E-com­merce with ASEAN to rise by half

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By REN XIAOJIN renx­i­ao­jin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ital­ian wine ex­porters see po­ten­tial in China as tastes and de­mand di­ver­sify, and they ex­pect to tar­get 230 mil­lion con­sumers to fur­ther ex­pand grow­ing sales, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try ex­perts.

Al­though French ex­ports dom­i­nate the Chi­nese mar­ket, wine from other Old World coun­tries such as Italy is catching up.

“For Ital­ian wines, China is a coun­try with great po­ten­tial. Af­ter decades of ef­fort, Ital­ian wine ex­ports to China have be­gan to pick up mo­men­tum,” said Amedeo Scarpa, man­ager and trade com­mis­sioner of the Ital­ian Trade com­mis­sion, part of the Ital­ian Trade Agency.

“Ac­cord­ing to China Cus­toms’ data, in the first quar­ter of 2018, Ital­ian wine ex­ports vol­ume grew by more than 63 per­cent year-on-year, and its mar­ket share rose from 4 per­cent two years ago to 7 per­cent,” he said.

At present, France is still the largest wine ex­porter, while Aus­tralia and Chile rank sec­ond and third be­cause of the bi­lat­eral free trade treaty and the pol­icy of zero tar­iffs on wine, Scarpa said.

“In 2021, China will be­come the world’s sec­ond­largest wine im­porter with a turnover of $21.7 bil­lion,” he added.

The Ital­ian Trade Agency is now work­ing closely with COFCO W&W In­ter­na­tional Co Ltd, a liqueur im­porter un­der the State-owned food com­pany China Na­tional Ce­re­als, Oils and Food­stuffs Corp.

Bao Hany­ing, deputy gen­eral man­ager of the sourc­ing and sales depart­ment of W&W, said COFCO is plan­ning to be­come the big­gest dealer of Ital­ian wine in China, tar­get­ing 250 mil­lion emerg­ing mid­dle-in­come con­sumers as the prod­ucts can be found in 150 of its 400 re­tail shops.

Bao also be­lieves that grow­ing de­mand for qual­ity and chang­ing tastes in China will bring ben­e­fits for Ital­ian prod­ucts to ex­pand sales.

“Al­though Ital­ian wines are cur­rently rel­a­tively small, glob­ally, Italy is the big­gest wine ex­porter out of a num­ber of coun­tries,” said Li Shi­hui, gen­eral man­ager of W&W. “This means that they also have high mar­ket po­ten­tial in China. Dur­ing the con­sump­tion up­grad­ing in China, the de­mand for high­end and di­ver­si­fied wine is in­creas­ing.

Wine In­tel­li­gence Re­search Di­rec­tor Chuan Zhou said: “One might think the most suc­cess­ful im­ported wine brands in China are pre­dom­i­nantly from Bordeaux. That might have been true five years ago when im­ported wine was pri­mar­ily as­so­ci­ated with gift­ing and busi­ness oc­ca­sions.

“But as the mar­ket is shift­ing to­ward per­sonal con­sump­tion, more im­ported brands from Aus­tralia, Chile and other ma­jor pro­duc­ing coun­tries are build­ing their pres­ence in China and con­nect­ing with au­di­ences.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A vis­i­tor tastes a glass of Ital­ian wine dur­ing the 2014 Beijing (Yan­qing) In­ter­na­tional Wine Ex­po­si­tion.

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