QATAR PUTS A BAN ON EXPORTS OF INDIAN SEAFOOD
Last year before the FIFA World Cup in November, Qatar banned Indian brands of frozen seafood. The ban was put in place, after the alleged detection of Vibrio Cholera in some of the consignments of frozen seafood. Earlier even China had banned the export of frozen seafood from India, after some traces of Coronavirus were found on the packaging.
CHINA SUSPENDS EXPORTS OF SEAFOOD FROM INDIA
China, which is the world’s second-largest export destination, for the Indian seafood market with a 17% share decided in light of the impending Coronavirus pandemic. In fact, from 2017-2019, China brought in the biggest imports of Indian seafood evaluating $1,225.9 billion in 2019. However, the Covid-19 pandemic had thrown the seafood industry into a decline, because of the covid restrictions. After the ban, the Indian seafood industry was badly affected. Considering the difficult bilateral trade relations between China and India due to border disputes as well as covid outbreak originating from Wuhan-a city in China itself. India, took the suspension very seriously and took the necessary steps quickly to boost their business in the seafood industry by exporting to other top countries like USA, Japan, Britain and other gulf countries including Qatar itself.
CHINA ALLOWS THE IMPORT OF INDIAN SEAFOOD
However after long and sustained efforts by India’s MPEDA, after nearly a year, China lifted the ban on frozen seafood from India, which includes 99 seafood processing and exporting units. This step will likely increase 5-10% of the export of marine products by the next fiscal year. DV Swamy, the Chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority remarked “Sustained efforts by the MPEDA, among others, have been crucial to India’s eventual success in getting lifted China’s suspension,” at the International Sea Food Show which was held in Kolkata on 15-17 February 2023.
QATAR REMOVES THE BAN
Following this, Qatar also lifted its ban on exports of Indian seafood, The Qatar government, at the time of the ban had made it very much clear, to India that the suspension was only temporary, owing to the lack of ample testing laboratories in Qatar as a result of the FIFA World Cup.
After a series of discussions, with the Ministry of Public Health of Qatar, the decision to uplift the ban was taken, Although, some restrictions continue as the suspension of chilled seafood from India continues. The joint decision resulted from continuous and lasting efforts made by the Department of Commerce under the Government of India as well as the Indian Embassy in Qatar itself.
Being elated at this decision of Qatar, the MPEDA chairman said,” This week is proving to be very good for the seafood exporters in India, considering a similar lift in the suspension by China. We hope that the restrictions by Qatar on the chilled seafood will also be cleared soon after a reassessment of the situation”. This has proved to be a turning point for India, at a time, when India is seeking to be a global economy. This will lead to exports worth millions, uplifting the country’s Global Status.
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