Hong Kong and Hungary sign MOU on co-operation in wine-related businesses (with photos)
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     The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Co-operation in Wine-related Businesses between Hong Kong and Hungary today (May 27) signifies a further step in Hong Kong's development as a regional hub for wine trading and distribution.

     The Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), Miss Yvonne Choi, made the remark during the MOU signing with the Consul General of the Republic of Hungary in Hong Kong, Mr Wdhm Terthk. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, was a witness to the signing ceremony.

     The MOU is the first trade-related agreement that Hong Kong has signed with Hungary. Under the agreement, both places will strengthen co-operation in the promotion of wine-related trading, investment, tourism and education and in the fight against counterfeit wine.

     "This further extends Hong Kong's network of co-operation with wine-producing countries on the promotion of wine-related businesses," Miss Choi said.

     "Hungary produces quality wines. Wine exports from Hungary to Hong Kong increased by as much as 78% by value in 2008.  We expect this trend to continue as Hungarian wines become more widely known and enjoyed here.

     "We hope to see more Hungarian companies in the coming Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council this year, and welcome them to join our first Wine and Dine Festival.
 
     "We also welcome Hungarian wine companies to showcase their world acclaimed Tokaji Aszu and other popular wines such as Bull's Blood as well as delicious food such as salami," she said.

     During the one-year period after duty reduction, wine imports to Hong Kong grew to $3 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 83%. A total of 12 wine auctions, with a total sales of $360 million, have been held in Hong Kong since the duty exemption.

     In addition to the MOU signed with Hungary, Hong Kong has since August last year entered into similar co-operative agreements with five other wine producing countries/regions. They are France, Bordeaux, Spain, Australia and Italy.

Ends/Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Issued at HKT 17:43

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