The visit of the professionals of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC), who toured orchards and citrus packers in the regions of Coquimbo, Metropolitana, Valparaiso, and O'Higgins on Monday August 12 to learn about the phytosanitary processes used to produce and export these fruits, came to an end successfully.
The Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Walker, stated: "The truth is we are glad to see, in this public-private partnership, ASOEX working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chinese political authority to achieve the dream of getting the Chilean citrus into China. We're also happy to receive different varieties of Chinese kiwi in Chile, as they are very different from the varieties we are used to.”
“We hope to sign this Protocol in November, when the President of China visits us, in the context of APEC. Now, we're traveling to China, and we hope to leave a pathway for both presidents sign this protocol," Walker added.
Meanwhile, the Undersecretary of Agriculture stressed: "Currently, our citrus fruits have practically only one destination market. Therefore, expanding their export possibilities is very important for the sector and the country."
In turn, the National Director of SAG said: “This is another step in the relationship with China. It's a very important step for our fruit growing sector and to increase our markets and opportunities.”
Ronald Bown, the President of ASOEX, highlighted the importance of the visit of the Chinese Customs professionals to expand the Chilean fruit distribution markets, especially in China, a market that is becoming increasingly important for Chilean fruit exports. "We hope that, after this visit, in November we'll be celebrating the opening of the Chinese market to our citrus fruits and the Chilean market to the Chinese kiwis."
Bown added: “China has become a relevant market for our exports, and we think in the medium term it could become the main destination for our fruits. We currently ship cherries, blueberries, kiwis, table grapes, nectarines, plums, avocados, apples, and most recently, pears to that market. In the 2017-2018 season, we exported more than 385 thousand tons of fresh fruits to China.”
Juan Enrique Ortuzar, the President of the Chilean Citrus Committee of ASOEX, said he was optimistic about the opportunities for Chilean citrus in China. “At first, we'll send trial shipments to see which fruit Chinese consumers prefer. Today, there is only one supplier of citrus from the southern hemisphere. China is a very demanding market regarding the fruit's quality and its sweetness, so we have to see what varieties they want and when they demand them.”