S.African wine makers eye China for exports

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-11-14 0:01:50

South African wine exports to China are increasing rapidly, having reached 11 million litres in 2014, authorities said on Friday.

Since 1994, South African wine exports have grown from 50 million litres to 500 million litres globally. China is currently South Africa's 6th largest export market for packaged wines by volume, said Alan Winde, Economic Opportunities Minister in the Western Cape Province, the largest wine producing area in South Africa.

The Western Cape is driving a focused strategy as part of Project Khulisa to sustain this growth. A high level delegation from the Western Cape government is in China this week on an official visit to, amongst others, promote the province's wine offering in this key market. Premier Helen Zille is leading the delegation.

South Africa is one of the world's most unique wine destinations. As an example, it is the only country to produce the Pinotage cultivar. South Africa is also one of only a few countries to have launched a traceability seal which guarantees that wine was produced ethically, an important feature for the Chinese market which prioritises high quality offerings and food safety.

The Western Cape has prioritizes its trade with China, home to 10 percent of the world's population.

Winde confirmed that China Customs statistics for the first half of 2015 were promising, saying, "We have doubled our market share and our value share is up 104 percent."

"Through Project Khulisa, we aim to double the export of wine to China by 2025. If the current trend continues, I am confident we will reach that goal,"he said.

Winde said the wine industry was an important job creator, employing over 289, 000 people in the country and 167, 000 residents of the Western Cape.

Over the past three years, Perfect China, China's biggest importer of South African wine, has imported 10 million bottles of South African wine into China. The company plans to host a wine training workshop for its staff in the Western Cape next year. They have more than 10,000 outlets in China and also expressed an interest in hosting larger staff events in the province.

Winde said the Western Cape government is committed to supporting these events and undertook to engage in further discussions with Perfect China.

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