The WSET has offered wine and spirits courses in China since 2006

The WSET has offered wine and spirits courses in China since 2006

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has opened its first international office as it looks to meet increasing demand for education courses.

The launch of the WSET Asia Pacific unit in Hong Kong comes as China overtakes the US to be the WSET's second biggest market and the largest growth market. The UK remains the trust's leading market.

According to the WSET, candidate numbers in China for 2015/16 were up 38% on the previous year, to 9,079 candidates. The UK saw a 14% increase to 16,950. 

"There is a new wave of younger Millennials in China, and across Asia, who are interested in wine and spirits, so we are stepping in to further enhance the service we provide to support our providers in the region, as well as businesses who will benefit from wine and spirit education and qualifications," said WSET chief executive Ian Harris. "This is our first administration office outside the UK, and with the international growth of WSET growing at such a rate fast, I am sure it will not be our last."

WSET began offering courses in China in 2006.