The year of the water tiger has already begun and, as is traditional, Chinese families are celebrating by giving one another cherries, which usually come from Chile. Despite being 20,000 kilometers away, China and Chile seem to be getting closer and closer: according to a study by Imagen de Chile, those surveyed in the city of Shanghai are among those who most prefer and feel familiar with our country, its culture, and its products.
According to the Imagen de Chile Longitudinal Study, 46% of respondents in Shanghai say that Chile is familiar or very familiar to them, well above the average of the 12 cities around the world in which we carried out the study, in which 31% said that Chile is familiar or very familiar to them. In fact, for China, we are the “closest” country in Latin America, along with Brazil (also at 46%). According to our survey, in China 44% consider Colombia familiar, 36% Argentina, and 32% Peru.
“These results reflect a relationship that has historically been very close between the two countries. Chile was not only the first country in South America to establish diplomatic relations with China, over 50 years ago, but it was also the first Latin American country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with them (2005). In addition, today we have a shared interest in sectors that are important for the future, such as electromobility, healthy food, and the manufacture of vaccines from Chile for the region,” said Constanza Cea, Executive Director of Imagen de Chile.
Furthermore, 55% of respondents in Shanghai have a favorable or very favorable opinion of Chile, above the average of 43% among the 12 cities measured in our survey.
Although 72% of respondents in Shanghai think Chile is underdeveloped, they rate us very positively on a series of key positioning factors: 73% say Chile has an attractive natural environment, 71% say Chile is economically stable, 68% say Chile exports quality products, and 67% think Chile promotes entrepreneurship.
According to the survey, the best-known Chilean products in Shanghai are: fruit (62%), wine (49%), and fish and seafood (48%). This perception is highly favorable: 80% associate our products with good quality, placing well above the 57% average of the 12 cities measure, with New Delhi being the only market to have a more positive perception of Chilean products. Other attributes they assigned to our products are diversity (38%) and sustainability (38%).
“Chile is a source of healthy food for the world, and people in China are well aware of this. During these days, when the Chinese New Year is celebrated, Chilean cherries are among the star products. That is why it is not surprising that fruit and wine were the most-well known national products in our survey there, and that the most outstanding attribute by far is good quality. Chile is creating future,” added Constanza Cea.
The Asian country’s excellent perception of Chile also places us above the other major South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru) in all the factors compared in this survey. As such, China considers us the leading country in the region in terms of democratic stability, the quality of its professionals, good economic performance, tourist attractions and the quality of its products.
When it comes to choosing tourist destinations, 67% of those surveyed in Shanghai stated that they would like to visit Chile in the medium or long term, well above the general average of 42%. In addition, they associate our country with green or natural tourism (27%), food tourism (27%), urban tourism (25%), and adventure tourism (17%), although distance plays against us: 49% of those surveyed said that the main barrier to traveling to Chile as a tourist is the distance.
In terms of culture, respondents in China also revealed a lot of knowledge about Chile. When asked about how much they know about and are interested in Chile’s cultural and heritage offerings, 43% said they know a lot, well above the average of 18% among all the cities surveyed. This makes us the country that Chinese citizens say the know the most about in this regard. According to our survey, Chile’s 43% is followed by Argentina with 26%, Brazil and Peru, with 25% each, and Colombia, with a mere 22%.
“The cultural relationship with China has featured authors such as Pablo Neruda, Roberto Bolaño or Gabriela Mistral. Just to give one example, one of Neruda’s works was the first Latin American book to be translated into Chinese, in 1950. In addition, more recent events demonstrate this interest, such as the translation of The Araucaniad — by Alonso de Ercilla — which will be available in Chinese this year, an initiative promoted by Ambassador Luis Schmidt,” said Constanza Cea.
The Imagen de Chile Longitudinal Study was carried out in the cities of Sao Paulo, New York, Washington DC, Toronto, London, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, New Delhi, Dubai, Shanghai, and Tokyo.
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