Exporting guide to Norway
Norwegians are keen on British brands and products. They have high spending power and expect quality, well-packed and competitively priced products. The market is technologically and digitally advanced, and there is a growing interest in responsible consumption and healthy, sustainable products. Norwegians are early adopters of technology.
Norway is ranked 9th in the world for ease of doing business (World Bank, 2019). It has a pro-British business environment and a transparent, egalitarian society with a flat business structure.
Proximity, ease of business
Norway is one of the UK’s closest neighbours. It can be reached in a 2-hour flight. English is widely spoken, and Norwegians are comfortable with UK culture.
Opportunities for exporters
There is a demand for UK-manufactured products and services across many sectors in Norway. This includes products and services for oil and gas, vehicles and finance. There is also demand for medical and pharmaceutical products, and a wide range of consumer goods.
Planned projects and developments
The offshore oil and gas sector provides opportunities for UK companies in: Field life extension, enhanced/improved oil recovery (IOR/EOR) technologies, maintenance and modification work (MMO), standardisation of solutions, and low carbon disruptive technologies.
No localised requirements
Norwegian oil and gas companies export globally, with the renewables energy sector also in high demand. Suppliers to Norwegian companies can expect their products and services to be re-exported to destinations other than Norway.
The energy sector is an earlier adopter of new technology. There is an openness to apply solutions and technologies for improved service and efficiency. Companies in Norway are actively seeking solutions to reduce emissions to reach national and Paris agreement targets and gain competitive advantage.
For infrastructure and construction sectors to deliver on national climate targets for emission reduction, there is a requirement for green solutions. Public procurement is actively seeking sustainable solutions for new buildings, roads and railways, as well as recycling materials to protect the built environment.
The national budget allocates NOK75.4 billion to the transport sector in 2020 (Statsbudsjettet.no, 2020). The largest ongoing projects are track maintenance and the current development of E39 as a continuous Coastal Highway Route; this includes replacing ferries with bridges and tunnels, improvement of road and research for a digital transport system.
By 2025, Norway is aiming for all new cars sold to be electric and for ferries to be zero emission (regjeringen.no, 2020). Additionally, the goal is for short haul flights to be fully electric by 2040 (avinor.no, 2020). There are opportunities in innovation, research and development for solutions, material and batteries. The Norwegian market can act as a springboard to many other markets.
Demand for UK expertise
There is a demand in Norway for UK expertise and products. The UK offer is considered well-established, attractive and enjoys a good reputation. There are opportunities for UK companies in civil technologies, cyber security and physical security.
Norway has a strong focus on building and sharing knowledge and competences in the security sector. Several initiatives have been taken in recent years to strengthen Norway’s ability to detect and withstand threats, leading to increased investment in security products and services, including many from the UK. This trend will continue.
Food and drink
Demand for new food categories
With an estimated 680,000 visits from Norway to the UK in 2019 (VisitBritain, 2020), familiarity with British food and drink is growing and giving retailers more reason to stock British products. Opportunities for UK producers exist within health, free-from, natural, vegetarian, vegan and plant-based foods, innovative products and own-label products.
Norway is a not a member of the EU but is a member of the EEA, so most regulations regarding imports are similar to those in the EU. The main exception is agricultural products, where Norway has some tariffs on imported products.
Norway has a relatively small population, but given the structure of the retail market a successful product can gain national coverage relatively quickly. The route to market is normally opened by an importer or distributor.
Low emission aviation
Norway’s commitment to have low emission (electric) domestic flights by 2040 offers opportunity for collaboration and R&D between the UK’s world-leading aviation industry and Norway's own. Norway is creating a testbed market, and is pursuing international cooperation in this area, while also introducing biofuels for long-haul flights.
Developing a digital public sector is a priority, to ensure a well-functioning welfare state. Digitalisation and the use of information and communication technology, including 5G, can make a positive contribution to economic growth and productivity. The country is tech savvy but is sourcing competences internationally.
Healthtech and medtech
The Norwegian health sector has the potential to become one of the most important growth industries for Norway. Having had to face high pressure in the health services at the start of 2020, reviewing and investing in smarter, improved healthcare is at the forefront of the government’s agenda.