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Overseas Chinese in Chile help local SMEs grab big Chinese chances
By:Zheng Qian  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2020-11-08 09:50

Despite the long distance, in recent years, the economic and trade relations between Chile and China have kept deepening. Chilean companies have become more and more interested in cooperating with China and some are participating in the China International Import Expo(CIIE) for the third consecutive year.

Behind these economic and trade exchanges, there is not only Chile's increasing support for SMEs to go global and China's implementation of a series of preferential policies, but also the efforts of the overseas Chinese in Chile.

Xu Jianguo is a representative of the younger generation of Chilean Chinese, who has received a higher education and is well cultured. In 2005, he quit his job in the Hangzhou Public Security System and went to Chile to do business. It wasn't until a few years ago when the Chinese market was thriving that he returned to China, but he still goes to Chile several times a year to manage the enterprises there.

More than ten years’ of life in Chile has allowed Mr. Xu to know much of the local situation. Since he acted as the vice president of the Chilean Chinese Entrepreneurs Association, he has been contacting local companies frequently.

Staff members of the association, who are all overseas Chinese like Mr. Xu, have been keeping in touch with officials and industry associations in various regions of Chile. Having information of both Chilean and Chinese companies, the association can easily match the demand and supply. Business leaders are regularly invited to participate in video conferences to discuss trade needs before the association helps them find Chinese partners, complete orders and open corporate offices in China.

Xu Jianguo (second from right) and his team at the 3rd CIIE. [Photo provided to Eastday]

Xu Jianguo said that in Chile nowadays, people's recognition of the Chinese market and the Chinese is getting higher and higher. In the eyes of Chileans, China's rapid economic development can bring them some dividends. In addition,"Chinese businessmen are more honest than other places in the world","Chinese partners are strong","China's public security is good", and "The Chinese market is the safest" are all their unanimous comments.

He said many small and medium enterprises in Chile are quite interested in China, especially Chinese e-commerce, and want to enter the Chinese market, but at the same time are a little scared. Thus, they constantly asked the association to contact various industry associations in China and companies dealing in meat, fruit, wine, and seafood so as to conduct preliminary market research and learn sales prices and channels.

It is the first time that the association has organized Chilean enterprises to participate in the CIIE. In order to promote the grand expo, members of the association introduced the CIIE platform advantages, consumption trends in the Chinese market, and consumer groups division in person to officials from various regions in Chile.

In July of this year, a Shanghai office of the association was especially founded which has established a database of Chinese and Chilean companies by linking with several Chinese-funded companies, especially Shanghai Futuroco Trading Company.

In addition, it has done a lot of preparatory work for Chilean companies to participate in the CIIE, including company choosing, product positioning, contacting the CIIE organizer, and negotiation with Chinese potential buyers.

The Chilean "TAPIHUE" wine group, which decided to participate in the CIIE for the first time this year, reached an agreement with its exclusive Chinese agent Shanghai Futuroco Trading Company when the pandemic was still raging in Chile. To help it participate in the CIIE, Wang Hexing, president of the association, and Juan Jose Vidal Wood, trade commissioner of the Ministry of foreign affairs of ProChile, discussed the exhibition plan several times. Via the Expo and Trade Promotion Center of Hongqiao Overseas Chinese Business Association, it contacted the CIIE organizer and assisted the company in applying for booths.

Chile's "TAPIHUE" wine group debuts at the 3rd CIIE. [Photo provided to Eastday]

Xu said that the "TAPIHUE" wine group is a typical Chilean small and medium-sized enterprise. The family business is very well run, and the winery is among the best in the industry. In addition, the boss is very young and has a high degree of recognition of the Chinese market and Chinese people. Trusting the Chilean Chinese Entrepreneurs Association, it entrusted its exclusive Chinese agent Shanghai Futuroco Trading Company and the association to manage the expo participation.

Covering an area of more than 40 square meters, the booth is displaying three brands "QUINTAY","ALTOVUELO" and "WILLIAMCOLE", among which "ALTOVUELO" debuts in China and "QUINTAY" is the only designated wine brand for Chilean Airlines.

For the post-pandemic Chinese market, the group is full of confidence."The TAPIHUE wine group applied for the exhibition near the end of the submission, but they said that they need to enter the Chinese market as soon as possible, and since they have missed the first and second CIIE, they cannot miss the third one. The pandemic in China has been under control and the Chinese market is relatively stable. Participating in the CIIE will be a great opportunity," said Xu.