Beijing and Buenos Aires have reached agreement for Argentina to export cherries to China, one of the efforts made by China to multiply its import channels, an economic expert said.
The cooperation arrives at a time when China's overseas trade is threatened by rising protectionism, such as the trade war launched by the US.
According to a customs statement published on Wednesday, China and Argentina inked an agreement on plant quarantine requirements for fresh cherries which will be imported from Argentina to China.
The statement noted that Argentina's seasons are contrary to China's, and therefore the two countries' fruit trade has strong complementarities. Being able to import cherries from Argentina will expand the variety of fruits available through the Chinese winter, according to the statement.
The agreement was signed by the two countries after a meeting of China's and Argentina's top leaders during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
China signed a series of bilateral agreements with Argentina during the G20 summit, including agreements on culture, trade, politics, education and environment, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.
Zhou Rong, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, said that Argentina, while rich in agricultural and stockbreeding resources, had not viewed China as an important export market in the past, as it mainly focused on European markets.
But as consumption power in Europe dwindled in recent years, Argentina has realized that China can provide a huge, stable market for many of its products, Zhou said.
"In particular, they saw that US companies are also clinging to the Chinese market, which should give them some kind of stimulus to start exploring market demand in China," Zhou told the Global Times on Wednesday.
He added that China is also looking to increase import channels in case it faces an unfair trade environment.
Zhou also noted that the prospect of the two countries strengthening economic cooperation is promising. This could include joint operation of farms and cooperating in processing industry.
Trade cooperation is likely to deepen as China creates multilateral platforms like the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, where Argentinean companies can showcase their products to Chinese consumers very conveniently.
China's trade with Argentina slumped by 10.8 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.