Hong Kong Fianancial Secretary is raising a glass to the city’s booming wine trade with France, an essential part of the €9 billion bilateral trade, as the offical leads a 130-member business delegation to bolster business and investment ties with France.
Speaking at the “Think Business, Think Hong Kong” event by the Trade Development Council, Chan revealed that despite the global pandemic, Hong Kong imported 14 million bottles of French wine last year, underscoring the resilience of the bilateral trade relations between the regions.
The first six months of this year saw a 2% increase in French wine imports over the same period in 2022, accounting for 60.8% of total wine imports to Hong Kong.
The growth was registered after French wine imports to Hong Kong contracted by 24% last year, indicative of the pandemic’s disruptive influence.
“Six French banking groups operate in our city. Not to mention the very popular brands of Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, or wine from Bordeaux or Burgundy. Indeed, last year, despite the pandemic, Hong Kong still imported 13 to 14 million bottles of French wine,” he said.
The wine trade is emblematic of the broader economic and trade cooperation between Hong Kong and France. France is not only a critical trading partner but also the largest EU investor in Hong Kong with investments totalling HK$96 billion (US$12.3 billion) at the end of 2021.
Over 360 French companies operate in Hong Kong, contributing to the employment of more than 25,000 people. Additionally, Hong Kong has become a residence for over 10,000 French nationals. “Hong Kong is wide open to talent from France and everywhere,” Chan remarked, highlighting Hong Kong’s inclusive and diverse community.