The government wants to maintain French wines’ leadership in China

Tuesday January 23 2018 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : DR

The situation wasn’t resolved in a single trip, but it's a good start”, said Antoine Leccia, chairman of the French Wine & Spirits Exporters’ Federation (the FEVS, a federation of 550 companies), following Emmanuel Macron's visit to China at the beginning of January. A member of the French delegation, the Languedoc negociant was as pleased with the government's response as he was with that of its Chinese counterparts. “The message struck home. I was able to put to the Minister of Agriculture and the agricultural adviser to the President the issues requiring attention if growth is to be created”, explained Leccia.

Advocates for a free trade agreement

While Georgian wines see their customs duties in China fall (as they have done for Australian, Chilean and New Zealand wines), the FEVS has called for a lifting of tariff barriers to improve competitiveness. “In entry-point segments where competition is fiercest, the price differential can reach 20% for the same ex-cellar rates”, claimed Leccia, who is asking France to take the lead in European negotiations with China on a free trade agreement. Even postponed by two years, the introduction of import certifications providing traceability on food products is a cause of concern to the FEVS." We ask that wines and spirits be exempted”, said Leccia.

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