The Fruit Exporters Association of Chile AG, Asoex, paid a courtesy call to Li Baorong, the new Chinese ambassador to Chile, in which they spoke about the collaborative work developed by both countries in the economic sphere, especially regarding Chile and China's fruit industry.
The meeting was attended by the Chinese Ambassador to Chile, Li Baorong, the president of Asoex, Ronald Bown and the CEO of Asoex, Miguel Canala-Echeverria.
"I can say that we are at the peak of the commercial relations between Chile and China. We appreciate the progress made between both nations and the very important meetings we've had with various institutions, such as the one we had today with the Association of Exporters Fruit from Chile, "said the Chinese Ambassador to Chile, Li Baorong.
Baorong added. "We were able to analyse the various developments of the exports of Chilean fruits to China. I think there is a very good prospect for both countries in the trade of fruit and other products, so I wish the Association succeeds in this joint effort."
In turn, the President of Asoex said: "During the meeting, the ambassador and ourselves committed to work together in order to find ways to allow us to further increase bilateral trade between both nations."
"We also spoke about what has recently been achieved, such as the opening of the Chinese market for Chilean avocados, and the need to advance the processes to ensure the entry of new products, such as nectarines. In this sense, I would say that it was a very productive meeting, as we were able to express our support and partnership, but also ask for his support to achieve all our goals and the actions he must perform in our country. "
Bown said ASOEX had invited the ambassador to visit some productive areas in the coming months, so he could see firsthand the quality of the national fruit production that is exported to China, to which the Chinese authority agreed pleasantly.
China is currently Chile's third biggest target market for agricultural and forestry exports and the market that is having the fastest growth for said exports. Thus, ASOEX is confident that China will become the most important, or the second most important, market destination for Chilean food within ten years.
One of Chile's major fruit exports to China are cherries, as cherry exports amount to nearly $300 million dollars per year and 75% of the cherries that Chile exports are destined to the Chinese market. Chile also exports grapes, apples, blueberries, kiwis, and, starting September this year, avocados and shelled nuts to China.
According to data from ASOEX, the Asian market grew by 1.8% over the previous year during the 2013-2014 Chilean Fruit Export Season and amounted to 406,672 tons. The biggest growth occurred in the markets of India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Meanwhile, exports to China, Taiwan and Korea fell by 9.8%, 1% and 5.3%, respectively, relative to the previous season.
Chile's mainly exported table grapes, apples and cherries to Asia. The first showed a drop of 6.8% and the last two positive variations of 40.1% and 38.7%, respectively, while exports of avocados, blueberries, and peaches increased by 59.2%, 42.2%, and 41.3%, respectively.
Additionally, regarding fresh fruit exports to the People's Republic of China, table grape exports decreased by 9.6%, while cherry and apple exports increased by 37.4% and 2.3%, respectively.