Expenditures and Activities of
In 1998, Norway exported about $908 million in agricultural products, but exported fishery products were valued at more than $3.5 billion, an increase of more than 13 percent, and a new record for Norway. Norway, for the first time, is the number one exporter of seafood in the world, a position held previously by Thailand. Norway cannot be considered an agricultural export competitor in the strictest sense, due to the country’s self-sufficiency goals and practice of preventing imports from other countries. Major markets include EU countries, Denmark, Japan, Hong Kong, and China.
Although Norway has more than 500 exporters of fishery products, the most important player is the Norwegian Seafood Export Council, which was established in 1991 by the Ministry of Fisheries. The council is financed by the fishery industry through various fees on export. The board consists of seven representatives of exporters, producers, fish farmers, and the Ministry of Fisheries. The main goal for the Norwegian Seafood Export Council is generic promotion of fish products both domestically and internationally. It also has the authority to approve Norwegian exporters and to enforce export regulations. This organization is involved only in generic promotion. In general, its activities are well prepared, so that all exporters know at what time, and in which country, an activity takes place. This allows exporters to take advantage and market their brands. The Norwegian Seafood Export Council advises the Ministry of Fisheries on questions associated with seafood exports. The total budget for the Norwegian Seafood Export Council in 1998 was $40 million.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and the Directorate of Fisheries there are no government production or export subsidies for Norwegian seafood. However, export fees collected by the Norwegian Custom Authorities for processed seafood range from 0.2 percent to 3.0 percent and generated about $39.5 million in 1998. The revenue almost tripled since 1996, due to the recent EU-Norway Salmon agreement.
Norway also exports cheese and other dairy products. In 1998, the total value of the cheese and butter exports was about $85 million. The main export markets included Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia, and the European Union. About 85 percent of these exports were subsidized.