PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay – Speakers at the parallel session on agribusinesses at the China LAC business summit said on Friday that Latin America seeks to develop a system of agro-industrial production which is more sustainable and based on China’s great demand for natural resources and food products.
The 11th edition of the China LAC business summit is currently being held in the Uruguayan city of Punta del Este.
The speakers debated the achievements, difficulties and challenges surrounding their trade links in this field.
The founder of the Argentine economic group Los Grobo, which focuses on the production and export of agro-industrial commodities, highlighted that one of the most significant challenges in the future for China will be the issue of water supply.
Gustavo Grobocopatel said that in China, 20 percent of the population had access to 4 percent of the water, and it is highly likely that in the future, the relationship between China and Latin America can be analyzed through the flow of water or policies which favor it.
He added that Latin America possessed cheap water and human capital adequate for agricultural production, which is not the situation in many other countries of the world, and as a result Latin American countries are the most important allies that China will have in order to resolve challenges linked to food security, the fight against poverty, and development.
Wang Xingyang, from the Chinese company CAMC, had a similar stance and said that Latin America had abundant natural resources and an economic structure that complements China well, and as a result offers excellent opportunities related to agricultural trade with the Asian giant.
Although the two regions are separated by a large distance, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Latin America, cultural, trade and economic ties have developed quickly, Xingyang added.
The Uruguayan Minister of Stockbreeding, Agriculture, and Fisheries of Uruguay, Tabare Aguerre, said that one of the challenges that presented the greatest amount of difficulty was the increase in extreme climatic events linked to global climate change, which is forcing states to generate adaptive strategies.
Although the central elements for greater cooperation between his country, the region and China are sustainability factors associated with the use of natural resources, land and water in the production of food, Aguerre added that forecasting is difficult given the continuous nature of climate change.
The parallel session on food security and agribusinesses also featured a dissertation by Universo Verde Chairman Nie Min.
He discussed the agro-industrial potential that Latin America and the Caribbean have with China, and how Latin America could contribute to satisfying the growing demands for food products in the Asian country, supplying agricultural products with high standards of security and quality.
Within the framework of this conference, an agreement was signed between the National Meat Institute of Uruguay and the China Certification & Inspection Group to create an electronic platform that displays the tracking of Uruguayan meat to Chinese consumers.