HONG KONG - Hong Kong has become the world's largest wine auction center, with total sales amounted to $230 million last year, the city's Financial Secretary John Tsang said Thursday.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the fifth Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair 2012, Tsang said, since eliminating duties on wine in 2008, Hong Kong's total value of wine imports has soared from about $200 million in 2007 to $1.2 billion in 2011.
The fair was organized by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council. A total of some 930 exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions are attending the fair this year, with Russia, Denmark and Azerbaijan participating for the first time.
Tsang said, the Wine Industry Conference, themed "The Future of the Global Wine Industry -- Trends and Opportunities", which is highlight of the fair, would help experts to predict where the industry goes.
Also included in the fair, is a Wine Education zone to cultivate wine appreciation and provide training for industry professionals. And apart from wine, spirits such as vodka, tequila and brandies were also featured.
Since it was first held in 2008, the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair has become the largest event of the kind in Asia.
Last year, the fair attracted a record high of 19,000 visitors from over 70 countries and regions.