Global Wine Exports: Israeli Winery Finds Its Way To Chinese Market

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An employee inspects bottles of beer on a conveyor belt at the production line inside the East African Breweries Limited factory in Ruaraka factory in Nairobi, Kenya April 6, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo)

As demand for foreign wine escalates in China, an Israeli wine manufacturer has found its way into the heart of the Chinese market, boosting the country's opening up initiative.

The Jewish Press reported that Samaria's Psagot Winery recently started exporting wine to the southern Chinese region of Guangzhou. It is worth noting that this particular port city is home to over 13 million residents.

The winery's Deputy CEO, Omer Korman explained that "after more than two years of very intensive work, and after long negotiations in which we signed a marketing and distribution contract in the Chinese market, a few days ago we shipped out the first container to China."

To spur its plans for exporting to China, Psagot Winery sought the assistance of Israel's Ministry of Economy's "Smart Money" program. The program offers financial assistance to local companies aspiring to explore international markets. Through the program, the Samarian wine provider was able to reduce operational costs.

In terms of exposure, Psagot received the support of the Economic Attaché of Guangzhou City's Ministry of Economy and Industry. The local ministry helped boost Psagot's exposure not just to target audiences in the area but also to buyers and potential distributors.

The 16-year-old company has also been introduced to various wine fairs across China, including Guangzhou's Interwine fair to further help the winery learn more about the massive Chinese market.

Korman expressed gratitude to Chinese groups that helped the company complete processes involved in the wine trade. He referred to the ministry as the winery's "full partners" as it takes on the path to success.

China is currently Israel's second largest export destination. In 2018, the country exported a variety of products to the Chinese market. Experts estimated revenue of $4.3 billion - a 35 percent jump from 2017.

Meanwhile, a new program has encouraged young adults in Israel to invest in art, music, and the wine industry. Dubbed as The Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF), the fund aims to improve the country's business connections with other countries.

According to The Tower, TIIF includes a flagship program called Wine on the Wine that allows for an online buyer to plant as many or as little grapevines as he prefers. Each grapevine costs $18. The purchase allows a percentage of the benefits to a participating charity.

After the purchase is made through the TIIF flagship project, a customer who bought at least five vines will be entitled to some products from the winery. TIIF Founder Adam Scott Bellos said his goal is to create a reliable federation of wineries that will boost tourism and interest in Israeli wines.

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