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Interview: Uruguay to open trade office in China to promote beef exports

N.C.N. Limited logo N.C.N. Limited 19/08/2020 unreguser
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People consult at the Uruguay pavilion during the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 6, 2019. (Xinhua/Fan Peishen)

The office will boost promotion and participation in fairs, contacts with business leaders and authorities, and the identification of market niches to strengthen the "Uruguayan meat" brand.

MONTEVIDEO, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Uruguay plans to open a trade office in China to promote its star beef products and better position itself in the Asian country, said an industry insider.

The post-pandemic era is opening up opportunities for Uruguayan meat which boasts a natural, organic production process and traceability, Fernando Mattos, president of the Uruguay's National Meat Institute (Inac), told Xinhua recently.

Mattos noted that the opening of the first Inac trade office abroad will mark "a milestone" in the goal for "much greater development" in China's market, which in 2019 accounted for up to 60 percent of the country's meat exports.

The office will boost promotion and participation in fairs, contacts with business leaders and authorities, and the identification of market niches to strengthen the "Uruguayan meat" brand, he said.

"We are making the final arrangements," said Mattos. "Initially, it will operate out of the Uruguayan Embassy in Beijing," with qualified Chinese personnel.

Uruguay has to "make greater effort than other countries" promoting its goods, noted the industry insider, because "we are a small country, (and) we are not a geopolitically important player."

"But we do have a mark, a trust, (and) an identity that we have to develop," he added.

Mattos pointed out that online sales and marketing platforms can deliver "great results" for products, including meat, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has popularized online shopping.

"E-commerce has multiplied exponentially due to the lockdown," he said. "People are preparing safe meals at home to the detriment of restaurants and other sales channels."

Online sites can reach consumers who are looking for "a safer and more secure product," he added. 

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