JINAN, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China has become the most attractive wine exporting destination in the world, according to major wine exporters and professionals at a seminar concluded in eastern China's Shandong Province Tuesday.
Jorge Heine, Chile's ambassador to China, said Chile's wine exports to China had risen considerably in the last few years. "China surpassed the United States to become Chile's largest export market in 2014, and more than 200 wineries are now exporting products to China."
Wine exports from South Africa to China have also registered a sharp jump since 2013, according to Shao Wenjing, vice chairman of the South African Premium Wineries Association.
In the first eight months of this year, China imported 474 million liters of wine, up 15.76 percent from a year ago. The total value of imports rose 8.78 percent to over 1.7 billion U.S. dollars during the same period.
The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) said Chinese consumers drank 1.72 billion liters of wine in 2016 -- a yearly increase of 6.9 percent, the highest in the world.
Ma Yong, secretary general of China National Food Industry Association said China had become a driving force in global wine consumption and the figure was expected to grow further with the improvement of Chinese living standards.
Sponsored by the China National Food Industry Association and China Alcoholic Drinks Association, the two-day seminar attracted nearly 200 professionals and representatives from major wine exporting markets, including France, Italy, the United States, Chile, South Africa and Australia.