UKTI country profile – Norway
Tine Flaten from the British Embassy in Oslo outlines the opportunities for East of England companies in Norway.
1) What would be your advice to East of England businesses looking to do business in your market for the first time?
• Talk to us! Understand that Norway is a market which looks for quality products or services that deliver and that you don’t always get a second chance. Norway is a small market (just over 5 million) and reputation (good and bad) and trends can spread very quickly. Norwegians tend to be very direct and a yes is a yes, a no is a no. Norwegians are pro-British and open to contact.
2) Why is now a good time for East of England firms to be looking to do business in Norway?
• Norway is one of the world’s wealthiest nations per capita. The Norwegian economy has fared better than many others in Europe in the past years. The offshore sector which accounts for 25 per cent of GDP is experiencing a renaissance as a result of significant discoveries of new oil and gas reserves on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
This has kept the economy strong during the global financial and economic crisis. In short, the Norwegian kroner is strong, interest rates are low and unemployment is the lowest in Europe at 3.6 per cent. Estimates for the continued growth of the Norwegian economy range from 2 to 3.5 per cent year on year, for 2014 and 2015.
3) What are the key opportunities for East of England companies looking to approach your markets?
Significant opportunities exist in the following areas:
• Renewables Technology, Energy Efficiency & Low Carbon Economy
• Quality Consumer Goods
• Healthcare and Biotechnology
• Medical Equipment/e-Health
• Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives
4) For companies coming to explore your market what sort of support can you offer to help them develop their exports in your market?
• All of the UKTI Services plus good relationships with many sectors, networking events, mini-exhibitions, an Ambassador’s Residence which can be used for product launches, dinners, press events, presentations. A UKTI team with experience across many sectors.