Over the course of five weeks, ProChile brought 123 importers from Asia and Oceania together with 181 Chilean exporters of fresh, frozen, dried and dehydrated fruit, seafood, wine, gourmet products, and Fintech and mining services as part of the second virtual business matching forum that the institution has held to support Chilean business owners facing the impacts of COVID-19.
The event generated three times more meetings than expected, with a total of 382 meetings taking place with importers from the markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia between April 27 and May 28.
“We were facing an important challenge, because our work with exporters must continue, regardless of flight restrictions and closed borders. Asia and Oceania are two strategic markets that are beginning to recover slowly and have good projections. That is why we chose them as the first places for doing business in this virtual format. As we have seen, the results were optimal. Some 181 Chilean exporters wanted to participate because they trust the work of our Commercial Offices in those markets. We can, as of today and having only surveyed 30% of the business owners, make a preliminary forecast of business in excess of US$16.4 million,” said ProChile Director-General Jorge O’Ryan.
In regard to long-term business projections and considering the markets for the goods and services, a total of US$2 million in business is forecast for the first three months, while US$5.5 million is forecast for months three to six. “These projections are evidence of the good work that has been done to date, and they encourage us to work harder. This is just one of the hundreds of activities that we are promoting in order to support our exporters. We are providing them with training and mentoring and showing them that we are committed to bringing their companies to foreign markets regardless of the problems we are facing today,” O’Ryan added.
Scheduling 382 meetings was a logistical challenge for ProChile organizers in Chile and its Commercial Offices abroad, especially considering the significant time difference between business owners in Chile and importers in Asia and Oceania, which meant that the meetings tended to take place at night or early morning in Chile.
The countries in Asia have been made priority in ProChile’s reorganization in the wake of the pandemic, and they will continue to play a key role in this type of meeting. This initial macro virtual business matching forum with Asia and Oceana is being followed by specific initiatives designed to match Chilean goods and services with demand in Asia using virtual tools. There are already plans underway for a virtual business matching forum for meat exporters in China and another for videogame developers in Japan, China and Taiwan. Furthermore, in September, another business matching forum will take place between the Pacific Alliance and Asia to support small- and medium-sized exporters focused on sustainability.
If you wish to learn more about ProChile activities and to apply for the upcoming virtual business matching forums organized by the institution, please visit our website.