The Indian flag. The world's most populous country, which has a middle class almost as big as the combined populations of the UK, Germany, France, and Italy, has reached agreement with Chile on certification of salmon products.

India opens the door to Chilean salmon


Salmon farmers in Chile are hoping to establish a major export market in the world’s most populous nation, India, following an agreement between the countries.

Chile’s state aquaculture agency, Sernapesca, and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) reported on Saturday that they have established the conditions for the official certification of frozen and refrigerated salmonid products and crustaceans sent to India, for processing establishments that are currently registered for the market.

“Getting this certification is the result of the coordinated efforts of various government and commercial entities, which have worked together to overcome the challenges and comply with the sanitary and regulatory requirements demanded by the Indian authorities,” said Loreto Seguel, executive director of the Salmon Council, which represents four of Chile’s top five Atlantic salmon producers - AquaChile, Cermaq, Australis, and Mowi – and coho salmon heavyweight Salmones Aysén.

“This milestone opens up new perspectives for the Chilean salmon industry, by expanding its geographical reach and accessing a market with great growth potential.”

Growing middle class

Seguel added that the milestone agreement contributes to strengthening trade relations between Chile and India. Trade between the countries in 2022 was worth US $2.77 billion.

India has the world’s largest population of 1.49 billion, marginally more than China, and has a growing middle class estimated at around 264 million inhabitants, which is more than three-quarters of the total population of the Chilean salmon sector’s biggest market, the United States (340 million).

Seguel said advances in a Chile-India trade agreement had brought significant tariff benefits for Chilean salmon, with an effective 15% reduction in import duties.

Promising opportunities

“This has created incentives and opened up promising opportunities for the Chilean salmon industry,” Seguel said.

The opening of the Indian market for Chilean salmon and the reduction of import taxes will allow Indian importers to purchase Chile’s fish at lower costs compared to salmon from other countries that have higher tariffs.Chile is the world’s second-largest producer of Atlantic salmon, after Norway.

India is one of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), generally regarded as the four major emerging economies expected to dominate in the 21st century. Although the West has imposed sanctions of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, the country is still trading normally with other countries such as India, which has adopted a neutral stance over the war waged by Russian President Vladimir Putin.