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[Press Release] Chile Signs Historic Memorandum of Understanding With China

July 20, 2020

This content has been published as provided by its author. It has only been modified from its original version to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) is proud to announce the signing of an important memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CCCFNA), in a move that will both consolidate and deepen the cooperation and communication between the two nations regarding the production, export and import of fresh fruits.

The MOU was inked virtually on July 17, 2020, by Ronald Bown, chairman of ASOEX, located in Santiago, Chile, and Xu Xiaohu, vice president of CCCFNA, based in Beijing, China.

The MOU will promote collaboration across a number of strategic areas, as well as the exchange of information for the benefit of both the Chilean and Chinese fresh fruit industries.

Under the accord, ASOEX and CCCFNA agree to the following:

  1. To support trade visits between Chile and China for representatives from each association;
  2. To exchange technology and technical expertise;
  3. To exchange statistical data (export and import), regulatory legislation, customs procedures information; and
  4. To support each other’s publicity and promotional activities, where appropriate.

According to Bown, “China has become a very important market for Chilean fresh fruits, and, on both sides, we felt that we needed to formalize our current way of working. ASOEX remains in constant contact with CCCFNA to work together to guarantee the continuity of our exports, either by sharing information or resolving issues. This historic memorandum of understanding represents a formal recognition of that existing collaboration. Additionally, it will provide an official framework under which to work by establishing clearly the areas in which we will be exchanging support. During these uncertain and challenging times, it has never been more important to facilitate and enhance our cooperation with China.”

Xu added, “On behalf of the Chinese fresh produce industry, our association has long been in close contact with international organizations, such as ASOEX, to coordinate our trades at the highest level. Already, we have been collaborating on an informal basis with regard to the new regulations introduced during the pandemic. This MOU will serve as an important gateway to promote and strengthen that partnership.”

Under the agreement, ASOEX and CCCFNA will assist travel visits for delegations from either association to understand and assess the inner workings of each other’s fresh fruit industries.

On a technology front, the two organizations will exchange their expertise across a number of areas, such as production. For example, to benefit the development of China’s production of different temperate fruits during Chile’s off-season, ASOEX will facilitate information and contacts in regard to best practices currently being implemented in Chile.

With regard to sharing data and administrative information, the two organizations will work jointly to ensure full awareness of all import requirements for fresh fruit. For instance, following the recent opening of the Chinese market to Chilean citrus, the MOU will facilitate communication concerning the different customs requirements, and the condition of the first arrivals, among other details.

As for promotional support, when carrying out marketing initiatives in China ASOEX will coordinate closely with CCCFNA to exchange ideas, gain insight and encourage involvement from both sides in order to maximize the overall impact of promotional activities on the Chinese market as well as for CCCFNA members.

Next, ASOEX and CCCFNA will establish a working group comprising at least one representative from each association to direct and oversee the agreed areas of collaboration as set out by the MOU.

China remains by far Chile’s largest export market in Asia. According to data from ASOEX, Chile exported 449,575 metric tons of fresh fruits to China during the 2018/19 season, an increase of 16.62% compared with the previous season (2017/18).

Of that total, cherries were the largest export item during the 2018/19 season (157,812 tons), followed closely by table grapes (106,923 tons), plums (76,580 tons), apples (40,294 tons), kiwifruit (21,483 tons), nectarines (20,063 tons), avocados (14,736 tons), blueberries (9,913 tons) and pears (1,771 tons).

Since 2018, Chile has ranked as the world’s leading supplier of fresh fruit to China in terms of value. During the first two months of 2020, once again Chile represented the world’s most important supplier of fresh fruit to China in value terms.

Images: ASOEX

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