China's ability to grow and trade is fundamental to advancing global recovery, says Chilean export union

China is one of the main markets for Chilean fresh fruit and Chilean exporters seek to expand opportunities in that country, the first destination for cherries produced in the valleys of the central-south zone, which receives 88% of the annual production. which would be equivalent this season to 83 million boxes of five kilos.

The growth capacity of the Chinese economy and the potential for commercial exchange of the Asian country is essential to advance in the global recovery after the pandemic, in the midst of the economic crisis that is plaguing the world, the president of the Exporters Association told Xinhua of Chilean Fruits (ASOEX), Iván Marambio.

«Today in this globalized, interconnected world, the capacity for growth and commercial exchange of a power like China is fundamental for global growth. Without the movement that China generates in the world, especially in countries like Chile, there would be no growth in the rest of the world," said Marambio.

The ASOEX leader visited China from north to south last January, at the height of the export season for Chilean cherries, a red fruit highly appreciated among Chinese consumers for its sweet flavor and intense color.

The driving force behind this almost ten-day tour was to reaffirm China as one of the main markets for Chilean fresh fruit and expand opportunities in that country, the first destination for cherries produced in the valleys of the central-south zone, which receives 88% of the annual production, which would be equivalent this season to 83 million boxes of five kilos.

«We started the trip in Dalian, then we went to Shanghai, we passed through Shenzhen, Guangzhou (...) We had the opportunity to meet with people from the ports, supermarket chains, e-commerce (...) We were with wholesale markets, authorities , Chilean importers, receivers and exporters there," explained Marambio.

The tour coincided with the easing of measures in China to optimize the response to COVID-19, a plan that began on January 8 with the opening of borders. Marambio landed in that country on January 10, two days after normality returned to China, just before the Lunar New Year celebration on January 22.

«The idea was to be there immediately as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted (...) For us the Chinese market is very relevant, not only for cherries, but for all our fruit. “We were interested in giving a signal that it is a tremendously important market,” said the union leader.

For Marambio, who traveled to China for the last time in 2018, the natural situation he found in China was "impressive", as well as the infrastructure modernization carried out during the closure period. This, after three years of alerts due to the pandemic.

"That speaks to the resilience of the population and the Chinese economy," he said.

The representative highlighted the agility in the procedures, the hustle and bustle of the cities and ports, along with the high influx of public in the markets he visited; good news for local producers competing for the preference of the "sophisticated" Chinese consumer.

"China is at the forefront of the evolution of the world consumer (...) The Chinese consumer is very demanding, quality is essential (...) It is impressive to see the consumer reviewing the fruit, they want to bring the best product, a good product," he commented. Marambio.

In turn, he mentioned that the incomparable explosion of electronic commerce in China has evolved the way in which buyers purchase products, with which merchants in the South American country have had to adapt to this growing trend.

To this end, ASOEX recently renewed a cooperation agreement with the Alibaba Group dedicated to analyzing consumer preferences in China in terms of purchasing channels, type of product, means of payment, among others.

«For us, a decrease in China's potential or a change in its relationship with the Chilean market is unimaginable. It is fundamental for us," the manager stressed in this regard.

In recent decades, Chile has established itself as a purely exporting country with a policy of economic openness to the world that promotes trade, which works as a booster for its internal economy.

In this way, China managed in 2009 to become the main trading partner of the South American country and among the first destinations for national products such as copper and a series of foods.

«The case of cherries is a very clear example. The growth of cherries, today converted into Chile's main export fruit by exported value, has been produced by the Chinese market, by the consumption that occurs in China," said Marambio.

In such a scenario, Chilean producers seek to enter more and more into that huge country, in order to reach more ports and towns in the interior with fresh fruit.

"We are going to continue penetrating China and there we will be able to find a consumer who has different characteristics that, obviously, we also want to know (...) We want the fruit to reach China as widely as possible," concluded the president of ASOEX.

According to ASOEX data, between 2021-2022, 356.348 tons of cherries were exported, of which 313.237 were sent to China.

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