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Hong Kong To Become Wine Trading Center

HONG Kong is set to establish itself as a wine trading and distribution center in Asia, part of an effort to build stronger international relations to lessen the impact of the global economic crisis, a government press release said yesterday.

Addressing local political and economic leaders on the last day of his visit to South Korea, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government Chief Executive Donald Tsang said Hong Kong had immediately become the only free wine port among major economies after the elimination of wine duties in 2008.

"In 2007, we imported just a few dozen cases of South Korean wine valued at less than US$1,500. Since eliminating wine duties in 2008, the value of wine imports from South Korea has increased seven-fold to US$11,700.

"In 2008, the total value of our wine imports from around the world reached US$370 million, representing a year-on-year increase of almost 80 percent. This is an example of how a little imagination and determination can go a long way during an economic downswing."


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