A Snapshot: UK-Norway Trade Relations

By Helena Roberts
Bergen, Norway © Jim Trodel/Flickr

Helena Roberts

Building on our UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory, we have collated this comprehensive list of articles and statistics to provide our readers with relevant information pertaining to UK-Norway trade relations. It ensures your access to regularly updated trade and investment material acquired from international news sources and government websites.

Period: Four quarters to the end of Q3 2021 (unless specified otherwise)

  • Rank as trading partner (goods and services):
    • 11th largest trading partner (accounting for 2.2% of total UK trade)
    • 10th largest goods trading partner (accounting for 2.9% of UK goods trade)
    • 23rd largest services trading partner (accounting for 1.1% of UK services trade)
  • Rank as export market:
    • 22nd largest export market (accounting for 1.2% of total UK exports)
    • 22nd largest goods export market (accounting for 1.2% of UK goods exports)
    • 22nd largest services export market (accounting for 1.2% of UK services exports)
  • Rank of import market:
    • 9th largest import market (accounting for 3.1% of total UK imports)
    • 7th largest goods import market (accounting for 3.9% of UK goods imports)
    • 26th largest services import market (accounting for 0.8% of UK services imports)
  • Total trade in goods and services: £27.6 billion (increase of 31.2% or £6.6 billion from previous year)
  • Total UK exports to Norway: £7.3 billion (decrease of 4.8% or £367 million from previous year)
  • Total UK imports from Norway: £20.3 billion (increase of 51.9% or £6.9 billion from previous year)
  • Outward stock of FDI (2020): £5.5 billion (0.3% of the total UK outward FDI stock)
  • Inward stock of FDI (2020): £8.4 billion (0.4% of the total UK inward FDI stock)

For further information, visit DIT’s Trade and Investment Factsheet for Norway

Latest News about UK-Norway Trade:

