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Economic relations

Economic relations

With a deficit of 3.35 billion euros, Norway is our seventh-biggest bilateral deficit in the world, because of Norway’s considerable weight in France’s energy bill. Out of a total of 4.776 billion euros’ worth of imports, hydrocarbons account for 72%. In 2009, these imports stood at 3.467 billion euros (a 50% reduction in value compared with 2008). Norway is one of the two leading sources of France’s energy bill, being the leading supplier since 2007 of natural gas but the second supplier of crude oil, behind Russia.

The fishing and aquaculture sector generates significant imports, with France being the main market for this sector within the European Union and worldwide. Nevertheless, it accounts for only 6.4% of imports from Norway.

Norwegian investments in France are down compared with those of other Nordic countries, but are far from being negligible. NORSK HYDRO has several investments in the aluminium chain (downstream). YARA, world leader in fertilizers for agriculture, possesses several units in France.

Although it does not appear in the FDI, it should be pointed out that at the end of 2009, the oil fund, a sovereign Norwegian fund, held approximately 16 billion euros in portfolio investments in close to 170 French securities, in particular those of the CAC 40. This includes TOTAL, of which the fund held 1.8% of the capital at the end of December 2009. Average participation varies from 0.5 to 1.5% of the capital of these companies. This is one of the biggest foreign institutional investors on the Paris market.

France is the sixth-leading investor in Norway, which is the 16th destination for French investments, the most significant in the Nordic zone.

Obviously, the energy sector is the most significant (around two-thirds of total investments) with Total Norge federating investments on site made by Total and ELF, both present since the mid-1960s. Total’s production was around 350,000 barrels/day in 2007: accordingly, Norway is the leading country in the world for Total in terms of production of hydrocarbons. The company is present in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea (without having a role there today of operator of reference, since the cut-off of production in the FRIGG field).

In 2009, French exports fell 15% to stand at 1.42 billion euros. Recently the market share of French companies in the Norwegian market has been fluctuating around 3.7%, with France being Norway’s eighth-leading supplier.

Updated on 28.09.10

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