Chile's new ambassador in China

Chile could export pears to China soon

The Ambassador of Chile in China, Jaime Chomalí, met with the top managers of the Fruit Exporters Association of Chile AG (ASOEX) to analyze topics of interest for the Chilean fresh fruit export sector, such as the entry of Chilean pears into the Chinese market, which is currently closed to this product, as well as other matters.

The meeting was held in the offices of ASOEX and was part of a visit of the representative of Chile to the Asian giant. The new ambassador was received by Ronald Bown, the President of ASOEX; Miguel Canala-Echeverria, its General Manager; Sergio Maureira, the General Secretary of ASOEX, and Ignacio Caballero, the Assistant Marketing Manager of ASOEX.

The president of ASOEX, Ronald Bown, wished the new Ambassador success in his new appointment and expressed his interest in continue working together and in coordination with the Chilean Embassy in this Asian country. "The visit of the Ambassador of Chile in China, Jaime Chomali, was very positive because it allowed us to analyze the work we do as ASOEX, together with our authorities, focusing on issues that are key to our sector in China, such as the opening of the Chinese market for our pears. It's a negotiation that is progressing positively and in which we have actively participated with professionals of the Agricultural and Livestock Service, and the Ministry of Agriculture," he said.

"We had a very pleasant and interesting conversation, I was able to learn more about the work of this institution, as well as the importance of China for fruit exports," said Jaime Chomali.

"China is a market where we will continue to deepen our exports. It is a market that grows at a 6.9% rate, which makes it a key market for our exporters," the Ambassador said.

One of the topics analyzed in the meeting and highlighted by Chomali was the entry of Chilean pears to China. "The representatives of ASOEX, as well as the Agricultural Aggregate of Chile in China, have informed me of the actions they have taken and the progress of the negotiations. In fact, I have been informed that the visit of a Chinese government delegation is being scheduled for March, which means that the materialization of said exports would be very close. The relationship between Chile and China is very positive, which is evident by different events, such as the opening of the market, which normally takes a very long time. Now we just have to wait for the visit to have a positive result and we can start exporting pears," he said.

"We also addressed the actions to promote the Chilean fruit, which we have been supporting, such as the participation in fairs and the actions currently being carried out at to promote national cherries and blueberries in various cities and supermarkets in China. One of which I witnessed," he added.

Chile exported 231,593 tons of fresh fruit to China during the 2016-2017 season. The country currently exports eight fruits to China, which last season closed with the following volumes: table grapes 97,418 tons; cherries 54,399 tons, plums 27,073 tons; kiwis 17,677 tons; avocados 12,434 tons; apples 12,222 tons, blueberries 7,512, and nectarines 2,858 tons.

The new Ambassador
Chomalí is a career diplomat who graduated from the Andres Bello Diplomatic Academy of Chile. He studied law at the University of Chile and graduated in Legal Sciences at the University of Alcala de Henares.

He has worked in different embassies in countries where Chile has strong interests, such as Spain, Italy, France, and Brazil. Before being appointed to the diplomatic representation of China, he served as Chile's ambassador to Ethiopia.

"I spent two years in Ethiopia and I assumed the position of Chile's ambassador to China almost two weeks ago, and I am very happy. It is a great challenge, but at the same time a great opportunity. We agreed with the President of ASOEX to continue working together to continue increasing the presence of Chilean fruit in this market," he said.

China is Chile's first commercial partner, where it maintains strong investments in various sectors. On November 11, the two countries signed an agreement on the updating of the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), the first that China reached with a Latin American country.

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