SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Yibada] Vanna Emia – April 12, 2016
In a buffet held at the Chilean embassy in Beijing, Chilean officials expressed plans to become one of the top exporters of seafood to China, China Daily reported.
The buffet was held to celebrate decades of free trade between China and Chile, an agreement that was inked in 2005.
Aside from seafood, Chile also regularly exports cherries, grapes and wines to China, all of which have become fast market favorites in the country. The increased export of Chilean goods in the country is all thanks to the reduced tariffs imposed on food products.
Chilean seafood exports have increased over the past five years, from $1.4 billion to $8.7 billion. As the final state of the tariff reduction for seafood was passed last year, exports are expected to increase in the following years.
“Last year Chile was number eight in seafood exports in China,” said the Chilean ambassador to China, Jorge Heine. “We want to be in the top three by 2020.”
Contrary to popular belief, Chilean seafood has long been a staple in Chinese markets and restaurants as the South American country is blessed with a 4,400-kilometer coastline rich in fish, shellfish and seaweed.
Chile is also home to a thriving seafood industry which the government has carefully cultivated over the past 15 years. Chile has a booming salmon industry, and it’s currently rated as the second top exporter of salmon in the world, said Andreas Pierotic, Chile’s minister counselor for economic and commercial affairs in China.
Additionally, Chile is the top provider of Atlantic salmon in China.
As demands for fresh fish continue to grow, importers have teamed up with airlines to create routine charter flights that will greatly improve delivery time from Chile to China.
Aside from salmon, Chile has also continually exported king crabs and mussels to China. Exports of the former jumped to $20.8 million, of the latter to $1.2 million.