The development of Sino-Norwegian ties had maintained strong momentum in recent years, with frequent exchanges of high-level visits, increasing political mutual understanding and satisfactory trade cooperation.
China, Norway's largest trade partner in Asia, had carried out fruitful cooperation with the Scandinavian country in environmental protection, science and technology, health, education and other fields
The agreement will be an important addition to the two countries' level of cooperation. The Norwegian shipping industry is heavily involved in China and the agreement will ensure better access to the Chinese markets and more preferable deals for Norwegian companies.
The agreement is rather similar to the EU-China Agreement signed in 2002, the Norwegian agreement, however, being slightly broader in scope. The agreement includes, among other issues, regulations for hiring crew and adherence to international law.
Norway is a highly developed, industrial country with an open, export-oriented economy. Listed as one of the richest countries in the world, it has also achieved top-rankings with regard to standard of living, life expectancy, overall health and housing standards.
The high level of material wealth is partly due to an abundance of natural resources, and partly due to Norway's inclusion in the industrialization of Western Europe, as a result of its close proximity to the major markets. Norway has actively implemented the restructuring measures needed to achieve economic growth. Extensive trade and contacts with other countries have given Norwegian industry a foundation on which to develop an advanced economy. High investments in production equipment, improved and extended education as well as technical and organizational expertise in industry and public administration have also helped to promote growth.
The Twentieth Century represented a period of continuous vigorous economic growth in Norway. Since the 1970s, the offshore oil industry has played a dominant role in the Norwegian economy. Only 21% of Norway is productive land (3% cultivated land and 18% productive forest). Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), but participates in the EU common market as a signatory to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement between the countries of the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China)