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Hong Kong and Burgundy further strengthen partnership in wine-related businesses (with photos)
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     The Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), Miss Yvonne Choi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Co-operation in Wine-related Businesses with Mr Francois Patriat, President of the Regional Council of Burgundy; Mr Benoît de Charette, President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burgundy; and Ms Anne Parent, Vice President of the Burgundy Wine Board on October 21 (Burgundy time) .
 
     The key areas of co-operation covered in the MOU include hosting of events to showcase Burgundy wine and food, partnership between the training institutions of the two places to enhance education and manpower training in wine-related subjects, promotion of wine-related tourism and wine culture, as well as encouraging Burgundy companies to set up wine-related operations in Hong Kong.

     Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony in Burgundy, France, Miss Choi said the agreement would further fortify the partnership between Hong Kong and Burgundy in wine-related businesses. Hong Kong would provide the fullest possible assistance to Burgundy in pursuing its wish to set up a regional representative office in Hong Kong.

     "Hong Kong's wine promotion activities provide a good anchor for Burgundy to showcase its fine wines to Asian consumers, particularly those from Mainland China.

     "We stand ready to organise, with Burgundy, functions such as gourmet dinners and wine-tasting events targeting high-end buyers," Miss Choi said.

     She said she also hoped that the enhanced partnership would give added room for Burgundy to share its passion for wines, wine culture and gastronomy with wine lovers and connoisseurs in Hong Kong and Asia.

     Arriving in Burgundy on October 20 on a two-and-a-half-day visit, Miss Choi will meet various interlocutors in the region, including the Regional Council of Burgundy, the relevant business chamber and wine promotion body, to discuss possible co-operation initiatives. She will also visit the Centre of Vocational Training and Agricultural Promotion, a training centre in Burgundy for sommeliers, to discuss opportunities for fostering closer partnership between the training institutions in Hong Kong and Burgundy in wine education.

     France is Hong Kong's largest wine supplier, accounting for some 56% of its total wine imports by value in 2009-10. Imports from France to Hong Kong have increased by 97% and 31% respectively in 2008-09 and 2009-10, reaching 173 million and 252 million.

Ends/Friday, October 22, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:40

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