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Norway

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Norway country brief

Key engagement

Australia and the Kingdom of Norway established diplomatic ties in 1970.

Australia and Norway cooperate closely in multilateral fora and work together to advance international peace and security.

Outlook

Australia’s merchandise exports to Norway increased by an average of 13.7 per cent per annum between 2015 and 2019.

Bilateral relations

Australia and Norway are likeminded partners who share a commitment to the rules-based international order, human rights, good governance, gender equality, sustainable development and open trade. Australia works closely with Norway on Antarctic issues.

Foreign policy

Climate change, sustainable oceans and the environment are central issues in Norway’s foreign policy. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations (UN) and is serving on the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term. Norway is active in the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees. Norway established the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy together with leaders of 13 other countries, including Australia. Norway is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and a member of numerous other international organisations including the Arctic Council, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU) but is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Through the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, Norway, the EU and the other EFTA countries form the European single market.

Setting the course for Norwegian foreign and security policy.

Fast Facts

  • Norwegian visitors to Australia (Year ended June 2020) — 18,400
  • Australian resident returns to Norway (Year ended June 2020) — 20,700
  • Resident Australian population born in Norway (2016 census) — 3,787
  • Australian residents of Norwegian descent (2016 census) — 26,258
  • Norwegian working holidaymakers (Year ended June 2020) — 375
  • Norwegian student enrolments in Australia (2019) — 2,449

High level engagement

  • February March 2017 — Then Norwegian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tone Skogen visited Australia
  • February 2015 — Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway visited Canberra, Sydney and Perth. They were accompanied by a high-level delegation of senior government and business leaders.

Agreements and Arrangements with the Kingdom of Norway

  • 2007 — Agreement on Social Security
  • 2007 — Double Taxation Agreement
  • 2004 — Agreement on Medical Treatment for Temporary Visitors

Texts of bilateral agreements are available at the Australian Treaties Database.

Political Overview

Norway is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy with legislative powers vested in a unicameral parliament (the Storting). The Head of State is His Majesty King Harald V, who acceded to the throne in 1991. The Storting is made up of 169 members directly elected for four-year terms through a proportional representation voting system. Parliamentary elections are mandatory every four years.

The Australian Embassy in Copenhagen has diplomatic accreditation to Norway

Economic diplomacy

Two-way trade between Australia and Norway was valued at $1.6 billion in 2019. Australia imported approximately $1 billion worth of Norwegian goods and services. Australian exports totalled more than $517 million.

Major merchandise imports from Norway include ships, boats and floating structures, fish, pumps for liquids and parts, and measuring and analysing instruments.

Major merchandise exports to Norway include aluminium ores, pharmaceutical products, measuring and analysing instruments, and aircraft, spacecraft and parts.

Total Australian investment in Norway totalled $10.2 billion in 2019. Total Norwegian investment in Australia totalled $25.3 billion. Between 2015 and 2019 Norwegian investment in Australia increased by an average of 13.6 per cent per annum.

More economic and trade information can be found in the Norway Country Fact Sheet.

Business

Australia and Norway are both major energy exporters.

Austrade’s office in Stockholm is responsible for Norway.

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