Cool Japan fund to boost sake exports to China via HK wine trader

20, Jun. 2019

HONG KONG, NNA - Public-private investment vehicle Cool Japan Fund Inc. has invested in a Hong Kong wine wholesaler to boost Japanese sake exports to mainland China via the company's sales network.

The fund has bought a majority stake in Trio Corporation International Ltd., the Hong Kong-based holding company of three wine trading units in Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai for 2.2 billion yen ($20 million), spokeswoman Ayumi Okuyama told NNA on Wednesday.

The trading arm under co-branded East Meets West Fine Wines has exclusive distribution rights in China for 80 wineries from over 15 countries. It has sales channels of hotels and restaurants in more than 150 cities across China, according to the fund's statement.

Cool Japan, managed under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, intends to provide Japanese sake wineries with sales platforms to help further penetrate the Chinese market. It will also support the traders to host promotional events in the country, it said.

Japanese sake exports have tripled in the past decade to reach a record 22.2 billion yen in 2018, according to trade data compiled by the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association.

China, including Hong Kong, has emerged the largest foreign market accounting for a third of the total, driven by a surge in shipments in past two years, said the association with more than 1,700 memberships of sake wineries nationwide. (NNA/Kyodo)