The Mexican Tequila market has taken proactive steps to bringing the tequila spirits culture to the Chinese drinker. Blending the mexican drinking culture with the Chinese business drinking customs has unlocked a new market for the mexican spirits market.

China President Xi Jinping and Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto have met on multiple occasions this year in preparation for what has been dubbed the Tequila Agreement. This new contract sets the foundation for the import to China of Mexican goods. Xi also said that Chinese investment in Mexico will be focused on infrastructure for energy and mining and announced a summit in Mexico City in 2015 between Chinese and Latin American entrepreneurs.


China President Xi Jinping and Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto broke a diplomatic and economic chill and agreed to boost trade, tequila producers have been gearing up to make the world’s most populous country their second-biggest market, after the margarita-loving United States.

Changes in regulation that restricted imports of foreign liquor that exceed 2 grams of methanol per liter (most tequilas) from which the Chinese cited harmful health effects, have expanded the market. These restrictions have now been lifted, allowing brands such as Jose Cuervo, Herradura, Patron and Don Julio to be widely available in China.

China consumes 5 billion liters of spirits every year, led by cognac, whiskey and vodka. Drinking has been a long-standing part of Chinese culture, especially during business banquets. And tequila’s flavor profile is similar to traditional Chinese wine, a strong drink.

In the long run the tequila market in China could be even larger than in the United States because there are more Chinese with disposable incomes, said Christopher Shanahan, food and agriculture manager at Frost & Sullivan, a U.S. marketing analysis firm.

Tequila makers are trying to encourage China’s growing new rich to buy the alcohol by leveraging its mystique and novelty, Shanahan said.

“There has been significant growth in food services and restaurant sales on top of grocery sales in China,” Shanahan said. “And the Chinese market likes foreign prestige brands. These are indicators that tequila will be popular in China.”

Read more on the the Tequila Agreement from USA Today here or the International Business Times here.