  1. Indigenous communities and environmentalist groups express concern over a new mining project which has been approved for development in Kvalsund (15/02/2022): https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/can-norway-balance-green-energy-goals-with-indigenous-concerns 
  2. Scottish fishing associations are organising a survey on North Sea white fish stocks, and request collaboration with Norway and Denmark in order to acquire the most accurate data on key catching areas (09/02/2022): https://www.insider.co.uk/news/scottish-fishermen-launch-survey-north-26178753 
  3. Norway plans to develop wind farms in the southern area of the North Sea, which could generate power for approximately 460,000 households per year (09/02/2022): https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/norway-proposes-first-southern-north-sea-wind-farms 
  4. An electronic reporting system designed by Succorfish has received Norwegian Government accreditation. The system will provide vessels with guidance on whether they are in a permitted fishing area, among other things (04/02/2022): https://netimesmagazine.co.uk/business/succorfish-sails-away-with-norwegian-government-accreditation-for-offshore-vessel-monitoring-system/ 
  5. Norwegian company Skipsteknisk have designed a 70-meter longliner shipping vessel powered by hydrogen. The project, which has been subsidised by the Norwegian government, could ‘form the basis for a green shift in shipping’ says the vessel’s captain (27/01/2022): https://www.nationalfisherman.com/boats-gear/-we-are-the-pioneers-building-a-hydrogen-powered-fishing-vessel
  6. Amidst complaints that Norwegian fishing vessels are unfairly disadvantaged, Fiskebåt requests egalitarian capelin catch restrictions for Norwegian, Icelandic, Greenlandic and Faroese fishing vessels operating in Icelandic waters (24/01/2022): https://fiskerforum.com/fiskebaat-objects-to-capelin-season-restrictions/ 
  7. Norwegian Seafood Council has appointed a new UK director (21/01/2022): https://www.intrafish.com/people/norwegian-seafood-council-names-new-envoy-to-uk/2-1-1150445 
  8. Following public action, a 2019 Norwegian Labour Party decision has banned all seismic blasting for oil across much of Norway’s fishing grounds. With mounting evidence showing the damage which such blasts have on marine life, public action against the practice is growing on a global scale (19/01/2022): https://mg.co.za/opinion/2022-01-19-we-fishermen-stopped-big-oils-seismic-blasts-in-norways-fisheries-you-can-do-it-too/ 
  9. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has offered 53 new oil production licences on the Norwegian continental shelf (18/01/2022): https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/stor-interesse-for-videre-leteaktivitet-pa-norsk-sokkel/id2895836/
  10. Norway’s trade surplus hits new record in December 2021 (17/01/2022): https://www.oedigital.com/news/493523-high-gas-prices-push-norway-s-dec-trade-surplus-to-record
  11. As part of a European-wide campaign to restore rivers to free-flowing, Norway has destroyed a hydro dam which has blocked the Tromsa river for over 100 years. The move, which is said to benefit river health and fish stocks, precede similar projects due to occur in 2022 in the UK, Spain and France (14/01/2022): https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/14/norwegians-blow-up-hydro-dam-restore-river-fish-health-aoe 
  12.  A House of Lords report has found that the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein could result in reduced costs for both the fish processing industry and consumers (12/01/2022): https://jerseyeveningpost.com/morenews/uknews/2022/01/12/uk-trade-deal-with-norway-iceland-and-liechtenstein-could-mean-cheaper-fish-2 
  13. Denmark claims that by not placing appropriate concern on the environmental impacts of fishing, Norway has obtained a monopoly on the salmon industry (11/01/2022): https://worldcrunch.com/fishing-industry-environment 
  14. Seafood exports from Norway in 2021 were 14.3% larger than in 2020, making it the highest year for seafood exports ever (05/01/2022): https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2022/01/all-time-high-norwegian-seafood 
  15. Rolls-Royce has sold Bergen Engines (a Norwegian manufacturing company) to the UK’s Langley Holdings for €91 million (05/01/2022): https://www.macaubusiness.com/rolls-royce-completes-norwegian-sale-to-uk-firm/ 
  16. The UK and Norway have signed a fishing deal enabling their fisheries access to each other’s waters and quotas in 2022 (22/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fisheries-bilateral-agreement-with-norway-for-2022 
  17. COP26 International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition commits to a long term effort to reduce aviation CO2 emissions in order to reach net-zero by 2050. The signatories of this declaration include the UK and Norway (21/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cop-26-declaration-international-aviation-climate-ambition-coalition/cop-26-declaration-international-aviation-climate-ambition-coalition 
  18. UK, Norway and EU agree on fishing catch limits for 2022. The limits agreed should help to protect fish stocks (10/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-agrees-2022-fishing-catch-limits-with-eu-and-norway 
  19. Figures reveal that Norwegian salmon is dominating the global salmon industry (09/12/2021): https://craigmedred.news/2021/12/09/losing-the-battle/ 
  20. Disagreements concerning the Svalbard Treaty resurface following post-Brexit cod quota allocations (08/12/2021): https://www.highnorthnews.com/nb/cod-quotas-shake-svalbard-treaty 
  21. Norway and the UK recorded large electric vehicle market share gains in November (06/12/2021): https://www.benzinga.com/news/21/12/24463772/uk-and-norway-hit-record-ev-market-share-in-november-what-are-the-top-brands 
