During the first week of December2012, a press delegation including editors and senior reporters from leading Chinese newspapers and magazines visited Norway. The delegates work within the field of Business and Economy, and the focus of the press visit was the Norwegian economy, the Norwegian welfare model, and business cooperation between China and Norway.
Photo: Da Qian/MFA
Co-organised by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Beijing and the Royal Norwegian Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou, the group spent 3 days in Oslo, 1 day in Stavanger and 2 days in Bergen.
The Oslo visit mainly focused on Norwegian economic and financial policy. The participants showed great interest in how Norway can maintain a healthy economic growth despite of the European debt crises. The GDP of Norway is expected to grow by 3.75% in 2012, despite of the fact that more than 80 % of Norwegian exports go to the EU market.
Through meetings with the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway and Mr Øystein Olsen, Central Bank Governor of Norway, the participants were given a thorough introduction to Norwegian fiscal and macroeconomic Policy.
The participants were especially interested in knowing more about how the state revenues from the petroleum activities are managed in the Government Pension Fund, that now amounts to about 600 billion USD or about 1,3 times the Norwegian GDP. They were surprised to learn that the Norwegian fiscal budget is restricted to 4 % of the funds capital.
Another topic discussed in Oslo was the management of Norwegian state ownership of companies. The participants met with the Ownership Department of the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske.
Norway has a large state ownership, a total of almost one third of the stocks at Oslo Stock Exchange. The Ministry of Trade and Industry manages ownership in 22 of the state-owned enterprises worth approximately 40-50 billion EUR. Nearly all SOEs are Limited Liability Companies subject to the same laws and regulations as other companies. The Norwegian state has set forth a policy for the management of state-owned enterprises with the objective of getting a market based required rate of return and solid industrial growth over time.
In Stavanger the group received information on the management of Norwegian oil and gas resources through meetings with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and Petoro, the company that manages the Norwegian government holdings in oil and gas licenses on Norway’s continental shelf.
The journalists also met with representatives from the European Headquarter of the Chinese company COSL, a subsidiary of CNOOC, as well as the Norwegian company DSD who has two new LNG fuelled multipurpose vessels under construction at Tsuji Heavy Industries in China.
The two last days in Bergen were spent with Norwegian companies with activities in China. The TTS Group delivers equipment for offshore, shipbuilding and port facilities, and has joint-ventures with China`s Dalian New Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co. and CSSC.
The visiting members of the press got to know the company through a meeting with the president and CEO, Mr Johannes D. Neteland. Over lunch organized by Bergen Chamber of Commerce, the journalists got to meet with several other Norwegian Companies including DNV and DNB which both are active in the Chinese market.
The visit to Bergen also included a visit to a Fish Farm operated by the seafood company Lerøy, one of the main exporters of Norwegian salmon to the Chinese Market, as well as sightseeing in the beautiful city of Bergen.