NEWS: Hong Kong & Australia sign wine co-operation pact


Hong Kong and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation in wine-related businesses.

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Rita Lau and the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry Tony Burke signed the pact.

Mrs Lau said it was the first such memorandum Hong Kong had signed with a wine-producing country of the New World.

"The memorandum of understanding is an extensive one, covering some common areas of co-operation that also feature in our memorandum of understanding with other countries, including promotion of wine trading, investment, wine-related tourism, wine education and appreciation, and the fight against counterfeit goods," she said.

Australia will also share its experience in setting up a wine centre in Adelaide which serves multiple wine-related purposes, including exhibitions, café and dining, wine appreciation and education, conferences and functions.

Both sides agree to keep requirements for wine certification simple and basic to reduce trade barriers.

"I believe that the memorandum of understanding signed today will give a strong impetus to Hong Kong's aspiration to be a regional wine hub and be conducive to its economic development, including creating jobs," Mrs Lau said.

Hong Kong will stage its first Wine & Dine Festival in late October to early November, while the Trade Development Council will hold its second "homegrown" international wine exhibition in November.