Business / Economy

FTA to boost Australia's Chinese wine sales

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-11 13:41

MELBOURNE - Australia's Victorian state government believes that China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will provide a massive boost in the region's wine sales.

Victoria produces some of Australia's most acclaimed wine, and is currently showcasing its product as part of the three-day International Sparkling Wine Festival in China.

Agricultural Minister for Victoria Jaala Pulford is also in China on Friday on a related mission that aims to connect winemakers from Victoria with Chinese wine connoisseurs.

"There's enormous opportunities here in China to expand our exports further to supply China's rapidly expanding middle class," Pulford told the Australian Associated Press on Friday.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed the historic ChAFTA in July, in a bid to solidify China as the nation's largest importer.

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Victoria's wine exports to China were worth almost $40 million. With expansion of trade following the ChAFTA, the state government believes that figure is set to rise.

In July, data from Wine Australia revealed that Asia is Australia's fastest-growing wine market, with exports to the area rising 26 percent over the previous 12 months.

Wine Australia's chief executive Andreas Clarke said China was a major contributor to the surge in interest, with a 32-percent growth.

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