spiritsEUROPE joins Commissioner Phil Hogan's Diplomatic Offensive

Fostering the European position as the world's top exporter was the key objective of Commissioner Phil Hogan’s mission to Colombia and Mexico on 8 to 12 February.  As the world leader in spirits exports, we could not agree more!


spiritsEUROPE representatives, along with 40 representatives of a wide range of agri-food exporters, were proud to join the trip.  During an intense week, the Commissioner and the business delegation met a number of political leaders and business representatives to reinforce the relationship that would lead to more and better trade. 


These two Latin American markets offer growing export opportunities for European spirits exporters.  Mexico is one of our top export markets (€221m in 2014, a 70% increase over the last decade).  We believe that the soon to start modernisation of the EU-Mexico trade agreement will provide an opportunity to unlock this potential further.  Naturally, our team took some time to meet with our colleagues from the Mexican spirits sector, notably in Tequila, one of the iconic places for spirits in the world!


In Colombia, the country is considering how to improve the organisation of the alcohol beverages market and to remove the obvious distortions that exist.  Intense discussions are ongoing internally and we hope that significant reform will emerge in the coming months.  In the meantime, the WTO consultation offers Colombia and its international trading partners the opportunity to resolve the issues at stake.


These world-wide trade missions will continue in China and Japan in April, in Indonesia and Vietnam in the autumn.  Already many representatives have expressed interest in joining, including our sector.