Matchmaking symposium connects Chinese companies with African, Asian governments
Fishing firms and processors met with representatives from 15 countries at an event organized by local government and fishing industry representatives in southeast China.
The Ocean Summit at “World Ocean Week” in Xiamen saw officials and executives from Africa and Asia meet with fishing executives in the Fujian region, which is a hub for China’s distant-water fleet.
As part of the summit, the “matchmaking symposium” gave Chinese fishery firms face-time with representatives from Guinea, Tunisia, Liberia ,and Lebanon, as well as a host of Asian countries like Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. One country from Latin America was represented: the Dominican Republic.
The glitzy Xiamen get-together also featured a “Ministerial Workshop on Marine Management and Blue Economy for Silk Road Countries” – a reference to the countries where China seeks to increase economic linkages with under its “One Belt, One Road” plan for economic development.
China boasts the world’s largest distant-water fleet, in part thanks to generous government fuel subsidies that allow firms to break even. In 2017, China’s distant-water fleet took 1.52 million tons of marine catch worth USD 1.6 billion (EUR 1.4 billion) according to a recent report on fishing the high seas published by Science Advances. Yet while volume was three times that of second-placed Taiwan ,the value of China’s catch was only 66 percent higher than that of Taiwan.
At the same time, China has sought agreements with low-income countries that exchange fishing rights for aquaculture development and expertise.