Iceland and China have signed a free trade agreement to lower tariffs on a variety of goods, Montreal Gazette reports.
The deal is expected to boost seafood and other exports from the remote Nordic state while giving Beijing a leg up in its drive for expanded influence in the Arctic. It comes at the start of a five-day visit to China by Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir.
Trade between China and Iceland rose 21.1 percent last year to $180 million, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade. Iceland exports mostly fish to China and imports a range of Chinese products from ships to shoes. Meanwhile, Iceland has “unique importance” to China as it attempts to gain a foothold in the Arctic, where melting ice is opening passages for shipping.