Interview: Chilean minister says relationship with China based on complementarity

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 31, 2023
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by Cristobal Chavez Bravo

SANTIAGO, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Chile-China relationship is based on trust, transparency and complementarity, said Chilean Agriculture Minister Esteban Valenzuela after returning from a China trip led by President Gabriel Boric.

"It was an extraordinary balance. The level of affection, brotherhood and concrete, pragmatic results between Chile and China are remarkable," Valenzuela said.

The minister visited Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing, and signed a number of agreements with China, including one on organic certification.

During the visit, he saw Chilean wine and a mix of berries in different supermarket chains in Shenzhen, Chengdu and Beijing.

The minister was also impressed with large-scale nursery gardens in Chengdu, where with a climate control system and automated trays, vegetables are able to grow faster.

He expressed willingness to introduce this model to Chile and create pilot projects in the southern Chilean zone.

Praising the successful operation of a Chilean-Chinese farm near Beijing, he said the two sides are working to create a Chinese demonstration farm in the Chilean capital, with the support of the University of Chile.

Cherry is a star produce in bilateral trade, with "almost 90 percent of our cherries go to China and this 2022-23 season broke records with 83 million trays," said Valenzuela.

"We believe that three years from now we will be able to approach 10 billion (U.S.) dollars in agricultural products, which will generate a lot of employment," he said.

Chile currently exports fruit, wine, honey and pisco, a distilled grape brandy, to China, he said. After this visit, they opened Chinese market for stone fruits, thus enabling all the exportable fruits of the country to reach China.

It is remarkable for the regions of Valparaiso and O'Higgins, which are big producers of peaches and apricots, the minister said, adding that despite short lives, they can reach the Chinese market in different forms including jam.

The electronic certification of agricultural products is important for bilateral trade, said Valenzuela, adding that paperwork can now be done digitally between the two sides. Enditem

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