From August 29 to September 3, Chile will celebrate nearly 49 years of diplomatic and economic cooperation with China by staging the 5th annual Chile Week in China celebration in Beijing and Shanghai, which will feature senior Chilean government delegates led by former President Eduardo Frei, leaders of Chilean industry and dozens of economic, cultural and consumer-focused events.
On December 15, 1970, China and Chile established formal diplomatic relations, which have been uninterrupted since. Empowered by the landmark China–Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) enacted in 2006, a dynamic economic relationship has emerged: China is Chile's foremost trading partner and largest market for non-copper exports. Bilateral trade has risen more than 345% from the enactment of the FTA until 2018, when it reached $42.9 billion.
It is an opportune moment to celebrate the relationship between Chile and China, which is a case study in the mutual benefits of openness and the elimination of trade barriers between two countries, says Luis Schmidt Montes, Ambassador of Chile to China.
Thanks to modern food production and shipping methods, consumer demand is surging for safe and consistent food products such as fresh fruits, wine and meats and seafoods like king crab, pork, salmon and trout. In 2018, Chilean food exports to China totaled US$2.4 billion, a 48.8% rise compared to 2017.
Chile's counter-seasonal agricultural production means that Chinese consumers can, in the middle of winter, enjoy a range of quality Chilean fresh fruits, including avocados, blueberries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, nectarines, plums, apples and pears. Additionally, Chilean citrus like oranges, tangerines and lemons are expected to be available in the future. With US$ 1.4 billion in shipments in 2018—up more than 10,000% since 2006—Chile overtook Thailand as China's top supplier of imported fresh fruit by value. In fact, last year, 20% of China's imported fruit supply came from Chile.
Now, an increasing number of Chinese, having sampled the flavor of Chile via its food products, are choosing to travel to Chile and experience a taste of the country itself. Attractions of the 4,720km-long country include glaciated mountain peaks, breathtaking desert landscapes, European-style cities, world-class shopping and dining, beachside casinos, adventure sports and more. In 2018 Chile was chosen as the best country to visit by the world-renowned Lonely Planet travel guide.
The Chile Week in China program will be held in Beijing from August 29 through 31 and Shanghai from September 1 through 3. A number of business, trade and products-focused events will include invitations to the media to attend and have in-depth conversations with relevant Chilean representatives about topics such as trade, investment, economic development, tourism, culture and food.
There will also be events in Shanghai and Beijing to which Chile warmly invites members of the public who are interested to taste the flavor of Chile without leaving China. At the Chile Week ecommerce Party at the Embassy of Chile in Beijing on August 31, visitors will be able to purchase Chilean products available on leading Chinese ecommerce platforms. At the Chile Food
Market in the Global Harbor Mall in Shanghai August 31 to September 2, consumers will be able to sample and purchase Chilean products directly.