The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association say they are happy with the free trade deal with the UK but disppointed with the content
The management of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association says they had greater hopes for content than was the case with the free trade agreement with England.
“The Norwegian seafood industry had high hopes that the government would help to pay special attention to our industry. Our hope was greater than what the new free trade agreement delivers,” says leader Kjell Ingebrigtsen of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association.
“The seafood industry has particularly good conditions for further growth and job creation in Norway, if market access had facilitated it. Our politicians have long talked about increasing value creation from our industry in the future. In my mind, it means value creation through increased processing of fish in Norway. This agreement does not facilitate such a development.”
The general picture of the agreement is that raw materials and semi-finished products have had their position maintained, while finished products have not had improved market access. In order to increase value creation, it is absolutely crucial that finished products are given such better access.
It is positive that the computer industry has had its market access clarified and it is important that we have not had worsened conditions for other seafood. It is also important that zero tariffs have been secured on whole haddock and cod and little processed products of the same, but these are still real restrictions for further processing beyond fillet production.
Then we note that it has been more important to shield Norwegian agriculture than to facilitate further growth in the seafood industry. Our authorities must want to see that the seafood industry must have trade policy conditions that correspond to the national political ambitions. We do not have this now, says the leader of Fiskarlaget.
The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association hopes that this situation demonstrates the importance of ensuring that the EEA agreement is not put into play in the next Storting term, concludes Kjell Ingebrigtsen.