Norway’s seafood exports to China see positive signs month-by-month

By Chen Shasha Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/6 15:05:20 Last Updated: 2020/11/6 17:05:20

Photo: IC

Norway's seafood exports to China are now seeing positive steps taken month-by-month after experiencing a decline earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenging situation caused by the coronavirus, the country is mulling the introduction of even more new products to the Chinese market.

The ongoing 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) will bring opportunities for Norwegian companies to introduce more seafood products to Chinese customers and consumers, Victoria Braathen, Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) director responsible for Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Thursday.

China was the largest growth market for Norwegian seafood in 2019. A total of 168,000 tons of seafood worth 5.2 NOK billion ($563.14 million) had been imported to China from Norway, according to the NSC.

The seafood trade volume between China and Norway saw a decline because of the coronavirus before it welcomed a recovery this fall. In the first 10 months of the year, Norway exported 108,007 tons of seafood worth over NOK 3.2 billion to China. The export volume doubled in October compared to the month before, with the export value increasing by 89 percent, NSC statistic shows.

This recent data proves that a solid foundation has been set and positive development prospects will be seen in terms of seafood trade between China and Norway, Braathen said.

She also noted that the coronavirus will not hinder seafood trade between Norway and China, and the NSC plans to promote new products, such as shellfish, to China.

Global trade has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,  and Norway's trade with other countries has dropped by 17 percent this year compared with 2019, Lucie Katrine Sunde-Eidem, State Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries of Norway, said in a media interview via video link on Thursday.

"In that perspective, I think it is very, very positive that China is able to take steps to keep opening [up], for example, by holding the CIIE," Sunde-Eidem said, adding that the CIIE plays an important role in encouraging trade and economic globalization in a time when increased protectionism is a global challenge.

China is Norway's most important trading partner in Asia, and Sino-Norwegian trade has been relatively stable this year even with challenges brought about by COVID-19, she said, expecting that China and Norway will continue to develop trade, in sectors like seafood products, consumer goods, IT services, clean energy, health products and smart city solutions, to achieve mutual benefit.

Notably, as result of COVID-19, e-commerce has provided a new market for business between China and Norway, especially consumer products, Kjell Arne Nielsen, Special Advisor and Consul for Technology and Trade at the Consulate General in Shanghai, told the Global Times.

"The e-commerce platforms in China are opening huge opportunities in the market of consumer products, and lowering the entry barriers for small brands from Norway to enter the Chinese market," Nielsen said. "I think this has actually accelerated some activities also from Norway, showing that you definitely have something to offer."

It is the third consecutive year that Norway has participated in the CIIE. Norwegian companies have a strong presence this year as well, with eight companies from sectors including food and agricultural products, consumer products, medical equipment and health care, according to the Consulate General of Norway in Shanghai.


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