Germany and Norway have a historical relationship that has proven to be mutually beneficial throughout the years. Around 100 years ago, Germany supported Norway in the development of coal mines, the glass industry, and the use of water energy. Today, the political cooperation between these countries is effective, the economic situation is stable, and they share similarities in culture and language. Such positive characteristics have fostered bilateral economic relations.
The imports and exports between Germany and Norway amounted to EUR 21 billion in 2019 and commerce had been stable for the last 7 years. However, in 2020 the global markets were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing trade between the two countries to EUR 17.6 billion.
“Norway’s main export to Germany is energy,” said Norbert Pestka, Former Managing Director of the German Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in 2018. Today, energy remains Norway’s main export to Germany. Other key exports include fish, machinery, and chemical and aluminum products.
On the other hand, Norway’s imports from Germany include motor vehicles, machinery, and technologies, as well as chemical and pharmaceutical products. Norway is a leading country when it comes to oil and gas technologies, but it is not well known that a significant amount of the equipment needed for global oil and gas activities comes from Germany. Norway is importing, fine-tuning, and upgrading the equipment to sell it in the global market.
Germany offers flexibility, technology, and strategic support to Norway, which is an attractive market because economic and political risks are considerably lower than in other oil and gas countries, making German companies eager to invest. In addition, Germany has the capability to provide new technology to Norwegian oil and gas companies and their suppliers. In Germany, companies such as Siemens are developing innovative technologies for the oil and gas sector to strengthen the business and increase competitiveness.
The break-even point has fallen significantly which is essential because the profitability of Norwegian oil fields has decreased substantially in recent years because of Germany’s contributions. While the break-even point is different in every country, the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce views Norway as a crucial market for leading German oil and gas companies.
One of Germany’s current priorities is to secure the resources needed to meet its energy demands. “Germany aims to strengthen its relationship with Norway and see it as a strong partner in the gas trade due to the positive political relationship between the countries. Considering the changes in the government, Germany and Norway have worked together to ensure the stability of the financial conditions for companies involved in foreign trade between these two countries. Today, ocean industries have become a broader area of interest for both countries, for which their commercial relationship is expected to bring about large bilateral benefits.
This article was adapted from its original version in the Oil & Gas Report 2018. To see a compilation of over 40 interviews and more than 15 research articles, click here to subscribe to get access to the full material!
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