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 Q2 2021 (unless specified otherwise)

  • Rank as trading partner (goods and services):
    • 13th largest trading partner (accounting for 1.9% of total UK trade)
    • 10th largest goods trading partner (accounting for 2.4% of UK goods trade)
    • 24th largest services trading partner (accounting for 1.0% of UK services trade)
  • Rank as export market:
    • 21st largest export market (accounting for 1.2% of total UK exports)
    • 21st largest goods export market (accounting for 1.3% of UK goods exports)
    • 22nd largest services export market (accounting for 1.1% of UK services exports)
  • Rank of import market:
    • 10th largest import market (accounting for 2.6% of total UK imports)
    • 9th largest goods import market (accounting for 3.1% of UK goods imports)
    • 24th largest services import market (accounting for 0.8% of UK services imports)
  • Total trade in goods and services: £22.9 billion (increase of 2.8% or £632 million from previous year)
  • Total UK exports to Norway: £7.1 billion (decrease of 9.6% or £760 million from previous year)
  • Total UK imports from Norway: £15.8 billion (increase of 9.7% or £1.4 billion from previous year)
  • Outward stock of FDI (2019): £1 billion (0.1% of the total UK outward FDI stock)
  • Inward stock of FDI (2019): £7.9 billion (0.5% 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. Norway’s trade surplus hits new record in December 2021 (17/01/2022): https://www.nokiamobilephonenews.co.uk/wires/high-gas-prices-push-norways-dec-trade-surplus-to-record/ 
  2. 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 
  3.  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 
  4. 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 
  5. Reuters poll predicts Norwegian and Swedish currencies will appreciate against the euro in 2022 (07/01/2022): https://www.nokiamobilephonenews.co.uk/wires/poll-norway-and-sweden-currencies-to-strengthen-vs-euro-in-2022/ 
  6. 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 
  7. Rolls-Royce has sold Bergen Engines (a Norwegian manufacturing company) to the UK’s Langley Holdings for €91 million. The sale marks the end of Bergen’s role within Rolls-Royce, which began in 1999 (05/01/2022): https://www.macaubusiness.com/rolls-royce-completes-norwegian-sale-to-uk-firm/ 
  8. 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 
  9. 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 
  10. 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 
  11. Figures reveal that Norwegian salmon is dominating the global salmon industry (09/12/2021): https://craigmedred.news/2021/12/09/losing-the-battle/ 
  12. 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 
  13. 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 
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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/
  17. 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/
  18. 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/
  19. The possibility of a new Brexit fishing war looms as tensions between Norwegian officials and German fishermen escalate (13/11/2021): https://en.brinkwire.com/news/we-are-facing-the-greatest-challenge-says-boris-as-he-prepares-for-a-new-brexit-fishing-war/
  20. Despite “initial interest” in the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS), the UK government has confirmed that it will not join the green trade pact made between New Zealand, Norway, Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland and Switzerland (11/11/2021): https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-trade-pact-fossil-fuel-subsidies-tariffs-green-goods/
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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/
  25. 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/
  26. 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
  27. 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/
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. As economies begin to recover, Norway becomes the first major developed country to lift interest rates following the pandemic (23/09/2021): https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/great-central-bank-exit-begins-norway-hikes-rates-2021-09-23/
  32. Following record high prices which prompted 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/
  33. 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/
  34. The UK reaches a trade agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein which 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.