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Australia toasts growing popularity of China's national drink

Author:gzstcj  From:CHINA DAILY Time:2018-06-25 Browse:  Size: Big Middle Small

Top Chinese liquor brand Moutai has begun to emerge in the Australian mainstream market, after 15 years of eff orts to acquaint local drinkers with the unique taste of baijiu, which literally translates to "white liquor".

The liquor's producer Kweichow Moutai entered Australia in March 2003 and set up its fi rst exclusive shop in Sydney in 2013. It now has an increasing number of Moutai enthusiasts, with products sold in high-end restaurants, airport duty-free shops and liquor stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth and the Whitsunday Islands.

In 2017, the sales volume of Moutai reached more than 100,000 bottles in the country. Former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke said he visited China more than 100 times and has enjoyed Moutai liquor on countless occasions to toast bilateral relations between the two countries. Hawke said he needed to get used to the taste at fi rst, but that it could be a new experience for Australians.

Moutai liquor has an origin that dates back centuries, but today has one of the world's most sophisticated brewing processes, which involves 30 procedures and 165 techniques. Producing a bottle of Moutai liquor takes at least fi ve years.

Li Baofang, chairman of Kweichow Moutai, said economic globalization, big data and China's Internet Plus strategy have created opportunities for the company to go international and display more cultural selfconfi dence. The company designated this year as a year of cultural construction, with a main focus on telling Moutai stories across the globe.

Li said that the stories will help Moutai to become a worldleading liquor brand and help to spread greater understanding of Chinese culture and tradition.

In November 2017, Kweichow Moutai organized a cultural promotional event in Cape Town in South Africa, with a theme related to the Belt and Road Initiative. Last month, the company launched a series of cultural promotional activities in Australia, which together with last year's promotion, serves as an important part of the brand's global expansion.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she hoped the state could have more exchanges and cooperation with Kweichow Moutai in business and other areas, adding that the visit of the Chinese company could further enhance the friendship between the two countries.

China became Australia's largest trade partner in 2010, and continues to be so. All the three pillar industries — tourism, mining and education — in Australia are closely connected with China. The company also prepared a special gift for Australia — a $450,000 scholarship at the University of New South Wales, to cultivate more high-quality business leaders for both countries.

This is the first international scholarship Moutai has set up in its history. University President Ian Jacobs thanked Kweichow Moutai for its farsightedness and said education is a lifetime gift given to individuals. The university's business school aims to develop strategic and forward-thinking leaders with strong capabilities to change the world, and the Moutai scholarship would help to further achieve that goal, Jacobs said.

Kweichow Moutai is also a model of corporate social responsibility in China. Over the past 10 years, the company has paid more than $17 billion in taxes and invested over $1.4 billion in charities, education, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and traffic improvement.

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