Nor­way and China in free trade talks

Fish Farmer - - European News -

CHINA and Nor­way have got down to se­ri­ous ne­go­ti­a­tions that should at last set the salmon ex­port train in mo­tion.

Al­though the two coun­tries re­stored nor­mal re­la­tions last De­cem­ber and Nor­we­gian Prime Min­is­ter Erna Sol­berg led a high pow­ered del­e­ga­tion of 240 seafood and busi­ness lead­ers to China in the spring, full scale ex­port sales of salmon in par­tic­u­lar have yet to re­sume.

In­dus­try min­is­ter

Mon­ica Mæ­land said it was good that talks on a free trade agree­ment were now un­der­way:

‘The re­ports from the Nor­we­gian ne­go­ti­at­ing del­e­ga­tion on fur­ther progress are promis-

ing,’ she said. ‘This is the ninth round in a long run­ning series of free trade deal nego- tia­tions be­tween the two coun­tries and the first since September 2010.

Ear­lier meet­ings were pri­mar­ily used to ex­change in­for­ma­tion about where we stand and to set out for­mal pro­ce­dures.

‘China is a ma­jor com­mer­cial trad­ing force and a very im­por­tant trad­ing part­ner for Nor­way.

‘A free trade agree­ment will be im­por­tant for Nor­we­gian busi­ness and will fa­cil­i­tate in­creased Nor­we­gian ex­ports of goods and ser­vices to China.’

The par­ties agreed to meet by the end of 2017 for the next round of talks.

Mean­while, in a sep­a­rate move, the Nord­land County Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, which in­cludes the Vesterålen and Lo­foten ar­eas and sev­eral Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies, signed a co-op­er­a­tion agree­ment with Zhe­jiang Province, which has a pop­u­la­tion of 56 mil­lion and is one of China’s rich­est prov­inces.

Above: Full scale ex­port sales of salmon have yet to re­sume

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