Norway aims to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia, part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), by 2024. Finalizing the agreement would foster more opportunities for Norwegian and Malaysian companies to cooperate.
After a decade of on-and-off negotiations, Tore O. Sandvik, Norway’s deputy minister of trade and industry, emphasizes the potential for collaboration between the two countries.
“Malaysia and Norway share some similarities. Both are rich in natural resources and is attached to big oceans. There is a great possibility to collaborate in oil and gas, maritime, and satellite-based offshore surveillance to protect the environment. This is why we must push for the FTA with Malaysia,” Sandvik said during a one-day-visit to Malaysia last week.
The EFTA, consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, views Malaysia as a strategic partner due to shared interests in natural resources and environmental protection.
Sandvik highlights Norway’s interest in Malaysia’s green transition. The focus on sustainability aligns with common agendas that could benefit both nations’ industries.
Trade between Malaysia and Norway experienced a 21% growth in 2022. Exports to Norway increased to RM807.19 million and imports to RM1.05 billion, according to the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.