To strengthen ties with local companies following China’s reopening after COVID , ChilePork held its annual networking event on March 9 in the city of Shanghai with 50 Chinese pork importers.

The networking event was led by Francisca Rifo, head of the Chilean Exports Promotion Bureau’s (ProChile) office in Shanghai; Lucas Red, Agrosuper’s Trade Director in China; and Alex Zhu, Maxagro’s representative, and was held at the famous Renaissance Yu Garden Hotel. The guests were welcomed by the Chilean Consul in Shanghai, Gonzalo Figueroa, who underscored that China is Chile’s primary trading partner. He also stressed that trade between both countries has been built on a long-standing relationship based on trust and commitment.

Figueroa’s remarks were followed by a prerecorded presentation from Juan Carlos Domínguez, President of ChileCarne, the association that represents the ChilePork brand that promotes Chilean pork in various countries. Domínguez reaffirmed ChilePork’s commitment to the Chinese market, announcing that a series of in-person activities will be held next May as part of SIAL Shanghai 2023. He said: “Despite the difficult situation we experienced in 2022, Chile has focused on continuing to produce high-quality biosecure products, which helped us become the seventh largest global pork exporter as well as China’s ninth pork supplier. Activities such as this one are a clear example of the commitment and trust between Chile and China in terms of trade. It also goes to show the growing interest of Chinese importers in Chilean pork, which represents a great opportunity for Chilean exporting companies.”

During the meeting, the guests were able to learn about and taste various cuts of pork, thanks to a cooking master class hosted by the renowned Chef Gu, a founding member of the Shanghai Head Chef Alliance and professor at the Paramitta Institute of Culinary & Hospitality Services (PICH), Shanghai Institute of Business and Technology. Chef Gu made braised pork ribs with shallots, pork trotters with vegetables, and pork collar with salted egg yolk.

It should be noted that Chile and China have had diplomatic relations for 53 years and 2023 marks the 17thanniversary of the bilateral trade agreement. Chile was the first country in South America to establish diplomatic relations with China and the first Latin American country to sign and update a Free Trade Agreement. In 2022, China led Chile’s exports with 38.9 billion USD, a 13% increase from 2021 which also represents 39% of the country’s total exports during that period.

For Chilean pork, China is the primary destination market in both value and volume. In 2022, Chile exported over 178,000 tons cwe of pork, which represents 45% of the country’s total pork exports, and 221 million USD, 34% of the value exported. In China, Chile is the ninth largest pork supplier.