More Norwegian firms to invest in Malaysia, says envoy

FILE PHOTO: The company logo of Statoil is seen during a company results presentation in London, Britain, February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of Norwegian companies in Malaysia is expected to increase in the next two to three years from the existing 50 as Malaysia is seen as an important market for the Scandinavian country, especially in oil and gas (O & G) sector.

Norwegian ambassador to Malaysia, Gunn Jorid Roset, said the Norwegian firms’ interests to invest in Malaysia remained strong and the bilateral trade was also expected to remain in upward momentum.

“We hope that we will continue to see not only a strong Norwegian presence in the O & G sector but also the new sectors that are opening up for our companies. The digital economy is an area in which we hope to see an increase,” she told Bernama.

Norwegian companies had a direct investment of over two billion Norwegian kroner (RM1.07bil) in Malaysia.

Roset, who officially took office in August this year, said Norwegian O & G companies had to scale down their operations as the sector went through a recent volatile environment, yielding to a general reduction in projects and in the number of employees.

“However, with the oil price stable around US$50, we are seeing that the companies are becoming more optimistic about the future. Although they had to scale down, they have stayed here with core competence and investments.

“The signals I get from them here are that they remain committed to work in Malaysia. They are well-positioned in Malaysia to take part of any coming upturn in the industry,” she said.

Meanwhile, Roset said, Norway-Malaysia trade would maintain at a high level moving forward with the total value of Norwegian imports from Malaysia as of August 2017 at 1.8 billion Norwegian kroner (RM959.6mil).

Meanwhile, the total value of exports to Malaysia also showed a positive trend at 1.6 billion Norwegian kroner (RM853.0mil).

“According to official government data, Norway imported goods from Malaysia to a value of 2.35 billion Norwegian kroner (RM1.25bil) while the exports to Malaysia were worth 1.65 billion Norwegian kroner (RM879.7mil).

“The main imports from Malaysia in 2016 were manufactured goods such as electronics, clothing, technical instruments and machines for industrial use and the main Norwegian exports to Malaysia were seafood, minerals and machines/equipment to be used in the oil and gas sector,” said Roset. - Bernama
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