The study focuses on two overall questions: 1) What are the main trends of development of the WTO and regional trade organisations? and 2) What are the consequences for the Norwegian seafood industry?
The region of South-East Asia is of strategic interes t to the Norwegian seafood industry, both as a competitor and in terms of the market potential. Hence, Norwegian seafood exports, and even more interestingly, the export potential to the region can be studied in the context of trade conditions and trade a greements as well as competitiveness. The Norwegian seafood industry exports 90 percent of its total production. This means that conditions regulating international market access are crucial to Norwegian seafood industry's existence and realisation of dev elopment potential. Such conditions are dynamic, and under constant change. The WTO influences domestic levels of tariffs and export possibilities. In this respect, overall political institutions, strategies and guidelines are relevant to the seafood indu stry. The development of the WTO towards increased globalisation of trade is a parallel process to a rapid increase in regional and bilateral trade agreements the last ten years. External conditions defining the development potential, challenges and oppor tunities for Norwegian seafood industry actors are explored. The knowledge gained on international regulations, the competitive situation, on trade politics, on increased competition from countries with low labour costs will provide the Norwegian seafood industry with an opportunity to establish strategies in order to benefit from international opportunities. This will enable policy makers and the industry to understand the processes defining their framework for strategic action, and to understand how thi s will influence the situation of Norwegian seafood industry actors.