SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Hong Kong Shipping Gazette Daily Enews] – March 5, 2018

SEAFOOD from Pakistan is gaining in popularity in China, not only because of low prices, but also because of support from government policies, reports Lahore’s UrduPoint.

A report from the UK-based said that China had overtaken the EU and Japan as the largest seafood export market for Pakistan.

“Currently, domestic demand exceeds supply in terms of Pakistani seafood imports,” Chen Hai’ou, president of Kashgar Mufeng and Hezhengyuan Biotechnology Co, told Beijing’s Global Times.

Several seafood distributors said that Pakistani seafood, compared with seafood imported from other sources, is more cost-effective.

In recent years, the Chinese government has rolled out measures that have encouraged and facilitated imports of seafood from Pakistan and India.

One example is the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of a Belt and one Road initiative, which has enriched the transportation channels for Pakistani seafood entering China.

According to Mr Chen, in the past, Pakistani seafood could enter China only via sea or air transport.

But, after the corridor was set up, his company started importing Pakistani seafood by land transportation via Pakistan’s Gwadar Port as well as via Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

“Pakistani seafood needs to travel only for three days via land transportation to China, compared with 40 days by the sea, so the cash conversion cycle can be much shorter,” Mr Chen said, adding that the seafood will be sold in northwestern and southwestern regions in China.

Mr Chen also said that with the large demand for seafood in those regions, as well as the lower transport costs, more companies will engage in seafood trade with Pakistan.

“The business has a promising future,” he said.