Will French Wine Make Inroads Into India?

on 07/12/10 at 12:20 pm

Wine

Indage, is India's biggest wine producing company

President Nicolas Sarkozy is in India hoping to secure more business for French firms. French state-run nuclear firm Areva has managed to advance a preliminary agreement to supply reactors to an Indian state-run firm.

But what can businesses involved in producing that most quintessentially French of products—wine—expect from this visit?

Bill Fisher, head of exports for leading French wine exporter Les Grands Chais De France, said he’s hoping that Mr. Sarkozy can put in a word for wine as well while he’s in India.

“It would be a great thing that more commerce is encouraged between India and France,” said Mr. Fisher, who spoke to India Real Time at a booth displaying some of his firm’s labels at the International Food & Drink Expo in New Delhi, which was taking place when Mr. Sarkozy arrived in India on Saturday.

Loïc Denneulin, country director for India at food and wine marketing firm Sopexa expressed a similar hope: “I hope President Sarkozy pushes French business on Indian markets.”

In spite of India’s high import tariffs on wine, this country was one of the world’s fastest growing wine markets until sales fell last year for the first time since 2001. Wine exporters blamed the slump on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks two years ago that led to a dip in tourism in India.

{Full story via WSJ}

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