VIETNAM and Russia have become the two latest countries to seek closer co-operation with Iceland - and its fishing expertise.
Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai met with businessmen in Iceland recently in efforts to develop opportunities for both Vietnamese and Icelandic seafood and other activities.
And the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, invited Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, to a conference on Arctic shipping and fishing matters last week. The conference was mainly about the new opportunities and responsibilities that will come with melting sea ice.
Vietnam's Mr Hai highlighted his country's strengths, including its dynamic economic growth, an attractive investment climate based on a populous market, its abundant young human resources market and its rapidly growing fishing and aquaculture industries. Last year the country launched a $70-million programme to expands its fishing farming sector. Exports of Vietnamese catfish alone are worth some $1.5 billion a year.
It is also keen to connect to Iceland's acknowledged fishing technical know-how. Mr Hai said the potential of trade and investment between the two nations still lagged behind others and felt a closer relationship with Iceland would help to bridge that gap.
He held talks with Iceland's Minister of Economic Affairs Arni Pall Arnarson who said fishing and seafood were highly important to both countries. One Icelandic company has already invested in a fish plant in Vietnam and there were opportunities for other developments.
At the Russian conference Mr Putin re-iterated Russia’s interest in increasing co-operation with Iceland in many areas, Visir.is reported. Both nations’ stakes in fisheries and sustainable use of ocean resources also came up for discussion — as did cultural matters.
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