On 9 June 2018, the World Alcohol Beverage Alliance (WABA) 2018 Annual Meeting was held at Skycity at the base of the world famous landmark Sky Tower in New Zealand. Approximately 600 people from 30 countries and regions including Croatia, Thailand, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, the United States and China were in attendance. Among the attendees were government representatives, industry leaders, association presidents, renowned philanthropists, and published global research scholars.

WABA Chairman and former Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia Mr.Ante Simonic, New Zealand National Party President, Peter Goodfellow; Parliamentary Judicial Committee Chairman, MP Raymond Huo; spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, MP Todd McClay; New Zealand Gisborne Mayor, Meng Foon; WABA Vice Chairman, Wang Xinguo; Dean of the China Academy of Inspection and Quarantine, Li Xinshi; Director of the China-Netherland Friendship Association, Henk Kool; the People’s Republic of China’s ambassador to New Zealand, Huang Yuefeng; Deputy General Manager of Moutai, Zhang Deqin; all delivered speeches at the event.

In their speeches they expressed support for WABA in its goal of establishing a global platform to strengthen international cooperation and trade in the global alcohol industry. As a global organization with more than 300 alcohol industry associations from 60 countries, WABA has successfully contributed to the alcohol industry by publishing global wine industry standard formulations, conducted new product research and development, improved global industry trade, and met industry leaders to develop a cooperation platform. In the future, WABA will work hard to promote the facilitation of alcohol trade, internationalization, industrialization and e-commerce.

At the meeting, projects such as the New Zealand and China’s pre-inspection customs clearance platform, e-commerce platform, Moutai Group’s Tianchao Shangpin global project and WABA’s Cetus cocktail modulation promotion projects were launched. Li Xinshi, vice chairman of WABA, proposed to establish WABA Cetus which is a global wine tasting standard set up by WABA to establish the Global Sourcing Division in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine. Henk Kool, the deputy director of WABA and the chairman of the China-Netherlands Friendship Association, applied to hold the annual meeting of WABA in the Netherlands next year.

Towards the end of the evening an award ceremony for the champion of the WABA Cetus Tianchao Cocktail Competition was held. The winner from New York took home the grand prize and a certificate of thanks from WABA.

Finally the event closed with an auction to help children in need. Tianchao Moutai and WABA generously donated 18 bottles of Tianchao Moutai which raised $4,000 NZD. WABA and Tianchao Moutai would like to express a sincere thank you to the New Zealand Māori group and the winners of the Voice of China competition for their amazing performances during the night.

(WABA research reporter)