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Chilean fruit exporters tap CIIE for more businesses in China Release date: 2021-01-06,,

Chilean fruit exporters have been proactive in signing up for the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) to get closer to Chinese buyers.

China is now Chile's largest export market, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Data from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association show that Chile exported more than 200,000 tons of cherries in the last export season, with about 91 percent of the exports headed for China. Export sales of other fruits such as blueberry and plums also grew rapidly after Chilean companies entered the Chinese market.

The CIIE is an important platform for Chilean fruit exporters to display their products and seek new business opportunities in China, said Ronald Bowen, chairman of the board of Chilean Fruit Exporters Association. He added that the expo has also helped Chilean exporters to establish contact with Chinese importers and understand the demand and the latest developments in the fruit retail industry.

At the third CIIE, which took place in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10, 2020, Dole, the world's largest marketer of fresh fruit, and Chilean fresh fruit seller Verfrut reached a cooperation agreement to bring more quality fruits from Chile to Chinese consumers.

The third CIIE also saw the signing of a fruit purchase deal of 350 million yuan ($54.16 million) between Chilean fruit exporter Sociedad San Francisco Lo Garcés Ltda and Shanghai Vegetable Group. The latter will help streamline custom clearance procedures and provide a cold storage area.

According to data from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, Chile exported about 450,000 tons of fruits to China in the 2018-2019 export season, an increase of 16.62 percent over the 2017-2018 export season. The Embassy of Chile in China expects that the export of Chilean cherries will increase by 30 percent in the 2020-2021 export season, with about 500,000 tons of them sold in China.

Since the implementation of the upgraded free trade agreement between China and Chile in 2019, the two countries have witnessed a rapid development in bilateral trade. In the first 10 months of 2020, Chile's export to China increased despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Customs data.

Chile's Deputy Finance Minister Francisco Moreno said that he hopes bilateral trade between his nation and China can continue to grow in the future.