At a declaration ceremony of the 5th Regional Leaders Summit 2010, the Western Cape Province was invited by the Governor of Shandong Province, China, to participate in the annual Yantai International Wine Festival. The event forms part of the Export Strategy of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture with the aim to diversify into new markets including China.
During September 2011, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gerrit Van Rensburg, lead a business delegation of wine companies to Shandong province, China, to exhibit at the 5th Yantai International Wine Festival. Yantai is currently one of the largest professional wine exhibitions in China. The Cheviot Publishing team was fortunate enough to be invited as part of the delegation to China.
During our China trip, we met with wine importers, traders and the media to discuss the current retail environment and learn business and market strategies to successfully enter the Chinese market. And while there are vast opportunities, the entry into this market is definitely not easy, a fact compounded by the language barrier and a general lack of wine-drinking culture. Importers, retailers and media, together with local Chinese wine producers such as Changyu, are however making great strides in bringing the concept of wine enjoyment to the public’s attention. The popularity of wine exhibitions such as Yantai is testament to their success.
Meeting Mr Hang Wei (Secretary General, Shandong Province) and Mr C Poon (Chairman of Chinese Australian Wine Society) with Minister van Rensburg (Department of Agriculture).
The Chinese market is mainly a government driven economy and therefore diplomatic relations are of great importance to lay a foundation conducive to businesses operations. Hence the Western Cape Province has a bilateral agreement with the Shandong Province of China on sectors such as agriculture, economic cooperation and various areas of government. We were fortunate enough to meet the local Chinese government representatives as well as the South African Consul General in Yantai, Mr Kumalo. It is incredibly encouraging to see the vigour and enthusiasm with which our counterparts in China fly the South African wine flag!
Cheviot Publishing would like to thank all the organizing committee, the Dept of Agriculture, Minister van Rensburg and their Chinese counterparts for making this trip possible and to all the participating companies from the Western Province for their intrepid enthusiasm on this trip.
A warm Chinese welcome at the Opening Ceremony