By Access Asia

China is to continue to lower tariffs on imported alcoholic drinks over the next two years, according to the China Liquor Industry Association.

According to the country's agreement with the WTO, import tariffs on foreign alcohol, except apple wine, pear wine, honey wine and other fermented drinks, will have to be reduced to somewhere between 10 and 30% in 2005 from the original 65%.

However, this may not mean cheaper wine for consumers - though China slashed import tariffs on wine products to 14% at the beginning of 2004, but wine prices, especially for low and mid-end products did not drop noticeably.