The World Bank's 'Central Asia's Horticulture Sector: 'Capitalizing on New Export Opportunities in Chinese and Russian Markets' report highlighted the success of Chilean exports of fresh fruits in the Chinese market, which experienced significant growth between 2008 and 2018 going from 47 million dollars to 1.410 billion dollars in just one decade.
The agency highlighted the performance of cherries (which in 2018 totaled $955.4 million), grapes ($ 210.1 million), and plums ($ 65.5 million), which are among the top five fruits that Chile exports to China. The remaining two are blueberries and stone fruits.
The World Bank stressed that the signing of the FTA between Chile and China in 2005 (the first agreement signed by the Asian country with a Latin American country) had been a key factor in the growth that Chilean exports to China had, to the detriment of shipments to other markets, such as the European Union, especially after the 2007-2008 global economic crisis. Another key factor of the Chilean success is the reliability of Chile's economic and commercial system, where, for example, any change in FTA tariffs must be approved by Congress. "The Chilean government's commitment to international integration has resulted in trade agreements with countries that account for 80% of the world population and 85% of the global added value," they stated.
From the perspective of Chilean agriculture, the bilateral commitments of the FTA have been particularly important thanks to "Chile's comparative advantage in fresh and processed fruits, China's growing demand for imported fruit, and the lack of supply in the winter months.”
The World Bank also highlighted the policies that the State has implemented to support the development of agriculture, although it noted that the growth in China wasn't only due to the government's work but also to the Chilean fruit exporting industry, which not only complies with the quality and safety standards that the international markets demand but also takes care of its production process, labor, and environmental conditions.
In this framework, the Chilean industry has worked to obtain various certifications, such as the British Retail Consortium, Global GAP, GRASP, HACCP, Rainforest Alliance, as well as certifications from stores such as Tesco and Walmart, among others.
The World Bank also highlighted the actions of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (ASOEX) to support Chilean producers and exporters so that they comply with international requirements, and to establish the necessary coordination with the public sector in order to facilitate exports.