Feature: Prawn exports highlight Argentina-China win-win ties

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-18 12:20:57|Editor: mmm
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PUERTO MADRYN, Argentina, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's growing prawn exports to China represent another facet of win-win bilateral ties based on shared profit and mutual benefit.

China is Argentina's second-largest trade partner and leading market of its agricultural exports, with bilateral trade reaching 13.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up by nearly 2,300 times since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972.

Today, Argentina's prawn sales to China are poised to deepen and diversify the two countries' trade ties.

Xinhua recently toured the facilities of Altamare, a company in Puerto Madryn, in Argentina's southern Chubut province, which was acquired by Chinese-owned Shanghai Fisheries General Corporation (SFGC) in 2015.

Located in one of the country's top ports for prawn fishing, some 1,320 km south of the nation's capital Buenos Aires, Altamare specializes in catching, processing and selling frozen fish and seafood.

Madryn also enjoys ideal logistical features, with shipping lines that sail to ports around the globe.

Cristian Almiron, who manages the plant, told Xinhua that the injection of Chinese capital was a "very positive" development for the company, because the business is beginning to develop the "capacity to schedule" production.

The investment also helped Altamare upgrade the plant's freezing capacity, "taking it from 700 to 800 crates of fresh prawns to 2,000 crates," Almiron said.

Altamare no longer needs "to be looking for new clients to sell to, because the Chinese market is so big and there is a need for this type of product," he said, adding that "there is a continuity to our entire production," thanks to "assured" sales.

Altamare exports some 2,000 tons of fish and seafood to China twice a year, "75.80 percent of its prawns, both for reprocessing and as a product that goes directly onto supermarket shelves," according to Almiron.

"Usually everything is destined for export to China," with "a small portion" of output going to the domestic market, Almiron said.

The wild prawn that thrives in Patagonia, in southern Argentina, "is in high demand in several world markets, especially because it is naturally fished, it isn't a farmed prawn," he said.

Chinese investment has allowed "the development of the industrial part, in terms of equipment, being able to plan and ... being more ambitious in incorporating technology," Almiron said. "We didn't have that before."

"We have more than doubled production, thanks to the backing of the company in terms of needed investment, to become more ambitious about our products and meet the demands and needs of our client," he said.