Hong Kong has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bordeaux to strengthen co-operation on wine education and professional training with a view to raise the standard and number of wine professionals to meet industry demands.
Possible areas of collaboration include networking, student and staff exchange programmes, scholarships and study missions.
The MOU was signed between Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau, and the visiting President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bordeaux Gironde, Patrick Seguin, over the weekend.
Both sides will work to strengthen wine education and training through encouraging partnership between relevant training institutes in Bordeaux and Hong Kong. They will also work to increase training opportunities in chateaux, wine merchants and educational institutions of both sides.
"Bordeaux wines have a strong presence in Hong Kong. The MOU will build on that foundation and broaden the scope of wine business related cooperation between the two places," Yau said.
"Hong Kong is Asia's wine hub and a free wine port, and has a strong demand for talents with expertise in fine wines and culinary arts. We look forward to aspiring young people in Hong Kong making the best out of new training opportunities in Bordeaux," he added.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bordeaux Gironde is a trade body representing the interests of the business and service sectors in the region, including its wine industry.
Hong Kong removed all taxes on wine in February 2008 and became a free wine port, this policy helped the city to become an important wine hub leading to increasing demand of wine professionals.
(the writer can be contacted at: SLawMathews@thewinechronicle.com)