APEC eases bottleneck in wine trade


SINGAPORE: Wine lovers and exporters around the Pacific Rim will have reason to pop the cork on Thursday after officials slashed red tape on shipments in the region that will ease an expensive bottleneck.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group said in a statement that the 21 member economies had agreed on a standard, simplified certificate, replacing the multi-layered system that had led to losses of about $1.0 billion a year in the industry.

And while exporters such as Australia, Chile, New Zealand and the United States are expected to benefit from the simplified regime, wine drinkers will also have a reason to
celebrate as it is should lead to a wider array of choices at cheaper prices.

“Easier, more inclusive wine trade can improve product availability and prices for consumers and improve job creation and growth,” said Tom LaFaille, international trade counsel for the Wine Institute, the private sector overseer of the APEC Wine Regulatory Forum.

Jamie Ferman of the US Department of Commerce described the model certificate as “a win-win for the industry.”



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