Record exhibitors from Scandinavian nation see greater opportunities at 6th CIIE
A record number of Norwegian exhibitors took part in the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) this year, underscoring the country's positive outlook about China's economy and market potential, Norwegian officials and business leaders said.
Norway has been a participant at the CIIE since the first edition in 2018. This year, 28 Norwegian companies showcased their products and technologies in various sectors, including seafood, agriculture, consumer goods, healthcare and industrial equipment.
"China is, and will continue to be, our most important trading partner in Asia. The Chinese market continues to create opportunities for Norwegian companies," said Lise Nordgaard, Norway's consul-general in Shanghai.
According to Statistics Norway, China's imports from Norway reached 51.8 billion Norwegian kroner ($4.66 billion) in 2022.
Currently, there are about 170 Norwegian companies in China, most of which are located in or around Shanghai in the Yangtze River Delta region, according to Nordgaard.
In April, the Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai carried out a survey among these companies. "The results showed that there is a positive outlook for further growth in Norwegian business engagement in China. And the main industries that Norwegian companies are involved in include maritime and shipping, consumer goods, seafood, green technology and renewable energy," Nordgaard said.
Norway has seen great potential in China's creative industries, and witnessed a growing interest and high demand in China for high-quality, sustainable and innovative consumer products with strong Nordic design elements, Nordgaard said.
Norwegian seafood, led by Norwegian salmon, is becoming increasingly popular in the Chinese market. In the first nine months of this year, the total value of Norwegian seafood exports to China reached 6.4 billion Norwegian kroner, up 13 percent year-on-year, said the Norwegian Seafood Council.
"We have seen a very strong performance of Norwegian salmon exports to the Chinese market this year, which has grown 85 percent year-on-year. So far, we have exported 35,000 metric tons of salmon with a total value of 4.5 billion Norwegian kroner," said Andreas Thorud, director of Norwegian Seafood Council China.
"We hope to play a positive role in contributing to Chinese consumers' health by offering Norwegian seafood to the market, and also play the part we can do in supporting the Healthy China 2030 initiative," Thorud said.
Going forward, Norwegian companies expect to make the most of their advantages and continue to scale up their business with local Chinese partnerships, focusing on potential sectors such as maritime and shipping, seafood, renewable energy, waste management, architecture, as well as nutritional and health supplements.
"The Norwegian companies based in China see the Chinese market as still very important. They are here to stay and they are positive about the prospects. We do want to see that we have more new companies that have the chance to come into the Chinese market," said Signe Brudeset, Norway's ambassador to China.
China and Norway will celebrate 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year. In addition to trade and economic cooperation, Norway is also expecting more cultural exchange events in China.
"We have already started (cultural exchanges) actually. We are promoting some Norwegian films in China and also see increasing interest in Norwegian literature and books in China. Also, there will be interesting news on the music side," Brudeset added.