More Chilean produce set for China markets
Shanghai on August 23 kicked off “Chile Week” as part of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations. The weeklong event aimed to promote the Latin American country’s popular produce like cherries and wine. Former Chilean president Eduardo Frei and a delegation team of 150 government officials and businessmen made a trip down to Shanghai for the occasion.
China and Chile have long enjoyed good relationships, with Chile being the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic ties in the 1970’s and launch FTA talks with China. However, this marks the first time that Chile is able to “reach to a population of 50 million people from two major cities (Shanghai and Beijing) of its largest trading partner”, said César Suárez, Consul of Shanghai Commerce Office of Republic of Chile.
It has been a decade since the two countries signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and up to 97 percent of the goods traded have benefited from this arrangement since the beginning of this year. The types of produce imported
Claudio Ternicier, from Chile to China are expected to rise from 1,611 to 5,725 because of the FTA.
Bilateral trade has increased fourfold to $34 billion in 2014, compared with figures before 2005 when the FTA was signed. The value of exports from Chile to China has also enjoyed an average annual growth rate of 25 percent throughout the past decade, according to the Commerce Office of Chile.
While copper remains Chile’s staple export, accounting for 70 percent of the total exports to China, agricultural and forestry produce have been the two major growth engines driving the rapid increase in 2014. With the price of copper depreciating, the delegation team headed by Frei was in Shanghai to diversify their offerings to China. The Chileans now look to be focusing on agriculture, which has contributed to 25 percent of the total exports to China.
Nearly 80 percent of the cherries grown in Chile are now exported to China, and during last year’s Spring Festival, 70 percent of cherries sold in China came from Chile. One of the major advantages that Chile has is its counter-seasonal production, meaning it can supply fruit to China when most of their competitors cannot.
“Chinese consumers have already been well informed of the features of our produce: they are free of pollution and food safety problems, and are of high quality,” said Claudio Ternicier, deputy minister of agriculture, during an exclusive interview with China Daily. “The biggest challenge for us at the moment is to work out a system that could speed up the pace of getting every single type of produce introduced to China.”
The biggest challenge for us at the moment is to work out a system that could speed up the pace of getting every single type of produce introduced to China.”
deputy minister of agriculture, Chile