CHINA: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FOR REGIONAL SUPPLIERS
Over the past 12 months, the proportion of regional exports destined for the Asian giant has increased from 45.3 to 85.3 percent. The Antofagasta Industrial Association (AIA) has called for continued support for this economic trend, in order to take full advantage of this exchange of knowledge and technology, generated principally by the mining industry. The figures are clear: China is the main destination for exports from the Region of Antofagasta. The Asian country accounted for 45.3% of these, with 917 million dollars in exports. Mining is by far the largest sector, with a participation of 93.8% in regional export production, followed by Industry with 6.1%. (August 2017 Export Bulletin, INE). With this scenario in mind, the challenge facing the AIA, whose mission involves promoting the productive linkages formed around the mining sector, is to facilitate direct contact between regional suppliers and strategically important markets. In order to achieve this, the Association has carried out several business missions, the aim of which is to strengthen B2B relationships with international suppliers. In this way, over the course of this year, two activities have been completed within the framework of this challenge. The "Canton Business Mission", carried out in October in Guangzhou, China, had the objective of facilitating the participation of local suppliers in Asia's largest multi-sector trade show, generating business opportunities and gaining insight into international market trends and new technologies. The Association also participated in a diverse set of activities to promote the Region of Antofagasta at the China Mining show, as well as holding a meeting with the representatives of the CCCME, an association with a membership of four thousand Chinese suppliers. In addition to the activities led by the AIA in China, the participation of Asian companies in Exponor 2017 can also be highlighted. This trade show brought together 60 Chinese exhibitors; professional, highly qualified companies with export experience that presented a wide variety of products for applications such as rock breaking and drilling equipment, conveyor belts, parts and pieces for excavators and more. The exhibition was complemented by a series of B2B meetings between Chinese suppliers and national companies with a presence in the region, with the aim of identifying strategic partners in order to cement business opportunities. Fernando Cortez, General Manager of the AIA, highlighted that "the business opportunities that can be generated between regional suppliers and Chinese companies are real. Trade between both nations linked to the mining industry does not just strengthen our export position with our top purchaser, it also facilitates productive diversification among suppliers. Through this relationship, we can progress towards the development of world-class suppliers in the region". To complement the Association's vision, Yun Han Shen, General Manager of Asia Reps, a firm with extensive experience managing projects between Asia and Latin America added that "we can carry out very interesting bilateral work, opening up an array of opportunities for collaboration between the mining sector in China and Chile, covering different aspects in addition to participation in shows, such as innovation, technology and knowledge transfer, especially now that the mining industry is beginning to show signs of recovery".