“Food and Health” Theme Highlights August Exhibitions

Four international exhibitions, including the inaugural HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine Fair, will be held in August under the umbrella theme of "food and health." Taking place alongside the new wine fair are the HKTDC Food Expo, the International Conference & Exhibition of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products (ICMCM) and the Hong Kong International Medical & Health Care Fair. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the four fairs will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), beginning August 14.

Hong Kong International Wine Fair (14-16 August)
The first Hong Kong International Wine Fair has attracted more than 230 exhibitors from 25 countries and regions: Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Hong Kong exhibitors include key players such as Watson's Wine Cellars, Moët Hennessy, Maxxium (Hong Kong), Jointek, Telford International, Sinolink Fine Wines, Ponti Food and Wine Cellar and Crown Wine Cellars.

Support from overseas wine marketing boards and consulates is strong, with Austrade, Sopexa, the US Agricultural Trade Office, Wines of South Africa, Wines of Hungary, Wines of Brazil and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board among those attending. The largest wine importer and distributor in the Chinese mainland, ASC, is also taking part.

" Hong Kong is poised to develop its wine trading business significantly following the abolition of duties on wine earlier this year, " said HKTDC Assistant Director Raymond Yip. "In view of the promising opportunities, the HKTDC decided to launch the first Hong Kong International Wine Fair, built on the success of our wine exhibitors at Food Expo over the years."

Hong Kong, added Mr Yip, has the potential to become Asia 's wine trading, distribution and investment centre. "The overwhelming response to the first edition of the fair clearly indicates that winemakers, dealers and cellars from all over the world have a keen interest in the rapidly developing Asian market, particularly the Chinese mainland."

The wine fair will also showcase a wide variety of liquor and beverage products, wine production and logistics and such related services as wine education and media.

Apart from the fair, the HKTDC will host more than 30 special activities, including industry conferences, seminars and wine-tasting workshops. To heighten public interest and develop wine appreciation, the HKTDC is also organising the Wine Label Design Competition and The Most Beloved Wine voting game. A Wine Gallery and Education Corner will showcase wine glasses, corkscrews, oak barrels and wine accessories, as well as wine books and merchandise.

The wine fair is open only to trade visitors on the first two days (14 and 15 August). The public, 18 and above, is invited to visit the fair on the last day (16 August). Admission is HK$200 per person. The first public visitors will receive a free Spiegelau wine glass (worth $75), sponsored by Inhesion.

Joining hands with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the HKTDC will promote 16 August as Corkage Free Day. Wine fair patrons who purchase wine at the Hong Kong International Wine Fair will enjoy free corkage at more than 50 hotels and restaurants in Central, Wan Chai, Admiralty and Causeway Bay.

Food Expo (14-18 August)
Food Expo, which attracted more than 310, 000 public visitors and 8, 500 trade visitors in 2007, is always a must-attend summer show. This year's expo has attracted more than 480 exhibitors, a 32 per cent increase over last year. Sixteen countries and regions are represented: Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam, as well as first-time exhibitors from Austria, Finland and Sri Lanka. They will feature food and beverage products in both the Public Hall and the Trade Hall .

The Trade Hall is open only to trade visitors on the first two days, enabling exhibitors to promote their products to food distributors, importers and chain store buyers. The hall will open to the public 16-18 August .

Responding to demand, the HKTDC has established several new theme zones within the Trade Hall, including Rice and Cereal, Tea and Coffee and Agricultural and Food Technology zones. A new product category, Fair Trade Food Products, is also being introduced.

A range of seminars and other special events will be held during the fair period. Seminars will address such hot industry topics as "How to Build Trust in Organic Products – the Hong Kong Experience, " "Professional Development in Food and Nutrition" and "Fair Trade Food in the Global Market: Trends and Opportunities." In addition, 15 food promotions, as well as games and health talks, will be held in the Hall 2 Concourse, Entertainment Stage.

Tickets are HK$2 5 during the day and HK $10 at night (available only at the fair after 6pm, 14-17 August). T ickets can be purchased at selected 7- Eleven, OK convenience stores and HK Ticketing, beginning 1 August. Tourists, with valid passports, can enter the expo via a special entrance.

International Conference & Exhibition of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products (ICMCM), 14-18 August
Organised by the HKTDC and the Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association Ltd, the 7 th ICMCM will host more than 100 exhibitors from eight countries and regions, showcasing a wide range of Chinese medicine, health supplements and health care and therapy products. Korea, Japan and such Chinese mainland cities as Guangzhou, Shanghai and Gansu will feature group pavilions.

A large-scale conference, "The Integration of Scientific Research and Development in Novel Chinese Medicines, " will also take place, along with a series of Chinese medicine and health exchanges and industry public forums. The exhibition is only open to trade visitors on the first two days. With Food Expo tickets, the public is welcome to attend during the last three days.

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