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How to enter international markets? Illustration: Oddvar Dahl © Nofima

Market access

 Industrial economics    Marketing research  

In this project we investigate the obstacles that Norwegian seafood exporters face when trying to enter different markets with different cultures.

Time:1. January 2018 – 31. December 2019
Commissioner:Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries

The main objective of this project is to study the informal barriers that hinder market access of Norwegian seafood to different markets/cultures. The project is divided into two parts:

The first part of the project has been to establish relevant research-based knowledge related to the development of e-commerce for seafood. Here we have explored opportunities and challenges for Norwegian seafood producers/exporters, related to the steadily growing e-commerce trade in China. Does this market channel provide other conditions for market access than the traditional channels such as other preferences, requirements, logistics solutions, and possible changes in power dynamics in the value chain that affect earnings potential?

The purpose of the second part will be to study Norwegian seafood companies’ understanding of the concept of market access.


Today, businesses operate in increasingly complex global environments, where everything is interconnected and mutually dependent on each another. Study of the literature shows that market access appears to be a term that Norwegian seafood companies believe to be beyond their control and scope of responsibility. This suggests a very formal view of what market access is, mainly linked to Customs and tariff regulations.

Market access, however, is a much broader concept. This study will adopt an international business theory perspective to study how Norwegian seafood companies adapt and manage their business processes in a time of increasing globalisation.

Based on empirical examples from the Norwegian seafood sector, this part of the study aims to uncover:

  1. How is the ability of Norwegian seafood companies to adapt to the new global world of today?
  2. In what way is a company’s ability to adapt to the global market’s growing complexity related to the capacity and ability of employees/managers to remain competitive, maintain or gain access to new international markets?
  3. Develop a strategy model for market access based on findings from #1 and #2 that can help create new business models for Norwegian seafood companies?


This study will employ known internationalisation theories to study how Norwegian companies adapt to challenges in an industry with a lot of uncertainty. The main method will be in-depth interviews with key informants.

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