The Norway business community is keen on bolstering economic trade and cooperation with Vietnam, said Finn Kristian Aamodt, acting President and CEO of Innovation Norway.
“Norwegian businesses are especially interested in cooperation in hydro-electricity, oil and gas, shipbuilding, maritime, and aquaculture”, he continued.
Aamodt made the comments on the eve of the departure of Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon Magnus on a working visit to Vietnam from March 18-21, for which leaders are expected to hold high-level discussions on boosting cooperation.
Aamodt said the Vietnamese marketplace has drawn a great deal of attention from Norwegian investors who are looking for a lucrative market to expand their business operations overseas.
“The two countries have many things in common, including a long coastal line that promises a huge potential for bilateral cooperation in the maritime industry,” he emphasised.
Adding that, he believes Vietnam and Norway have a potential for two-way trade turnover of US$550 million this year.
He also recommends Vietnamese businesses invest in Norway, a view shared by Astri Sophie Platou, Director of International Business Section under Oslo Chamber of Commerce, which provides assistance to foreign firms running business in Norway.
For her part, Astri Sophie Platou emphasized that although Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), it participates in the European Economic Area (EEA), which works to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese investors and is currently engaging in FTA negotiations.
Kjell Martin Grimeland, Vice President of Norway’s SN Power renewable energy company, said his firm has been operating successfully in Vietnam for more than five years, having officially established a representative office in Hanoi in 2010.
The Vietnamese market’s robust growth has offered many excellent opportunities for SN Power, he said, adding that his company is pouring investment in Vietnam’s hydro-electric power sector.
SN Power aims to become an active and long-term trade partner of the Vietnamese electricity sector, he retorted.
“In recent years, the Vietnamese Government has made adjustments in the power market that stimulated SN Power’s operations in the country,” he concluded.
Vietnamese ambassador to Norway Le Thi Tuyet Mai said Vietnam and Norway are expected to complete the FTA negotiations for the early signing of the deal which will be the core link to bilateral cooperation for broader trade ties.
Vietnam and Norway will also promote business exchange and organize trade promotion forums in areas which are favoured by both sides, such as navigation, seafood, oil and gas, and clean energy, Mai noted.