From 92 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in the first half of 2013. Officials believes the Nobel Peace Prize reward from 2010 is the main reason why China is phasing out the Norwegian trade.
In the previous decade Norway nearly had monopoly on the Chinese salmon market. But a short look at this year’s key data it is obvious, that the era is over.
It is widely believed that the reason for the plunge is the decision of a Norwegian committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in October 2010.
“It is no secret that declining sales in China are connected to the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a difficult political situation between Norway and China, and not something that can be solved by the industry,” Alf-Helge Aarskog, chief executive of Marine Harvest, one of the country’s biggest salmon farmers, told the Financial Times Thursday.
The salmon saga is just the most prominent sign of the commercial freeze China imposed on the Scandinavian country following the 2010 Nobel Prize. A proposed bilateral trade agreement fell through after years of negotiation, and Norway is now the only European country whose citizens may not visit Beijing without a visa, according to the International Business Times. That counts even Norwegian businessmen, politicians and journalists, who have a good reason to be in China. And the Norwegian ambassador to Beijing has had plenty of time to play tennis due to a lack of meetings.
“There is no sign of a thaw. Of course, we are hopeful, but things are still difficult,” a Norwegian official said earlier this year, according to the Financial Times.
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