Let me start by underlining that Norway appreciates our close and long standing cooperation with Canada in the WTO. Canada has always been a key player in shaping the multilateral trading system. In the current situation with tendencies towards protectionism and managed trade, we strongly appreciate Canada’s active engagement to strengthen and modernize the WTO.
In particular, Norway would like to commend Canada’s leadership in the Ottawa Group. This group consists of 13 WTO members, including Norway, working together to safeguard the multilateral rules based trading system and to ensure a relevant, dynamic, and well-functioning WTO through meaningful modernization.
Bilaterally Norway and Canada enjoy a strong trade relationship that benefits both countries. The current flow of Norway-Canada trade is mainly concentrated in the energy and mining sector. Canada’s main imports from Norway are petroleum products, raw oil and ferro magnesium, while Canada’s main exports are nickel mattes, copper and raw oil.
There is a potential for expansion of services and investment activities across a diverse range of industries, particularly in the high-tech, health and energy sectors. Long-term business development will be facilitated by joint efforts in research and innovation, and eliminating residual barriers to trade and investments. There is also a large number of Norwegian companies established in Canada, most notably in the marine, maritime and defence industries, in addition to the oil, gas and supply industries.
Let me also add that the Norwegian Pension Fund Global by the end of 2018 had invested close to 28 billion US dollars in Canada. These investments include equity investment in more than 210 companies in a wide range of industries, as well as fixed income holdings.
We note that during the review period, Canada has pursued several bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements, most notably the CPTPP and CETA agreements. The 2017 CETA ratification also demonstrates the need for modernizing the agreement between Canada and the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Canada is an important fisheries nation and we value highly our excellent cooperation in the field of fisheries. Canada is an active participant in the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations. We hope that Norway and Canada will continue to work closely together in order to contribute to the successful conclusion of the negotiations by the end of 2019. We should also take advantage of our work in the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy to support the negotiations.
Norway would like to commend Canada’s active engagement and promotion of gender equality, both in the WTO and in free trade agreements. We encourage other WTO members to follow suit, since reducing barriers to female participation in trade has a positive effect on income and gender equality.
Norway and Canada share the same concern regarding the negative effects of inefficient fossil fuels subsidies, and we are both interested in reducing those types of subsidies. Norway calls upon Canada to take active part in the discussion here in the WTO aimed at achieving ambitious and effective disciplines on inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
In closing I would like to emphasise that Norway is looking forward to further enhancing our cooperation with Canada on trade related issues, including through discussions of ways to strengthen and modernise the WTO.
For more information, see the dedicated page for the TPR of Canada on WTO’s website: