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Liquor firms look beyond China in hunt for new Asian drinkers

Published on May 25, 2014 3:50 PM
 
Wine bottles on display in a shop in Hong Kong. Young middle-class drinkers from Asia's emerging economies are being targeted as China's voracious appetite for wine slows down, said the organisers of Vinexpo, which opens Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Hong Kong. -- PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - Young middle-class drinkers from Asia's emerging economies are being targeted as China's voracious appetite for wine slows down, organisers said ahead of the region's largest-ever wine and spirits fair, which opens Tuesday in Hong Kong.

The Vinexpo trade show, set to attract more than 1,000 exhibitors from around the world, will include a cocktail bar, talks on pairing wine with regional cuisine, and tastings of Chinese wines, such as baijiu, made from sorghum.

It comes as Chinese wine consumption saw its first decline in a decade last year, partly influenced by Beijing's anti-corruption measures as well as a more sluggish economy.

"There was a slowdown of the economy in China last year. There was also this anti-luxury message coming from Beijing," Guillaume Deglise, chief executive Officer of Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, told AFP.

 
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