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Moutai and WSTA partner to strengthen UK-China ties

Baijiu maker Kweichow Moutai Company has signed an agreement with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) to build a “strategic” partnership between the UK and China.

Kweichow Moutai is the world’s top distiller by market value

The agreement, which will be signed in London’s Guildhall this afternoon (24 April) will allow the WSTA and Moutai to identify opportunities to promote a “regular and open dialogue on matters of mutual interest”.

Moutai industry bosses have accompanied the governor of Guizhou Province, Shen Yiqin, on a two-day visit to the UK to promote business links with the province and the UK.

The company is unable to produce more than 60,000 metric tonnes of its baijiu annually due to current land controls in the province. As a result, Moutai is looking to find opportunities outside of China to expand its operations.

The WSTA hopes the agreement will create further opportunities to expand its wine and spirits courses between the UK and China.

The document will be signed by WSTA chief executive Miles Beale and Yuan Renguo, chairman of the Kweichow Moutai Group.

“Strengthening ties with countries outside the EU is a key priority for WSTA,” said Beale. “By working closely with the wine and spirit industry colleagues across the globe, together we can better advise politicians on the benefits of free trade deals and how to avoid unnecessary barriers for the free flow of trade.

“We have already taken great steps to cement a working agreement with colleagues in Europe with the signing of a Brexit position paper. But the WSTA recognise that there is more to be done to help members gear up for future export and import opportunities.”

Moutai has been named as the world’s top distiller by market value. Analysts estimate that the company has surged past its own projection by more than three times for the second year running.

Renguo added: “Over the last few years China-UK friendship has continued to warm with the efforts of the leaders of both countries – welcoming a golden era of China-UK relations.

“This has had a direct impact on increasing our trade relations: sales [of[ British products, such as Scotch whisky, continue to grow in China; Moutai and other Chinese liquor brands continue to increase sales in the UK.

“In 2017, Moutai Group exported 17.5 tonnes of Moutai liquor to the UK, generating nearly £2.5 million sterling in revenue. The UK is now one of Moutai’s fastest growing international markets”.

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