Somali Consortium Seeks Chinese Investors, Buyers For Mogadishu Processing Hub.

A consortium of seafood companies, government, and a telecoms firm in Somalia are looking for Chinese investors to establish a port and processing hub to increase exports to China.

Abdul Mohamed at Djumla Consulting, which has offices in Mogadishu and Dubai, said the project will help Somalia by creating new jobs in Mogadishu area and by utilizing Chinese-based expertise, Mohamed said.

“We represent a group of entrepreneurs from Somalia who are very interested to access the Chinese Sea Food Market,” Mohamed told SeafoodSource.

“The aim of the preliminary project is to set up a joint venture, which is owned by Somalian Sea food investors and Chinese parties and which delivers variety of sea food products to be sold in China and other countries.”

Mohamed’s consortium includes 30 local seafood companies, local telecoms firm, and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. It has assessed the potential of selling direct to Chinese consumers via e-commerce, explained Mohamed, “but eventually we think it will be wise to us to get a very strong local partner who already selling in local ecommerce and also help us all the technical barriers from our end.”

The joint venture will build facilities in Mogadishu for processing, cold storage, and for transporting “deep ocean” seafood products. Species listed in the consortium’s plans include bluefin and bigeye tuna, cuttlefish, crayfish, and mackerel.

Somalia boasts a 3,500-kilometer coastline in the strategic Horn of Africa where the continent meets the Middle East. China has built a military base in neighboring Djibouti.

A Somali/Soviet joint venture, the Las-Khorey Tuna plant operated off a 50-trawler fleet off the north-east coast in the 1980s before Somalia’s descent into civil war in the early 1990s.

“The fleet carried out bottom-trawling for fish, mainly, but also in a narrow belt in deeper waters for deep-sea lobster,” explains Abdul………