Western Cape Government Supports Winemakers at Yantai Wine Expo
The Western Cape Government, in partnership with Wines of South Africa, supported 16 South African wine exhibitors at the Yantai International Wine Exposition, held from 5 July to 7 July.
Yantai is the third largest city in the Shandong Province, with which the Western Cape is celebrating 15 years of bilateral co-operation as sister provinces. This is the third year the Western Cape Government has supported exhibitors for this exhibition.
Minister Winde said wine exports to China are opening doors for other sectors of the Western Cape economy. He said tourism in the Western Cape is closely linked to the wine industry.
South African wine exports to China have experienced good growth in both bulk and packaged product, growing at approximately 32% over the past four years (2009-2012) in terms of total exports, while packaged exports grew by 73%.
Figures for the first five months already show a 53% increase for total exports, compared to the same period last year. Winde said the growth has been predominately in packaged exports, which showed a 40% increase over the same period.
“As tourism and wine exports grow and more Chinese businesses travel to the province, other Western Cape sectors automatically have increased access to trade opportunities with China”.
Van Rensburg said government support and good diplomatic relations are crucial for the business community to be successful in China. He said although we have been able to realise good growth in wine exports in recent years, it is now important to protect relationships and built on our reputation of excellent quality and reliable supply.
He also stressed the fact that South Arica is the only wine producing country which can track individual bottles of wine from the vineyard up to the final bottled product. “This is a unique guarantee of quality and food safety we offer our trade partners.”
Winde and Van Rensburg discussed the possibilities of a city twinning agreement between Yantai and a town in the Western Cape with the Yantai Mayor. They invited the Yantai Local Government to visit the Western Cape to investigate this possibility.
Mayor Wang Liang expressed his interest and proposed an official visit to be scheduled for later this year to the Western Cape.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture in partnership with Wines of South Africa will be hosting a South African wine tasting in Beijing on 10 July, where 26 producers and importers will showcase over 250 different South African wines.
This is in line with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s commodity approach to support various industries to diversify exports into potential growth markets.