Interview: Argentine winery aspires to enter Chinese market -- winery owner

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-30 12:54:27|Editor: ying
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MENDOZA, Argentina, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland market is key to Argentine wineries in their efforts to open up new markets and businesses, an Argentine winery owner has said.

Alejandro Vigil, the owner as well as an oenologist and agricultural engineer, told Xinhua in an interview that China is "one of the most important objectives" his winery has.

The winery, El Enemigo, is situated in Cachingo near the central city of Mendoza in western Argentina.

"Chinese gastronomy is known around the world. It is one of the most important in the world. Of course we want to be there," said Vigil, whose winery cooperates with two Chinese importers now.

"We are thinking of being in Beijing in the next year," Vigil added, saying his winery will team up with other wineries from Argentina and Chile, among others, to boost its presence in China.

El Enemigo initially spread its wings in Latin America, especially in Brazil and Peru, and now has businesses outside the continent.

"We are currently in Hong Kong, as well as South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, France and Britain," explained Vigil.

The winery produces around 150,000 bottles a year, which are valued at about 1.25 million U.S. dollars.

According to government figures, Argentina exported 1 billion dollars of wine in 2015. Wineries are teaming up with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to boost Argentina's global market share from 3.8 percent to 5.8 percent.

In May this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Argentine President Mauricio Macri during Macri's visit to Beijing, and the two sides agreed to further promote bilateral ties.

Xi hailed Argentina's participation in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and called for dovetailing it with Argentina's development strategy.

Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Under the initiative, China and Argentina will deepen cooperation in various industries.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba signed a memorandum of understanding with the Argentine government in May to boost the selling of Argentine wine to China, as Chinese people are increasingly looking for overseas products.

Vigil illustrated the importance of the wine trade for the Mendoza area.

"In Mendoza, everybody has a brother or a cousin who works in the wine trade. This is an area where we breathe wine, we live wine...It is our passion as it is our way of life," he said.