“Our ocean industry is an essential component of the Norwegian economy, accounting for 70% of our exports. 2021 was the best year ever for Norwegian seafood exports. Every day, up to 42 million meals of Norwegian seafood are served around the world, also making Norway a financial centre for the global ocean economy”, said Commercial Counsellor and Head of Innovation Norway- India, Cristian Valdes Carter, at the conference.
The high-level event was attended by the Union Cabinet Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Hon’ble Sh Parshottam Rupala and other dignitaries including the State Minister of Fisheries, Secretary and the Joint Secretary. The event had strong Norwegian participation with the Embassy and Innovation Norway; Norwegian companies Aker BioMarine and Lighthouse Finance as well as the Norwegian funded start-up, Aquaconnect, all covering important topics such as sustainability, technology, digitalization, business models and financing.
Aker BioMarine is the world’s leading supplier of krill, contributing to sustainable growth in the Indian Aquaculture sector. Lighthouse Finance is a global advisory firm that specializes in capital raising, asset finance and management across the seafood value chain.
Aquaconnect is a company that brings market access to Indian aqua-farmers, a challenge in the Indian shrimp industry. The majority of small farmers have limited access to information and capital, and by reaching out to them Aqua Connect aims to help bridge the problem of access. It aims also to increase the value of the shrimp they are already producing. The company is backed by the Norwegian venture capital fund Hatch and took part in an accelerator/incubator program in Bergen in 2018.
India, on the other hand, is the third largest fish producing country and the second largest aquaculture fish producer in the world. Aquaculture and fisheries sector is among the priority sectors for India and the government has ambitious plans under “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana” for the production and export of marine products. Norway has a lot of experience and expertise in this sector, making Norway and India natural partners in this field.