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Mar 6, 2012

Importing and Selling Wine in Korea Just got a Little Easier

The Korea Times has posted an article about changes in the Korean wine market because of changes in Korea's distribution law and the implementation of free trade agreements with the United States and the European Union .

We have seen more interest from major wine producers in the Korean market and we expect to see a few of the major players in the market enter the market soon.

The Korea Times notes that:
Korea’s wine boom peaked in 2008 when $166.5 million worth was imported. However, since the economic downturn, the country’s imports fell by 32.5 percent the following year to $112.45 million. Imports improved moderately last year to $132 million.

Industry people here believe that the wine market is ripe for a rebound. The Italians, however, could prove to be the casualties of the renewed wine wars. Korea’s wine market has been dominated by products from France, Chile and Italy, but the United States could threaten to overtake Italy for third place in the sales hierarchy, market sources say.

“The strength of Italian wines has been based on sweet wines like Moscatos, but the popularity of Italian table wines in the 20,000-60,000 won price range has been poor. This lack of diversity is beginning to hurt Italian wines here,” said an official from one of the importers.

“The so-called new world wines from countries such as the United States, Chile and Australia continue to challenge old world wines made in Europe. France’s top spot continues to be undisputed and Chilean wines have been building a reputation for providing high quality at moderate prices, but it remains to be seen how American wines attack this status quo.” 
The complete Korea Times article may be found at: France, Chile, U.S. Wage Wine War in Korea.
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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com
IPG is engaged in projects for companies and entrepreneurs doing business in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines,Vietnam and the U.S.
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