South African wine exports to China are increasing rapidly, having reached 11 million litres in 2014. 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 and Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde are leading the delegation.

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.

During a press conference in Shanghai on Wednesday night (11 November 2015), Premier Helen Zille and Economic Opportunities Minister, Alan Winde, briefed Chinese media on the province's plans to boost wine exports to the Asian country.

Yesterday, Premier Zille and Minister Winde also met with one of China's biggest importers of Western Cape wine, Perfect China.

The media briefing took place during a networking session for South African and Chinese businesses, which was hosted by the Hong Kong branch of Wines of South Africa ( WOSA).

The South African Consul General in Shanghai, Thabo Thage, joined Premier Zille and Minister Winde for the briefing.

Premier Zille said South Africa was one of the world's most unique wine destinations. As an example, ours is the only country to produce the Pinotage cultivar. South Africa is 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.

Earlier Premier Zille had told the South African and Chinese businesses that growing trade with China was a priority of the Western Cape Government, with the country being home to 10% of the world’s population. Minister Winde confirmed that China Customs statistics for the first half of 2015 were promising: “We have doubled our market share and our value share is up 104%. 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.”

Minister 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.

Premier Zille and Minister Winde's programme also included a meeting with Perfect China. Over the past three years, Perfect China has imported ten 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.

Premier Zille and Minister Winde committed the Western Cape Government's support for these events and undertook to engage in further discussions with Perfect China.


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