SCOTTISH oil/marine energy the focus of Chinese investors; How long before aquaculture is in sight? (Jan. 2011)

First posted 11.01.2011

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed Sunday (January 9th) the conclusion of a $10 million licensing agreement between a Sino-Scots firm and a Scotland-based engineering firm on processing domestic waste into energy. On Monday, Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed a deal aimed at enhancing the long term profitability of the Grangemouth oil refinery and securing more than 2,000 Scottish jobs.

The announcements coincide with a Chinese Government state visit to Scotland. The latter has made no secret of its ambition to become the world leader in marine renewable energies, and China is indeed interested in the concept. In that context it may not be too preposterous to imagine that other sectors may also interest the cash-rich investors at a time when Chinese businessmen & officials are jetting the world and heavily investing in all industries in Europe, the USA, Africa – in fact ‘bailing out’ financially stranded governments virtually everywhere – of potential economic & strategic importance.

Thus, ‘Why not aquaculture?’ one could wonder… The Chinese market is the object of much envy for marketers, in the seafood realm as much as anywhere else. Add to this the fact that much European seafood is exported to China & Asia for processing before being re-imported for consumption, and that China is not only the world’s #1 aquaculture producer but also on of its precursor (5000+ years ago) as a food producing technique, and that – thanks to many spent Norwegian kroners – Chinese consumers are starting to acquire a taste for farmed salmon (the 1st closed-contained salmon farm opened up there last month), and you have several reasons why Chinese investors may also want to turn their attention to the sector which will play a huge part in feeding the world in the coming decades…

If only to improve their margins (not solely a Western concept): who knows… however ‘shocking’ the consideration for some, it may even one day be cheaper for China to use EU labour!

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