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Bolivian public-private partnerships aim to boost exports to China

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-02-11 14:00

Two visitors pose in Bolivian masks during the first China International Import Expo held in Shanghai on Nov 9, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

LA PAZ - Strategic public-private partnerships (PPP) between producers and the government in Bolivia aim to diversify and expand exports to China.

In December 2018, Bolivia exported quinoa to China for the first time as part of a bilateral agreement to ease trade in the grain, a development that inspired the PPP initiatives, according to Nelson Perez, president of the National Quinoa Producers Association (Anapqui).

Last year, Bolivia exported more than 33,000 tons of quinoa to traditional and new markets, such as Europe, the United States and China, the International Quinoa Center (CIQ) reported.

Quinoa output nationwide has been on the rise, up from 66,792 tons in 2017 to 70,763 tons in 2018. But new access to China's market is motivating producers to plan for bigger yields.

A total of 15 companies have been authorized to sell the grain to China after meeting stringent sanitary regulations.

Bolivia's soy sector is also preparing to export to China following the signing of a bilateral agreement between the two countries, said Jaime Hernandez, general manager of the Wheat and Oilseeds Producers Association (Anapo).

In 2018, Bolivia exported 70 percent of the 2.7 million tons of soy. This year, producers hope to expand production with the help of the government to increase exports.

Javier Landivar, general manager of the Cattle-ranchers Federation of Santa Cruz (Fegasacruz), said that Chinese technicians will travel to Bolivia this month to inspect the beef production process before approving its import.

"It is an important commitment we meat producers have made and we hope to get the green light to begin this product's historic export" to China, he added.

Bolivia's Minister of Rural Development Cesar Cocarico said that this South American country has worked in recent years to gain access to China's market, especially for agricultural goods.

In 2018, the two countries signed "very positive" sanitary agreements which paved the way for quinoa, coffee and soy exports to China, and in the coming months, similar agreements are to be signed for beef and chia seeds among other goods, the minister added.

"We have also participated in international events (fairs) promoted by China with encouraging results," Cocarico said. "We are outlining negotiations for other products."

Bolivia took part in the first ever China International Import Expo held in Shanghai in November last year, demonstrating its top products for the Asian consumer market.

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