efforts to revitalise its wine exports to China will advance significantly at the end of May when Trade Minister Joe Szakacs leads a delegation to Asia’s largest wine show, VinExpo, located in Hong Kong.

This strategic push follows the removal of trade barriers between Australia and China in March. The delegation will include representatives from 36 local wineries, aiming to rejuvenate what was a thriving $946.5 million annual market.

In addition to their presence at VinExpo, 19 wine producers will extend their itinerary to include Shenzhen, a key city in mainland China. This will provide them with a significant opportunity to build relationships with major buyers in the region. These are the first face-to-face engagements South Australian wine producers will have with Chinese buyers after the lift of tariffs, highlighting the importance of this mission.

This overseas trade mission is facilitated by the State Government through a nearly $2 million China re-engagement support package. This funding initiative alleviates the financial burden on wineries attending both VinExpo and participating in trade meetings in Shenzhen.

Among those attending is Curator Wine Co from the Barossa, whose proprietor and winemaker, Tom White, noted the significance of this event in Asia.

“Attending VinExpo in Hong Kong is an exciting opportunity to meet key distributors from right across Asia, all in the one place,” he said.

“With Chinese tariffs lifting in March, VinExpo is a timely opportunity for our world-class wineries. It’s so important that we’re there, getting in front of overseas buyers,” Minister Szakacs said

He also stressed the need for diversification in export markets.

“We’ve seen wine export increases of 73 per cent with Hong Kong over the past year, so now really is the perfect time for SA wineries considering exports to explore China, Vietnam and other Asia-Pacific countries.”

The VinExpo event, running from 28 to 30 May, is expected to attract around 10,000 trade visitors, including importers, buyers, distributors, producers, and merchants from various parts of the world. This provides an excellent platform for South Australian wineries to showcase their products and forge new business relationships.

This trade mission is particularly notable as it marks the first such delegation to Hong Kong by any Australian Minister since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, signaling a strong revival of trade activities.

The broader implications of these efforts are apparent in the overall export performance of South Australia. Over the past 12 months, there has been a 39% increase in exports to China across all categories. Remarkably, amid a national decline of 10% in exports, South Australia has witnessed a 3% growth, positioning itself uniquely in the national export landscape.

As part of the broader strategy, the state continues to enhance its reputation as a premier wine region globally, capable of competing effectively with other notable wine-producing regions in Europe and the United States.

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