The seminar, "Exploring new opportunities in China", served to address the systematic change of international trade in China in recent years and the consequences that this has brought for Chile as one of the main suppliers of fresh fruit for the Asian country. The conference counted with the presence of four speakers, who provided information on the subject from different points of view.
Nancy Tucker, a PMA representative, started the seminar pointing out that "Chile stands second in the ranking of largest fruit exporters to China, only behind Thailand, and it is estimated that by 2020 imports will increase further. If we take into account that cherries are the second most imported product and that avocados are the latest highly-demanded product, this is a unique opportunity for Chile," stressed Tucker.
Chinese imports growing above average
For his part, Gonzalo Mena, of China Fruit Solutions, stressed during his speech that "every year, China records an annual growth of imports of more than 6%, which is well above the world average. The traditional trade chain has also changed; while in the past there were many intermediaries in the process, now the exporters or producers themselves have direct contact with the importers. So, now more than ever, it is essential to identify one's weaknesses and review your business strategy. One of the complaints that Chinese consumers have is the lack of consistency in quality. They are willing to pay more for a quality product, as long as it is consistent," affirmed Mena.
Eric Li, of Shanghai Yiguo E-Commerce Co. Ltd., focused his speech on the need to export by providing flexibility to importers and personalised marketing. "For a consumer to have a preference for a brand or origin it is necessary to clearly indicate them on the labelling. This requires a prior analysis of consumer behaviour. We are developing labelling technology which makes it possible for the consumers to obtain all the necessary information about the fruit they consume. This will be a fundamental tool for Chile as an exporter in its process to position itself in the Chinese market."