Norway sees “very positive” improved access to Chinese seafood market
“The process of normalizing the market access of salmon is very positive, and we hope to see a normalized trade within a few months,” according to Sigmund Bjorgo, head of the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) in China. This follows an announcement last December by Beijing and Oslo to put aside a five-year political row that ultimately saw Norwegian salmon rot in Chinese ports due to interminable veterinary inspections.
To keep the momentum up, the NSC is leading the largest ever Norwegian seafood delegation to visit China, which will arrive in Beijing in two weeks. “This is to mark a new spring for the Chinese- Norwegian seafood trade, focusing on the new opportunities following the normalized bilateral relationship,” Bjorgo told SeafoodSource.
He expects up to 130 delegates to join from Norway, meeting 200-250 executives from the Chinese seafood industry. Bjorgo also expects political meetings: the delegation is being led by Per Sandberg, Norwegian minister for fisheries, who will also address a Chinese- Norwegian Seafood Summit in Beijing on 23 May. Other speakers at the summit will include Cui He, secretary general of the China Aquatic Products Processing & Marketing Association (CAPPMA).
The line-up for the summit also features Chen Xinhua, secretary general of the China Hotel Association. China’s booming domestic – and outbound – tourism industry and the spread of international chains in China has been a major source of sales for seafood importers. Also speaking is Jin Guanglei, co-chairman of the board at Yiguo E-commerce, which has proven to be a key seller of seafood to China’s online shoppers. Among the Chinese distributors on the summit speakers list is Kevin Meng, general manager of Gain Seafood and Weng Shengsheng, president of Beijing-based Sunkfa, a leading importer.
The speakers list also includes a who’s who of Norwegian corporates seeking to increase sales in China: Ole Erik Lerøy, chairman of Marine Harvest and Egil Magne Haugstad, CEO of Pelagia and Svein Ruud, CEO of Norway King Crab. Renate Larsen, CEO of the NSC, will also speak.
“The purpose of the delegation is to show the Norwegian industry’s interest and strong believe in the Chinese market, and I believe this delegation will be a milestone in the Chinese – Norwegian seafood trade. This will mark a new beginning of the relationships, and a new beginning of building the Chinese market for Norwegian seafood together with all good partners in China.”