Norway difficult trade partner

Last year Swedish companies sold goods to Norway worth SKr 124 billion and services worth SKr 91 billion, making it Sweden’s largest export country. However Anna Stellinger, director general of Sweden’s National Board of Trade says, “Companies expect it to be easy to trade with Norway, but it is difficult.”

The board was tasked by the government to survey businesses to see where the greatest trade difficulties occur. Among the third of companies that experiences problems with exports to a non-EU countries, almost all singled out Norway, followed by Russia, China, Brazil, the US and India. Bureaucratic times and difficult processes for customs are among the problems.

A third of companies believe it is important for Sweden to bring about better trade conditions with Norway. The Board of Trade believes that the survey indicates that the choice of countries in the export strategy ought to be narrower.

Norway strikes Saab a blow

The Saab defence group’s hopes of supplying Norway with future submarines were dashed on Thursday, when Norway’s Ministry of Defence said it had shortlisted Germany’s Thyssen Krupp and France’s DCNS as possible suppliers.

Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said that a submarine cooperation with either France or Germany would ensure that Norway would get the submarines it needed, while contributing to “a more efficient armaments cooperation in NATO”.

The minister also made clear that Norway would be willing to cooperate with other countries in need of new submarines, namely the Netherlands and Poland.