„One of our most important goals is to noticeably cut the tariffs on alcoholic beverages, including wine", says a EU spokesman in a press interview. He did not give a deadline for this, however, he mentioned that this requirement set by the EU was very "ambitious". Some officials at the European Union stated that the tariffs should be cut by 50 percent at least.
Nonetheless, even if this free trade agreement with the EU is signed and enforced, experts fear that India will not follow into Hong Kongs footsteps. Back in 2008, the tax on wine was taken away completely, which resulted in an explosion of wine sales and which made Hong Kong the center of wine in all of Asia.
"There is no way that India will turn into a wine nation overnight, like China did", warns Anthony Maxwell, Director of the LIV-EX for fine wines. "Hong Kong already had booming wine imports up to 2008. India, however, is not as familiar with being a huge wine nation. It would be ideal if all tariffs on wine were cut like in Hong Kong. However, not many people believe that this will ever happen."
Representing the international import/export position, Julian Campbell with Justerini & Brooks (noble wine trade house in London) comments: "India is on our mind, but its market has not been tested and is hard to analyze at this moment."
The renowned British consulting firm estimates India's wine consumption to reach more than 21 million liters in 2020. Despite the high taxes, wine imports should go up; an opinion shared by the Grand Grus de Bordeaux, which held a tasting in Mumbai and New Dehli last week. "I'm confident that India's wine market will develop, but I don't see this happening in the near future. I give it at least five to ten years", says Anthony Maxwell. (red.yoopress)