Chilean ag sector has good prospects

Despite the international scenario, which is marked by a great instability and slower growth in emerging economies, Chile's agricultural sector has good prospects, said the head of the Ministry of Agriculture (Minagri), Carlos Furche.
Even though "in general we are faced with an adverse international economic situation, the data regarding Chilean agriculture is rather positive," Furche said in the Outlook for Agriculture and Rural Development in Chile Seminar, which was held in Santiago with the participation of representatives of international organizations.
He stressed that "contrary to what one might think, the slower growth of the Chinese economy hasn't had a negative impact on demand on Chilean exports and China continues to be our fastest growing food export destination."
According to Furche, in the first three quarters of the year the sector grew by 5.4%, that is, more than twice the gross national growth of the Chilean economy.
"International demand for what Chile is able to produce and export remains open and dynamic," said Furche. He also stressed that "the world demand for safe and healthy foods would continue to grow and that it will have doubled by 2050."
The Chilean minister highlighted the structural advantages of the South American country, such as health, quality and sustainability, which could really differentiate the country from its competitors. He also stressed the positive exchange rate and the good public-private articulation there was in the country.
In turn, the director of ODEPA, Claudia Carbonell, spoke about the need to reflect on the positive outlook for agriculture and rural development in Chile, "because the agriculture and forestry sector are an important player, not only in economic terms, but also as an engine of territorial development."
The activity- which was organized jointly by the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena; the regional representative of the Regional Office for Latin America of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Raul Benitez; the CEO of the American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Victor Villalobos, and the director of the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (ODEPA), Claudia Carbonell- generated a space of analysis regarding the challenges of Chilean agriculture and rural development, which will serve to formulate long-term policies.


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