  22. Groundbreaking WTO deal signed by 67 member countries (including the UK and Norway) could cut trade costs by £113 billion per year (02/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-helps-broker-groundbreaking-wto-agreement-set-to-cut-cost-of-global-services-trade-by-113-billion
  23. A new UK-Norway trade deal enters into effect facilitating a deepened relationship between the trading partners (01/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-norway-deal-comes-into-effect
  24. Norway appoints Knut Arild Hareide as Director of the Norwegian Maritime Directorate. From 1 January 2022, when he formally takes up the position, Hareide will head the organisation which has a broad international presence and is a key actor in implementing a green focus to the Maritime industry  (26/11/2021): https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/knut-arild-hareide-blir-ny-sjofartsdirektor/id2886661/
  25. British foods such as Cornish pasties, Cumberland sausages and Scottish salmon have lost their Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for UK-Norway trade (25/11/2021): https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/food-drink/british-food-products-could-lose-protected-status-thanks-to-brexit-302575/
  26. Norwegian shipping company set to develop an innovative ‘green’ vessel in order to reduce fossil fuel emissions involved in the fishing trade (22/11/2021): https://shipinsight.com/articles/enova-funds-world-first-hydrogen-powered-fishing-vessel/
  27. Oil and gas industry trading bodies including the UK’s OGUK and Norway’s Norwegian Oil and Gas Association have signed an agreement promising to work together during the energy transition (10/11/2021): https://www.oedigital.com/news/491977-north-sea-oil-and-gas-trade-bodies-sign-pact-to-cut-emissions
  28. BP and Aker announce the potential sale of shares in Norwegian oil and gas producer Aker BP ASA (10/11/2021): https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/news-and-insights/press-releases/bp-and-aker-to-explore-potential-sale-of-a-stake-in-akerbp.html
  29. Norway and the UK, along with 10 other countries, fund a project aiming to reverse global forest loss (02/11/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/12-billion-donor-support-to-halt-and-reverse-forest-loss-and-protect-land-rights
  30. In a bid to fight climate change, Nordic and British pension funds pledge to invest $130 billion by 2030 and to publish annual green investment reports documenting progress (02/11/2021): https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/nordic-uk-pension-funds-commit-130-billion-fight-climate-change-2021-11-02/
  31. Norwegian Prime Minister defends the decision to continue Norway’s oil-drilling activities, because shutting down production would inhibit the country’s transition to environmentally friendly energy (25/10/2021): https://norwaytoday.info/finance/stopping-oil-drilling-would-mean-the-end-of-the-green-shift-store-tells-financial-times/
  32. Amidst overfishing fears in the north-east Atlantic, the UK’s largest seafood processor has threatened to stop sourcing fish from at risk parts of the ocean (23/10/2021): https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/47942/20211023/top-uk-fish-firm-threatens-stop-sourcing-european-states-continue.htm
  33. British multinational chemical company, INEOS, intends to invest over €2 billion on electrolysis plants to be built in Norway, Germany and Belgium. The project will contribute to INEOS’s plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (18/10/2021): https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/ineos-invest-23-bln-green-hydrogen-production-2021-10-17/
  34. Norwegian Government announces it will develop, not dismantle, its oil and gas sector. The news comes on the same day that the European Union propose a ban on new oil, coal and gas exploration in the Arctic (13/10/2021): https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/eu-seek-ban-oil-gas-exploration-arctic-2021-10-13/ and https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-58896850
  35. The Council of the European Union reaches an agreement on Total Allowable Catch (TAC) provisions in the Baltic Sea for 2022 (12/10/2021): https://ec.europa.eu/oceans-and-fisheries/news/baltic-sea-agreement-reached-2022-fishing-opportunities-2021-10-12_en
  36. The North Sea Link (NSL) powers up for the first time, enabling renewable energy sharing between the UK and Norway. The NSL will supply hydropower to the UK from Norway, and will facilitate the exportation of wind power to Norway when there is surplus production in the UK (07/10/2021): https://www.offgridenergyindependence.com/articles/24912/worlds-longest-subsea-cable-between-uk-and-norway-powers-up
  37. Due to record prices prompting British suppliers to seek state support, Norway have agreed to increase natural gas exports to Europe (20/09/2021): https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/norway-promises-europe-more-gas-prices-soar-2021-09-20/
  38. Dispute between the EU and Norway arises over Total Allowable Catch (TAC) following post-Brexit fishing quota discussions (09/08/2021): https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-norway-arctic-fishing-post-brexit-rights/
  39. The UK reaches a trade agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The agreement includes new arrangements on digital trading services, government procurement and intellectual property, as well as provisions on women’s economic empowerment and the environment (16/07/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-norway-iceland-and-liechtenstein-fta-parliamentary-report/summary-of-the-free-trade-agreement-fta-between-the-uk-and-norway-iceland-and-liechtenstein-web-version

Helena Roberts is a Global Leadership Fellow at Polar Research and Policy Initiative, and serves as lead writer for the Norway and Sweden sections of both the UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory and the Coronavirus Observatory.

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