Norway-China free trade agreement uncertain / News / The Foreigner

Norway-China free trade agreement uncertain. Chinese displeasure following the Nobel Peace Prize award continues. Officials have now put planned free trade agreement talks on ice indefinitely. Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske had hoped Norway would be the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with China. The Minister travelled to China earlier this year hoping to get a slice of the country’s economy. He believes its economy will be twice as large and the US’ by 2050.

trond, giske, minister, trade, industry, china, nobel, peace, prize, free, trade, agreement, bi, liu, xiaobo



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Norway-China free trade agreement uncertain

Published on Tuesday, 30th November, 2010 at 13:46 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Chinese displeasure following the Nobel Peace Prize award continues. Officials have now put planned free trade agreement talks on ice indefinitely.

Salmon
Salmon
Photo: Natalie Maynor/Flickr


Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske had hoped Norway would be the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with China.

The Minister travelled to China earlier this year hoping to get a slice of the country’s economy. He believes its economy will be twice as large and the US’ by 2050.

China already imports and consumes vast quantities of Norwegian farmed fish products, which had an estimated value of 800 million kroner last year alone. Chinese workers also process raw fish before export to the rest of the global market, at much lower wages, according to Aftenposten.

Fish exports have increased by over 50 percent in 2010, and China is the most important Asian market for Norway.

However, Norwegian-Chinese relations have been chilly ever since the Nobel Committee awarded Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo the Peace Prize last month.

Ministerial meetings have been cancelled, musicals have been banned, at least six countries have cancelled invitations to next month’s ceremony, and there is nobody to collect Mr Xiaobo’s prize on his behalf for now. There is also no new trade agreement meeting for now.

The Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry claims this is because Chinese officials have said they “need more time for internal consultations before a new meeting date can be set”.

Even Minister Giske seems unperturbed by the cancelled meeting, claiming the trade agreement is not in jeopardy.

“We reckon it will be ‘business as usual’,” he tells Aftenposten.

Former director for international relations at the Norwegian School of Management (BI), Henning Kristoffersen, does not share Minister Giske’s optimism, though. He believes the deal could flounder because of the Peace Prize.

“There is a big danger there will be further delays. I cannot discount that the entire deal could peter out,” he says.




Published on Tuesday, 30th November, 2010 at 13:46 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: trond, giske, minister, trade, industry, china, nobel, peace, prize, free, trade, agreement, bi, liu, xiaobo.





  
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