Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism, and French Nationals Abroad, paid an official visit to the Charente department on May 20.
There he met with cognac professionals, with whom he discussed challenges relating to exports and the development of wine tourism.
Cognac, nearly all of which is produced for export, is doing very well internationally. Accounting for 2.5 billion euros in exports in 2015, cognac represents nearly 20% of France’s exports of alcoholic beverages – almost as much as champagne (2.7 billion euros) and more than Bordeaux wines (1.8 billion euros).
These results make France the world’s leading exporter of spirits distilled from wine, with a market share of 53%.
The protection of the “cognac” appellation remains a priority for France at the European Commission’s free-trade negotiations, although the designation is still being used fraudulently in several countries. The fight against tariff and non-tariff barriers must also serve the expansion of this sector.