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Chile has Increased Shipments of Food and Beverages to Asia by 50% Over the Past Four Years

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SANTIAGO, Chile, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ –

From 2006 to 2010, Chilean shipments of food and beverages to Asia increased by 50%, from US$ 1,865 million in 2006 to US$ 2,801 million in 2010. The main recipients of Chilean exports during the past year were Japan (51%), China (17.1%), South Korea (10%) and Taiwan (5%).

Among the exports Chile is sending to Asia, seafood products are the main players, accounting for 43% of all shipments, followed by fruit (14%), fish meal (13%), meat (10%) and wine (8.5%).

The sustained increase of exports to the Asian market over the past four years is the result of a government effort to promote and work together with Chile’s private export sector, in which total shipments of food and beverages to the world have grown in the past 10 years.

With the exception of the decline that occurred in 2009 as a result of the international financial crisis, Chilean exports exhibit a growth rate of 137% from 2000 to 2010, with a total value close to US$ 11,700 million in 2010. In this context, the country’s goal is to position itself among the world’s 10 leading food-exporting countries, with annual exports that could reach US$ 20,000 million in 2015.

Historically, agriculture has been one of the pillars of the Chilean economy. Thus it is that in recent years, the agricultural sector and its industrial derivatives have managed to establish themselves in second place in terms of cash generation – after mining – a situation that has led Chile to position itself as a significant player in the world food market, currently ranking as the 16th largest exporter of this kind of product.

Sabores de Chile, a key international promotional event

In addition to achieving international recognition as a reliable provider of foodstuffs, Chile expects to diversify and increase its exports of food and beverages, via the promotion of products with greater added value at an event that brings together each year local businessmen, importers, distributors, executives and opinion leaders, at various cities throughout the world.

Sabores de Chile [‘Flavors of Chile’] is the name of the event that, within the framework of Chile’s strategy of positioning itself as a Food Power, seeks to provide information to businessmen in the import and distribution sectors, as well as consumers, about the attributes of Chilean foodstuffs, with the aim of helping to position exporters as reliable providers of quality foods that are wholesome and safe.

Since 2007, more than 20 events of this kind have been held in cities such as Hamburg, London, Madrid and Mexico City. In 2011, Moscow, (June 23-24), Istanbul (June 27-28) and São Paulo (August 29-30) hosted these activities, which will soon be conducted in Guangzhou (November 7-8) and Kuala Lumpur (November 10-11), where more than 20 Chilean food and beverage companies will be participating.

China, Chile’s principal trading partner

Since the entry into force of the Free Trade Treaty with China, Chilean exports have grown at an average annual rate of 29%, confirming China’s position as Chile’s largest trading partner, surpassing the United States, which had held that position until 2009.

In October, the treaty observed its fifth anniversary, during which time Chilean exports have grown at an average annual rate of 29%. According to Chile’s General Administration of International Economic Relations, trade between the two countries in 2010 stood at USD 27.2 million, achieving an expansion of 46% with respect to 2009. Without going into further detail, this figure represented 21% of all of Chile’s foreign trade in 2010.

Chile was the first country in the world with which China has signed a Free Trade Agreement. In light of this development, Chile’s trade strategy consists of strengthening these ties through a solid bilateral relationship and the diversification of its exportable products.

Because of the foregoing, in addition to copper exports, which account for 55% of all of Chile’s exports to China, there is now great interest in promoting the varieties of Chilean food and beverages, considering that, in spite of the distance and intense competition, Chile has managed to establish a place for itself as a major supplier in multiple lines in this sector.

And so it was that in 2010, 81% of the chunks of frozen trout imported by China were of Chilean origin, a position of leadership which the country has consolidated in imports of fresh cherries (75%), fresh plums (74%), fresh apples (70%), frozen fruit (58%), fresh grapes (51%) and bulk shipments of wine (35%).

On the other hand, Chile is positioning itself as the second largest provider of fish meal to China, third largest provider of frozen salmon chunks, and fourth place provider of bottled wine. At present, 2% of Chilean exports to China are from the food sector, a scenario that exhibits ample potential for growth.

Malaysia, the potential of an expanding economy

The good commercial relationship between Chile and Malaysia, ratified by the recent signing of the Free Trade Treaty, will enable Chile to have access to a market of almost 28 million residents, inaugurating a new phase in commercial relations between the two countries.

Considered one of the world’s main producers of electronics items, in recent years Malaysia has become a major provider of energy resources in Southeast Asia, a situation that has only enhanced Chile’s interest in working out a trade agreement. Moreover, after a study carried out jointly by both countries, still other market niches have presented themselves, such as the agribusiness sector.

Thus, once the agreement takes effect, Chilean products such as beef, fish, fresh fruit, powdered milk, yogurt, cheeses and cheese products can be shipped to Malaysia free of import duties. In return, Malaysia will be able to export to Chile 95% of its total exports with zero import duty.

SOURCE: ProChile

CONTACT: Jorge Diaz Salinas

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