Introduction: Norway and China

Last updated: 14.08.2013 //

Bilateral relations
Norway and China share a long, common history. Norwegian ships have carried goods to and from China for centuries, and Norwegian business has a long history on the Chinese mainland. Norway was one of the first western countries to establish diplomatic relations with China on October 5th 1954, signaling a sincere wish to develop broad and deep relations between our two countries. Today, Norway and China collaborate closely on a vast array of issues ranging from shipbuilding, offshore technology and marine resources to arctic cooperation, energy issues, environmental protection, education and research collaboration and cultural exchange.

The Norway-China business relationship is a story of complementarity and shared interests. Chinese companies and investments are welcome in Norway. Our relationship is growing at an unprecedented pace and new opportunities for engagement continue to emerge. Norway aims to build a stronger trade and investment partnership with China, based on our competitive strengths. Total trade between Norway and China in 2012 was 60.2 billion Norwegian Kroner – 4.22% of Norway’s total foreign trade.

Norway is one of the world's leading maritime nations and has a unique position in the global maritime industry through its concentration of some of the world’s leading ship owners, shipping firms, yards and ship equipment firms. We also have a whole range of specialized maritime services including ship classification. The numerous and varied maritime activities that have grown up around traditional shipping operations enjoy strong and often leading positions in the international market and has also gained a strong foothold in China.

The Norwegian offshore cluster is among the most developed in the world. The industry has responded to the challenging environments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and technology development has allowed the activities to move into frontier areas. This provides a breathing ground for new technology and operational solutions. As a consequence, the Norwegian petroleum industry has developed a full range of high technology and advanced products, systems and services. The interest for these products, systems and services has expanded from the Norwegian Continental shelf to the global market, including China.

We believe that the best seafood in the world comes from Norway. Except for oil, gas and metal in modern times, nothing has contributed more to the Norwegian economy than the fishery resources. Norway exports seafood to more than 150 countries in the world. Fresh Norwegian salmon is famous all around the world and there is a huge potential for further growth in China. In addition to salmon, frozen fish to the processing industry in China represents more than 80 % of the Norwegian fish export to China.

Norwegian fjords and mountains attract tourists from all over the world. In later years, increasing numbers of Chinese travelers have found their way to Norway in order to experience the exotic nature and clean air of this exotic country on top of Europe.

The Arctic
The Arctic is one of Norway’s main foreign policy priorities. China and other Asian countries have expertise, experience and knowledge that is highly relevant to developments in the Arctic. Norway appreciates and welcomes increased cooperation with China on Arctic issues, based on the existing legal and political framework. Norway has had two rounds of High North Dialogue with China, and was pleased to welcome China and five other countries as observers to the Arctic Council in May 2013. Companies from both China and Norway can benefit from co-operation for the development of sustainable economic activities in Arctic areas. China has capacity and competence in many relevant areas, and Chinese companies are already active in the Arctic. Norwegian companies possess advanced technology and competence, especially when it comes to maritime operations, as well as oil and gas extraction in Arctic conditions. There is also ongoing scientific cooperation between Norwegian and Chinese institutes focusing on Arctic affairs.

Norway is the third largest gas exporter in the world, it is a major oil exporter and has a large share of renewables in its energy mix mainly due to hydropower production - the world’s 6th largest. As the world's most populous country, the world’s largest energy consumer and the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world, China has become extremely influential in world energy markets. Norwegian companies have the desired expertise and technology to assist China in its efforts on “going green” through a gradual shift from coal to renewables and towards increased efficiency in its energy consumption. World-renowned Norwegian petroleum technology is important for China’s onshore and offshore operations.  Norwegian and Chinese energy companies already co-operate internationally and have a common interest in further developing the global energy markets.

Environment and climate change
China and Norway have worked together on environmental issues for almost 20 years. Realizing Chinas current and future impact on the regional and global environment, we have been a partner for China in the implementation of its international commitments on environment and climate change, focusing on pollution control, management of biological diversity and addressing climate change. Norway also gives great importance to our participation in and support to China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), a high-level advisory body to the Government of China.

On these pages you will find more information on these and other fields of collaboration. Please explore our website and visit our partners to learn more.

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