Chile welcomes first Chinese pear imports as step towards greater commercial reciprocity

Peras Chinas Sim

Chilean and Chinese representatives hold launch event at Santiago supermarket as two countries look to deepen trade relationship
Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) have presented the first imports of Chinese pears to Chile. To celebrate the arrival, an official launch was held on Friday 15 December 2017 at the Jumbo supermarket in Santiago, where point-of-sale promotions took place.
The special event was attended by Chile’s Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Furche; Ángel Sartori, National Director of Chile’s Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG); the Chairman of the Board of ASOEX, Ronald Bown; the Agricultural Attaché of Chile in China, Carlos Parra; and representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Chile, together with Gavin Fan, vice-president of Chinese  exporter Hebei JinZhou Great Wall Economy Trade Co, and specialist consultant Feng Chunguang from China Entry & Exit Biosecurity Society (CBS).
Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Furche, commented: “China is the main trading partner of Chile; more than 20% of everything we export to the world goes to China. This year, for the first time, China has also become the main destination market for Chile’s agricultural and forestry sector. Chile has held product launch ceremonies like this in many Chinese cities to promote our products. In foreign trade there is a basic principle for the commercial relationship to work and that is reciprocity, which means both parties receive benefits. As China grows, the possibilities for Chilean products are unlimited.”
Ronald Bown, President of ASOEX, added: “This is an act of commercial reciprocity. China has opened its market to an assortment of Chilean fresh fruits, and today Chile is one of the principle suppliers of fresh fruit to China. Chile has a very good relationship with China but as their partner we not only want to export – we want to open up the markets on both sides to stimulate bilateral trade. The door is always open in Chile; we more than welcome and we are keen to facilitate imports of fruits. We are currently in negotiations with China to achieve the opening of the Chinese market for Chilean pears. We hope that this will materialise soon and that we will be celebrating, like today, announcing to Chinese consumers the presence of our pears in the Chinese market.”
The National Director of SAG, Ángel Sartori, highlighted the efforts made by the SAG to open export markets for Chilean fruits, as well as to safeguard national phytosanitary conditions.
“Our organisation has a long and close relationship with our Chinese phytosanitary counterpart. We worked together to open the national market for Chinese pears, and now we are cooperating to open the Chinese market to Chilean pears. This is serious and diligent work being carried out on behalf of our professionals,” Sartori said.
CBS’ Feng Chunguang and Gavin Fan from Great Wall met with ASOEX representatives on 11 December to learn more about the work of the association, as well as the Chilean fruit export industry. The two Chinese representatives remained in Chile until the weekend to visit Chilean orchards and packing houses for cherries, stone fruit and pears, plus the import-export facilities at the Port of Valparaíso.
As part of the reciprocity agreement, negotiations for Chilean pear access to China are continuing. SAG has already exchanged a protocol proposal, starting with pests of quarantine interest, for review by the Chinese authorities.
Feng Chunguang commented: “I am happy with the activities organised to announce the availability of our pears in Chile. ASOEX has made considerable efforts to coordinate these promotions.”
Gavin Fan of Great Wall, added: “I am very excited and happy to see our pears here in Chile. We all know that Chile is the main exporter of fresh fruits to the Chinese market, and the main exporter in the Southern Hemisphere. We also know that Chile has great varieties of pears, and, for that reason, we hope to see Chilean pear varieties [in China] to further complement this cooperation.”

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