Norway currently has 29 bilateral free trade agreements with 41 countries. Trade in this context accounts for 10% of Norway`s international trade. Norway`s merchandise trade with the EU has a deficit of 2.5 billion euros in 2019. Almost 60% of Norway`s exports are exported to the EU. On the other hand, discontent with Norway`s main trade agreements is growing. „And,“ she notes, „with the UK – one of our main trading partners – withdrawing from the EU, we will probably have to negotiate a separate free trade agreement with them.“ For example, Norway is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with China`s economic superpower. OSLO (Reuters) – Norway and Britain have signed a temporary and limited agreement to maintain trade in goods in the absence of a final Brexit trade deal by the end of the year, as the Norwegian Ministry of Industry announced on Wednesday. In fact, the Norwegian bilateral agreement is one of the most comprehensive in the world. However, according to Medin, the evaluation of more than 150 pages of Norwegian trade policy is insufficient, particularly in one area: agreements and regulations within the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Economic Area (EEA) and other free trade agreements allow Norwegian companies to sell their products abroad without paying as much tax as in the absence of such agreements. Similarly, foreign companies can sell agreed-upon goods to Norway without facing high tariff barriers.
In addition, Norway has a wide range of free trade agreements than before. „Twenty years ago, our trade agreements were generally about trade in goods.“ Discussions on a comprehensive and sustainable free trade agreement are still ongoing, the ministry added. Norway`s economic and trade relations with the EU are mainly governed by the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. Norway is not in the European Union and Britain left the bloc on 31 January, but both countries still operate under the same market rules of the European Economic Area (EEA), which consists of EU member states and EFTA (European Free Trade Association). This article is part of a 2018 World Trade Organization (WTO) publication on Norway. According to Medin, the assessment of Norway`s 150-page trade policy, particularly in one area, is insufficient: agriculture and fisheries are not covered by the EEA agreement. However, Article 19 of this directive underlines the parties` commitment to a gradual liberalisation of agricultural trade, which will be achieved through the conclusion of separate agreements on this basis. As a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Norway is working to conclude a bilateral free trade agreement under EFTA. This means that Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can negotiate a free trade agreement with a third country through EFTA.