SANTIAGO, April 8 (Xinhua) -- China is an important market for Chilean state-owned mining company Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, the company's CEO said Monday.
"The Chinese market is the most important market for the company and the world's leading consumer of copper," Thomas Keller said at a press conference here with foreign correspondents.
Codelco, which produces about 1.7 million tons of copper each year, ships 40 percent of its output to China, he added.
Keller confirmed his firm's participation in a week-long trade show later this year in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai, where the world's main copper producers and consumers will gather.
"This event is very important, because it is held in the world's No. 1 market. We were sponsors of last year's (Copper) Week and we intend to continue our link in the future," he said.
The CEO said Codelco's main clients are from China, adding that the company has strong friendship and business ties with them.
China became the largest importer of Chilean copper products after the two countries signed a free trade agreement in 2006.