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‘Promoting trade in ocean-based sector a key focus area for Norway’

Swathi Moorthy New Delhi | Updated on January 07, 2019 Published on January 07, 2019

Breaking trade barriers and looking at areas where both countries can collaborate could help improve trade between India and Norway, according to Helge Tryti, Commercial Counsellor, Norwegian Embassy.

The presence of Norwegian companies in India is on the rise over the past five years, he said, adding: “There has been a big growth, an increase of 57 per cent, of Norwegian companies in India.”

Earlier the companies were concentrated in Maharashtra, primarily in shipping and oil and gas. “Now they still work in the region but the growth has been seen across different sectors such as ICT, health, aquaculture and defence,” he said.

 

There are a number of trade barriers between the two countries, said Tryti, such as import tax. Gutted salmon from Norway attracts a tax of 16 per cent whereas there is a 35-37 per cent tax on processed food. Another barrier could be certificates and approvals needed for imports and complexity in rules and regulations. Sometimes goods get stuck on the border and it is quite a challenge to get them cleared, he observed.

“Two dialogues we are going to have now — trade and ocean development,” he said. “It is not a bilateral trade agreement but a bilateral trade forum to talk regularly about issues and how we can improve trade between the two countries.”

Education should be the focus area, he added. “Norway has a population of only 5 million and there is a limit to the engineers we can develop,” Tryti said. A lot of Norwegian companies are looking for skilled workforce, which India has in abundance, he noted. Companies should work closely with universities to nurture talent, he added.

Published on January 07, 2019
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