THE Faroe Islands look set to benefit from a significant increase in seafood exports – both farmed and wild caught – following the completion of a free trade agreement with Turkey.
From the beginning of next month tariffs of 30 per cent for fish entering the Turkish market will be removed. Poul Michelsen, the Faroese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, believes the deal will be of great benefit to both parties, as it renders Faroese fish exporters with a competitive edge.
He said: ‘This agreement ensures that Faroese companies are able to compete on an equal footing with countries such as Norway, Iceland and the UK on the Turkish market. With a population of 80 million people and a rising demand for fish, Turkey is potentially a very interesting market.
‘Due to the high tariff rate, trade between Turkey and the Faroe Islands has been limited. Imports from Turkey to the Faroes have amounted to some 25 million kroner, whilst exports to Turkey have amounted to only one million kroner.’
In order to promote Faroese trade and industry in Turkey, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is planning a launch campaign by introducing Faroese exporters to Turkish importers of seafood.
Agnar Jensen, sales manager of Faroe Origin, a leading seafood exporter, is delighted with the agreement, which is set to come into effect next month.
He said: ‘Turkey has one of the largest populations in Europe. To be able to compete in Turkey on the same terms as other foreign companies means a great deal to us.’
The Faroe Islands and Turkey first signed the free trade agreement two years ago. The Faroese parliament passed the agreement in April 2016, but the Turkish government only ratified the deal last month.