Chile expects to see a surge in fruit exports to Indonesia after signing an agreement to improve trading conditions between the two countries that will see the gradual elimination of tariffs on more than 9,000 products.
Once ratified, the Comprehensive Economic Agreement (CEPA) could lead to shipments doubling or even tripling according to Luis Schmidt, president of fruit producer association Fedefruta.
With more than 260m inhabitants, Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world. It currently receives around 2 per cent of Chile’s fruit exports to Asia, amounting to 8,649 tonnes in the 2016/17 season – an 82 per cent increase over the previous season.
Currently, most fruit entering the market is subject to a 5 per cent tariff, with the exception of clementines and tangerines that face a 20 per cent tariff.
Chile faces the added obstacle of being unable to ship fruit through the port of Jakarta, forcing exporters to rely on Surabaya and Belawan more than 1,000km away from the main population centres.
According to Asoex president Ronald Bown, this not only impact Chile’s competitiveness but also has a detrimental effect on the condition of arrivals.
Separately, Chile’s new ambassador in China, Jaime Chomalí, met with Asoex this week to analyse the progress made in negotiations to secure access to the Chinese market for Chilean pears.
Chile is hopeful that the protocol could be signed as early as March, when a delegation from the Chinese government is due to visit Chile.
“China is undoubtedly a market where we are going to continue to increase our penetration. It is growing at an annual rate of 6.9 per cent and is a key market for our exporters,” Chomalí said.