Across China: Uruguayan businessman savors success of meat trade in China-Xinhua

Across China: Uruguayan businessman savors success of meat trade in China

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-12-09 23:46:45

HEFEI, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- As steaks sizzle on the grill pan in a steakhouse located in Wuhu City, east China's Anhui Province, the screen above on the wall shows videos of vast grasslands and leisurely herds of cattle in Uruguay, where the delicacies come from.

Amid continuous deepening of economic, trade, and agricultural cooperation between China and Uruguay, Gabriel Martin, a Uruguayan businessman and owner of this steakhouse, has brought steaks from Uruguay to the dinning tables of many Chinese families and restaurants as well.

In 2012, Martin came to Shanghai to study. Seeing China's vast consumer market and huge potential, Martin began exploring the beef trade business in China.

Back then, Uruguay was known for its football in China, while its beef remained little known. To start his business, Martin rode on bikes and carried samples of Uruguayan beef to supermarkets and restaurants across Shanghai.

The promotion journey was so long and arduous. It took Martin eight months to land his first client.

In 2017, Martin and his wife Zhang Jin returned to her hometown of Wuhu City, where they opened the steakhouse in addition to the beef trade.

Proud of Uruguayan beef quality, Martin said that as China's economic level continues to improve, people's demand for quality food, including Uruguayan beef, is also increasing.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Uruguay. In November, the two countries signed cooperation documents related to trade and investment, digital economy, green development, among others.

Regarding market access for meat products, Uruguay also signed five new protocols with China, including one that allows its export of beef tripe to China.

Many Chinese customers favor beef tripe as a special delicacy especially suitable for hotpot, according to Martin. He believes the new adjustment can help expand the beef tripe supply while lowering its price, which is welcome news for foodies. Moreover, it is expected to add about 150 million U.S. dollars of revenue annually to Uruguayan factories and meat producers by helping Uruguay export cattle by-products.

In September alone, Martin imported ten containers of beef from Uruguay and shipped them to major cities in China. Martin's second steakhouse in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, is being prepared. His online business will take off soon as well.

Data from the General Administration of Customs showed that the trade volume between China and Uruguay reached 7.44 billion dollars in 2022, 60 times that when the two countries established diplomatic ties.

Martin said that as cooperation between Uruguay and China continues to expand, he becomes even more confident about the future of the beef trade in China.