China, Spain ink fisheries agreement


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
January 23, 2011

Aiming to secure large contracts for both countries’ seafood suppliers, Spain’s Minister for Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs Rosa Aguilar and Deputy Minister of China State Council Hui Liangyu have vowed to develop closer working relationships in respect to fisheries and agriculture.

Meeting in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Aguilar signed a fisheries agreement with the world’s largest seafood producer and consumer “to continue driving the extraordinary relationship between China and Spain, which can go much, much further as an aspiration of the Spanish government.”

Research by the University of British Columbia, National Geographic Society and Pew Charitable Trusts ranks China No. 1 out of 20 countries, with 13.6 million metric tons of seafood consumed annually (excluding Taiwan). Spain ranks 11th with annual seafood consumption of 1.6 million metric tons.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization expects China’s per-capita seafood consumption to reach 35.9 kilograms in 2020, reflecting its strengthening purchasing power and preference for fish across the booming nation.

During a “cordial and friendly” meeting in which Deputy Minister Hui Liangyu invited Minister Aguilar to China to work together on food and agriculture issues, Aguilar pointed out that the transfer of Spain’s experience to Asia is “without doubt important to them.”

The fisheries agreement is part of the EUR 5.7 billion (USD 7.7 billion) trade deal signed by both countries’ leaders in Madrid in early January.

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