After two editions that were carried out in a hybrid way, ChileWeek China – the most relevant annual trade promotion activity carried out by the country in that market – will return to in-person presence with a strong public-private delegation and more than 50 companies that will visit four cities in the Asian giant between October 14 and 20. This year for the first time, ChileWeek coincides with the official visit that President Gabriel Boric will make to China.
For eight years, ChileWeek China has been organized and coordinated by the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations (SUBREI) and ProChile, the Chilean export promotion agency. This year, the event aims to reconnect with Chile’s main trading partner in the world, consolidating the commercial relationship and prospecting new paths to the future both in the diversification of exports and in attracting investments.
“Just as we have done in different countries around the world, the main objective of these initiatives is to strengthen Chile’s positioning as a stable economy and a reliable exporter in countries with important markets, where we can grow, as is the case of China” commented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto Van Klaveren.
The chancellor added that ChileWeek China aims to “strengthen our relations, as this instance will allow us to identify new opportunities for Chilean industries in areas in which we are widely recognized in the Chinese market, such as agribusiness, seafood, mining, energy and other strategic sectors.”
The Chinese ambassador to Chile, Niu Qingbao, said that ChileWeek China “has the recognition of the business sector and the population of both countries, making it a beautiful business card for Chile in China for its market exploitation. Despite the profound impact of the pandemic in recent years and the global situation of various unprecedented changes in the world, economic and commercial cooperation between China and Chile still maintains a stable trend of development. In this scenario, Chile Week has been a witness and contributor.”
Evolution in business relationships
More than 50 years of diplomatic relations between Chile and China have allowed both countries to promote commercial exchange, whose main milestone was the signing of a Free Trade Agreement in 2006, which was modernized in 2017.
This year, the event aims to reconnect with Chile’s main commercial partner in the world, consolidating the commercial relationship
The Undersecretary of International Economic Relations, Claudia Sanhueza, highlighted that China has been the largest trading partner for more than ten consecutive years, being the main destination of exports with 37.3% of total shipments, in addition to being the first origin of imports to Chile, and the largest buyer of Chilean lithium currently, with a share of 64% of the total (as of August 2023).
Furthermore, according to InvestChile, the portfolio of projects in different stages of development of Chinese capital (current and future) in our country amounts to US $4,636 million, ranking second in this category.
“These compelling figures are also connected to the future challenges that we face today as a country, which are mainly based on increasing our productivity through a trade policy that is articulated and aligned with a National Development Strategy in pursuit of overcome 15 years of zero growth in productivity. This is possible through the diversification of our export basket; promoting the creation of knowledge in science, technology, innovation and development; and facilitating access to commerce and public infrastructure, considering the regional and social diversity of our country. The above has been actively and jointly worked on, continuously improving the bilateral cooperation mechanisms between both countries,” said the Undersecretary.
Agenda with about 40 activities
ChileWeek China 2023 will have a packed agenda with nearly 40 activities spread across the cities of Shenzhen (October 14), Chengdu (October 15), Beijing (October 16 and 17) and Shanghai (October 18, 19 and 20) .
“These cities were chosen strategically since they are the main economic centers of China where there are opportunities for our companies, both for traditional sectors and for the new ones that we want to explore,” comments Ignacio Fernández, general director of ProChile.
A business delegation made up of about 50 companies will participate in the event: ProChile will attend with a delegation of 20 companies – from sectors such as wines, meats, dried fruit, frozen fruit, seafood, nuts, honey and pisco – who will join to the SOFOFA delegation that will participate in the China-Chile Binational Council organized by the trade association together with its Asian counterpart.
InvestChile will have an important agenda to promote and attract investments, through bilateral meetings, workshops and seminars on investment opportunities in areas such as energy, lithium, electromobility and concessions.
Boost eCommerce and social networks
An important focus of this agenda, says the General Director of ProChile, Ignacio Fernández, is to enhance the presence of Chilean goods in other areas of China, reaching new consumers through digital sales channels, such as eCommerce and social networks such as Douyin (Tik Tok in China). “We know that China is the largest e-commerce market, with 50% of global transactions. Today Chile and its products are present in two country pavilions on the eCommerce platforms JD.com and TMall, managing to cover an important part of the online market. We have to continue promoting these sales channels that will allow us to reach new audiences and consumers,” he commented.
More than 50 years of diplomatic relations between Chile and China have allowed both countries to promote commercial exchange
Thus, in this ChileWeek, livestreaming will be carried out with local influencers to promote Chilean foods in Chengdu and Shanghai, as well as an eCommerce festival in Beijing through the Douyin platform, plus technical visits for the ProChile delegation to JD.com and Alibabá , one of the most important Chinese eCommerce companies.
In addition, there will be a visit to the Yantian port in Shenzhen, which receives much of the national food that arrives in southern China; the sector brands Wines of Chile and ChilePork will carry out promotional actions such as cooking shows and wine tastings; and an Open Day will be held at the Chilean Embassy in Beijing where more than 500 people will be able to learn about the leadership role that the country has in terms of sustainability, environmental protection and country image.
ProChile highlights the reopening of salmon exports to India after 7 years
Currently, our country is consolidated as an exporter of minerals (copper, lithium, iron, molybdenum, among others); forest products (cellulose); seafood products such as fishmeal and seaweed; and food, especially meat, seafood, packaged wines and fresh fruit.
ProChile explains that thanks to this consolidation, this ChileWeek seeks to continue expanding the Chilean products that Chinese consumers can consume.
For example – according to the ProChile Market Intelligence Department with Customs data – shipments of salmon and trout to China have grown by 91% between January and August 2023, reaching US$ 227 million. In the case of kiwis, shipments reached US$10 million, increasing by 175% in the same period.
“In addition, we want to continue promoting – among others – the export of national meats and dairy products; dried fruits such as walnuts or supporting citrus fruits, such as lemons, tangerines, grapefruits and oranges on the tables of millions of Chinese consumers,” Fernández notes.