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Chilean official hails strengthened trade ties with China


15:11, November 09, 2012

SANTIAGO, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chilean official has hailed the ever-expanding trade ties between his country and China in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"Trade ties between the two countries have expanded considerably," said Alvaro Jana, director of the Foreign Ministry for International Economic Relations (Direcon).

Jana said the two countries' economic links have been greatly consolidated, especially since they signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that came into effect in 2006.

"Trade between Chile and China totaled 31.297 billion U.S. dollars" in 2011, up 14.9 percent from the previous year, said Jana.

China has been the leading export destination for Chile since 2007, according to the official.

He said that in 2011, Chilean exports to China amounted to 18.6 billion dollars, up 7.67 percent from the year 2010, and up 42.78 percent from 2009.

"Chile's fresh and processed food exports to China have grown significantly," said Jana.

Chile's exports of fresh fruit to China, which totaled 5 million dollars in 2004, rose to nearly 165 million dollars in 2011, he said.

In 2011, Chile provided 75 percent of the cherries consumed in China, 71 percent of fresh prunes, 58 percent of grapes, and 40 percent of frozen raspberries, he said.

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