The Aegean region, one of Turkey's most important centers in terms of food exports, has hosted Chinese food importers. A delegation consisting of procurement authorities in the Guangdong Imported Food Association established in the People's Republic of China and five importing companies, members in this association, held bilateral business talks with 30 companies from the Aegean Exporters' Association. As part of the program organized by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM) and coordinated by the Ministry of Economy and the Shanghai Commercial Counselor Office, the VIP delegation from China held 90 bilateral meetings with 30 Turkish food exporting companies operating in different sectors.
The Chinese companies said that the negotiations were very productive and that they want to buy food products from Turkey that they are currently importing from countries such as Italy, Spain, Thailand and the U.S. They indicated they hope the visit significantly contributes to boosting trade between the two countries.
Aegean Exporters Association Coordinator Vice Chairman Birol Celep said that the Chinese food import delegation visited Turkey for the first time and that they want to import food in many different product groups, including fresh fruit, fruit juice, olive oil and edible oil, dried and shelled fruit, biscuits, coffee, chocolate and wine.
Since China is one of the world's largest economies with a population of 1.5 billion and a gross national product of $9 trillion, Celep said that dried fruits like dried figs, dried apricots, seedless raisins and nuts have been the lion's share of Turkey's food exports to China.
According to Celep, the export of agricultural products to China is reflected in Turkey's export figures. Meanwhile, cherry exports from Turkey to China have increased recently.
"We worked in the past to increase our share of exports of agriculture and food products, which have reached enormous levels in China. The Dried Fruit Promotion Group carried out promotional activities aimed at the Chinese market for dried figs, pistachios and dried apricots, which has successfully concluded. We expect that this delegation's contacts will boost food exports in our country and region," Celep said.
Celep pointed out that countries like China are searching for new sources of supply due to trade wars that recently emerged and said, "We can turn this situation into an opportunity." Since Turkish exporters must increase cooperation to promote Turkey's products, Celep said that conducting more frequent talks and developing cooperation opportunities with Chinese companies would greatly contribute to Turkey's exports.
Guangdong Imported Food Association Vice Chairman Elaine Li said that they have more than 300 food import members and that they have established a promotional platform for companies and countries that want to export to China and have organized bilateral business talks, fairs and media promotional activities.
Li added: "Quality imported food products attract great demand in the ever-growing Chinese market. We want to establish new bridges between Chinese companies and food importers from different countries."
ISTANBUL / DAILY SABAH WITH İHA