ASIAN PRODUCERS AMONG FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE NEW WORLD SPIRITS ALLIANCE
By Susan Lewis
Asian producers and trade organisations are among the 17 founding members of the World Spirits Alliance (WSA) formed yesterday in Geneva as a “global voice” for the distilled spirits sector.
Amrit Kiran Singh from the International Spirits & Wines Association of India has been elected as Vice President. Rodolfo González González, who heads up Camara Nacional de la Industria Tequilera, has been elected as President. Taking on the post of secretary general is SpiritsEurope's Deputy Director General & Director of Trade & Economic Affairs, Marie Audren.
Apart from International Spirits & Wines Association of India, four other trade organisations from the Asia Pacific region are among the 17 WSA founding members. They are the Asia Pacific International Wines & Spirits Alliance, Japanese Spirits Liquor Makers Association, Spirits & Cocktail Australia and Spirits New Zealand.
The alliance comprises companies and organistions that manufacture products such as Chinese Baiju, Indian IMFL, Mexican Tequila, Brazilian Cachaça, Cognac and whiskies including Scotch Whisky, Irish Whiskey and American Bourbon.
The WSA will focus on representing the views and interests of the spirits sector at a global level.
WSA president Rodolfo González González said: “The aims of the WSA are to create a common platform for exchange and have a representative body that will allow us to comment on issues of global relevance, particularly in the areas of trade and regulatory policy, and help develop a positive environment for the sustainable success of the sector.”
The WSA will aim to act as a “global voice” for the distilled spirits sector, and will be a representative partner and interlocutor for the industry in front of international organisations, including the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
WSA Secretary General Marie Audren said: “Many of us have been working together for nearly two decades, hence setting up a formal trade association to act as a united global voice on the integrity and social responsibility of our spirits industry is a natural and important step forward.
“Distilled spirits are a vibrant and highly dynamic sector with a unique diversity of products and producers across the world.”
The alliance will also focus on the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, discriminatory taxes and the promotion of evidence-based regulation as well as strategies to combat illicit alcohol
The 17 founder members of the WSA are:
• Asia Pacific International Wines & Spirits Alliance
• Camara Nacional de la Industria Tequilera
• The Scotch Whisky Association
• Association of Canadian Distillers
• Pernod Ricard
• International Spirits & Wines Association of India
• Japanese Spirits Liquor Makers Association
• Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
• Spirits New Zealand
• Rémy Cointreau
• Beam Suntory
• Spirits & Cocktail Australia
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)
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