Updated: Dec 10, 2020
What is the current situation and future opportunities for Norway-China collaboration? From where I'm seeing it, there will be great opportunities for Norwegian green and blue tech companies to enter the Chinese market.
Free Trade Agreement
China has become one of Norway´s most important trade partners outside of Europe. Norway has maintained a good relationship with China since diplomatic relations was normalized at the end of 2016. It has been a priority for Norway to continue work on the free trade deal with China. Despite the challenges we have all faced from the beginning of this year due to the corona pandemic, negotiations on the free trade agreement has continued with some success. The agreement is comprehensive and ambitious, and will potentially lead to better market access in trade and related services, which will in turn contribute to improved economic relations between Norway and China.
In general, European business communities are committed to continuing business with and in the Chinese market, according to The European Business in China Position Paper 2020/2021, and do not plan to redirect investment and business out of China. The willingness for speed-up of negotiations on the EU-China Investment Agreement from both sides also provides a positive signal for greater future opportunities for EU-China cooperation on trade and investment.
Green growth on the top agenda
China has set ambitious climate and environmental targets, aiming to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping announced recently. It will demand a low-carbon and sustainable growth model in all sectors, and at all levels. In Beijing, current political debate is focused on the preparation of the 14th five-year plan. In the current draft proposal, green growth has been one of the keywords, mentioned specifically 19 times, while there are no rigid GDP targets for the next five years.
China is intent on boosting international cooperation on environmental and climate issues, aligning with Norwegian international development strategies and planning. Norway wants to promote greater exports and international business development, particularly within the areas of circular and bio economy, in new areas such as hydrogen, offshore wind, and batteries, as stated by the Norwegian government in a recent export action plan. Norway and China will continue to explore these opportunities and strengthen cooperation in green business development.