India is considered one of the ten most important economies in the world by GDP volume and it represents a very interesting market for Chile's fresh fruit export sector.
“India has always been an attractive market with high growth potential for our exports. The entry into force of the Partial Scope Agreement in 2007 opened an interesting path for our exports and the need for political dialogue and a deeper economic linkage became evident quite soon,” stated the president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (ASOEX).
Today, Chile has an extended trade agreement, which came into force in 2017 and has strengthened the upward trend in trade between the two countries. "The tariffs for fruit imports into India tend to be high, so the existence of a trade agreement has given our fruit an important advantage. Distance remains a barrier. For example, maritime transit exceeds by several days exports to China. Another barrier to the growth of fruit imports is the lack of development of road and cold chain infrastructure to facilitate the movement of fruits from ports to states within the country."
"However, the main challenge is overcoming the sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions imposed by this market for fruit imports (regardless of their origin). The joint and long work carried out by the industry, Chilean authorities, the Embassy, and the agricultural and commercial aggregates have allowed gradually improving our fruit's access conditions, replacing, for example, requirements for our nuts, incorporating cold treatments for citrus and blueberries, and establishing a System Approach for avocados," Bown said.
All the projections indicate that India will be an important market for Chile in Asia; however, Bown said, "it's important to consider that fruit exports to China account for nearly 30% of our fruit exports while exports to India only account for nearly 2%, which means that we still have a long way to go."
"The Indian market has the potential to absorb a greater volume of our exports; however, we need to continue making progress in knowledge and better understanding this market, the dynamics of the consumption of imported fruits, the bridges and strategic links that we must build, both at the country level and at the level of the industry. This requires time, dedication, and -especially- work in the field. It also requires that a bigger part of the population have more consumer power."