A delegation made up of representatives from Chile’s public and private sectors are set to travel to Asia in the coming days for the official signing of the protocol allowing imports of Chilean avocados, apples and walnuts into China.
Agriculture minister Carlos Furche, the directors of the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG), Ángel Sartori, and of the Foundation for Innovation in Agriculture (FIA), Héctor Echevarría, and Ronald Bown, president of exporter association Asoex, will travel to China along with other officials.
The planned trip to Asia will also include a visit to South Korea, where Chile is currently in talks with the government to open the market for shipments of Chilean cherries.
“Together with representatives of the private sector and the national directors of SAG and FIA, the agriculture minister will embark on a tour, the aim of which is to secure market access for a number of products with high potential but for which protocols do not yet exist,” Furche said.
“Above all, we wish to create a climate of trust and cooperation with the authorities in South Korea and China that will facilitate trade with both countries. As well as officially signing the import protocol for avocados, we will discuss issues relating to imports of Chinese apples into Chile.”
Sartori added that the issue of electronic certification of table grapes in China would also be discussed during the visit.
Bown said the tour was “of major importance” to Asoex and thanked the Chilean government for its efforts in opening up markets in Asia, which he said offered huge potential for Chilean fruit exports.
Negotiations with the South Korean government to open the market for Chilean cherries will focus on defining the technical requirements for their shipment. “The Korean authorities have already sent SAG a list of the pests that they consider to pose a threat to their country and this is currently being analysed,” Bown explained, adding that it was likely that the process would be concluded in time for the 2014/15 season.
A team of Chinese inspectors are in Chile this week to ensure that avocado production complies with the requirements set out under the import protocol. Members of the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and representatives of the ports of Ningbo and Guangzhou, the proposed points of entry, are visiting farms and packhouses in the IV, V and VI regions.