The Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi and the Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) last week co-organised a seminar to discuss cooperation opportunities in aquaculture and seafood.
The event was held on the occasion of the official visit to Vietnam by the State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Erling Rimestad. It attracted several Vietnamese and Norwegian officials, along with representatives from a number of companies from both countries.
During the seminar, they shared their aquaculture experiences and expertise, as well as discussed the potential for business-to-business cooperation in the marine farming sector.
The event involved a forum for authorities, companies and stakeholders from both countries to meet and explore practical opportunities to collaborate, particularly in sustainable development where technologies and science-based solutions play a key role. At the seminar, the Norwegian Seafood Council announced a new plan to introduce more Norwegian seafood products to the Vietnamese market.
In her introductory remarks, the Ambassador of Norway to Vietnam Hilde Solbakken said, “Norway takes pride in the cooperation with Vietnam in the fisheries, aquaculture, and marine sectors, and sees this as a central part of the more than 50 years of friendship and cooperation since we established diplomatic relations in 1971.”
Visiting Vietnam for the first time, State Secretary Rimestad spoke highly of the two countries' bilateral ties, particularly their productive relationship within the fisheries sector.
“We find ourselves at the top of the list of seafood exporters. Norway as the second biggest in the world, and Vietnam as the third biggest," said Rimestad. "We are in the fortunate position that this does not make us competitors, in fact, we complement each other as seafood nations. The processing of Norwegian mackerel in Vietnam shows how we can both benefit in the seafood value chain".
Director general of the Fisheries Department Tran Dinh Luan shared the fisheries sector's priorities, particularly the shift from a traditional aquaculture model to a more industrial-sized scale, with a greater focus on the quality of products and environmental protection. “Vietnam has made important achievements in marine aquaculture technologies and techniques, and is now shifting to marine aquaculture on an industrial scale, which is more sustainable from both a social and economic perspective,” said Luan.
The director general also expressed a desire to learn from Norway’s experience in developing the branding for Norwegian salmon in order to develop a national brand for Vietnam’s aquaculture products.
Vietnam has already set out a number of goals, including the reduction of fishing intensity and enhancing marine aquaculture in certain areas, as specified in the Fisheries Development Strategy issued in 2021.
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