By Owain Johnson

Chile’s trade representatives in Asia have told local wine exporters to step up their sales drive in the region, which they said represents a significant future market for Chilean wine.

Speaking at this week’s Chile-Asia Pacific trade fair in Santiago, Chile’s trade representative in Korea, Darío Guzmán, said exporters were wrong to write the region off, despite its recent financial crisis.

Guzman said wine producers needed to develop a national marketing strategy to promote Chilean wine in Asia, where he said national reputation is generally more important than the reputation of individual brands.

The trade representative recommended producers and exporters step up their investment in marketing in order to develop a potentially valuable market. Guzman noted that demand for wine in South Korea was growing rapidly from a low base and that Korean consumers were very open to changing their purchasing habits.

Chile’s trade representative in Taiwan, Guillermo Garrido, said he believed Taiwanese consumers would be very receptive to Chilean wine, while the country’s trade representative in Manila, Frank Tressler, agreed that there was significant potential for Chile to increase its wine exports to The Philippines.

Tressler also recommended that producers and exporters create a new association, which would take charge of promoting Chilean wine in emerging markets such as Asia.