China is still a small export market for Ecuador, with just 5 per cent of Ecuador’s total banana exports, about 225,000 tonnes, reaching the People’s Republic in 2014.
Mariella Molina, Ecuador’s consul general in Guangzhou, told Fruitnet that Ecuador is well-positioned to grow its share of China’s imported banana market.
“The potential of growth in China is considerable. At this time, Ecuador sells around 24 per cent of China’s total volume of imported bananas, but the average consumption of bananas is increasing. In the next five years, Ecuador could provide 500,000 tonnes to China and take around 40 per cent of the market share,” Molina said. “In order to speed up this accomplishment, import duty on banana imports from Ecuador must reduce from the current 10 per cent.”
Not only is ProEcuador organising in-store promotions, but the recent visit to the People’s Republic by Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa in January marked 35-years of diplomatic relations between the two nations and resulted in nine agreements being signed to boost trade.
Accompanying Correa was a business delegation that included Ecuadorian banana exporters, who met with Chinese banana importers through events organised by ProEcuador in Beijing and Shanghai. Molina said the events have helped to strengthen communication between exporters and importers, and should hopefully see an increase in Ecuadorian banana exports to China.
From a supplier perspective, Molina said exporters are just as keen to crack in to the Chinese market.
“Ecuadorian suppliers are very interested in the Chinese market,” said Molina. “The largest Ecuadorian banana exporters already sell in China. At the same time, ProEcuador in China is helping Ecuadorian companies to get in contact with Chinese importers and also participate at Asia Fruit Logistica, one of the best platforms to successfully enter the Chinese market.”
The full interview with ProEcuador is available in the February edition of Asiafruit Magazine.