The First Minister Visits Norway
by Kenneth Gibson MSP
On 08 January, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP travelled to Oslo to address Norwegian business leaders at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise conference.
During her speech, the First Minister highlighted offshore wind and carbon capture and storage as sectors where the two countries are at the forefront of developing new technologies. She also identified digital health as an area where further co-operation could produce benefits for citizens and provide new business opportunities. The visit also included a meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Scotland and Norway have long been natural partners. Our countries don’t simply share ties of history and geography but also common values and interests. This will remain true, regardless of Scotland’s future constitutional position.
Norway is Scotland’s sixth largest trading partner, with Scottish firms exporting more than £1 billion in goods and services in 2017. More than 100 Norwegian companies are established in Scotland, employing 5,870 people.
Working with the Norwegian Government and Norwegian businesses to strengthen our existing relationships will also play a major role in tackling climate change. Both countries appreciate the importance and urgency of moving to a future based on net zero emissions and are home to two of the most ambitious carbon capture and storage proposals of their kind in the world.
In addition, with its 5.3 million population compared to Scotland’s 5.4 million, and similar natural resources, Norway is a shining example of a small north European nation able to use its powers not simply to improve the lives of their citizens at home but to play a constructive part on the world stage.