Wine Industry Development Minister Margaret Keech wants Queensland wines to be served in luxury Indian hotels. She is in India leading the Queensland on Tour ' India trade mission' and extolled the virtues of Queensland wines after she visited Grover vineyards yesterday. ‘ India 's wine industry is in its infancy and wine sales and wine appreciation are growing rapidly,' Mrs Keech said on her visit.
Rapid economic growth and the increasing wealth and sophistication of the Indian consumer will increase the potential for Australian wines.' The key factor inhibiting growth of imported wine is extraordinarily high import tariff rate and state taxes. However, governments are being lobbied to change their policies, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for the Queensland industry,' she said
'No Queensland winery currently exports to India. I want that to change that.' Ms. Keech said, adding that
'the golden opportunity for Queensland lay with 5-star hotels. Eighty per cent of imported wines here are sold through on-premise channels due to removal of import tariffs for wines sold to 5-star hotels. '
The Australian Trade Commission reports that more than sixty 5-star hotels are due to open throughout India in the next 18 months. Expansion of this sector will have a significant impact in growth of imported wine in India.
'The retail landscape is also changing, with 375 shopping malls to be established in next 18 months. Some will include hypermarkets and wine outlets. That's the level of opportunity here for wine exporters, but the competition will be red hot,' adds the report.