“Transparency is essential for ensuring greater predictability for all those involved in trade and economic activity across national borders. Norway actively supports the review system. We wish to set an example by being as open and clear about our own trade policy as possible,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
The Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) allows other WTO member countries to ask questions of the country under review. Norway has received close to 300 written comments and specific questions from other WTO countries. Replies to these questions have been provided in writing. Both questions and answers can be read here.
Certain topics have generated particularly strong interest. These include issues such as state ownership in the Norwegian business sector, agricultural policy, the EEA Agreement as well as the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP scheme) and market access to Norway for developing countries.
The same applies to Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global and its role, as well as to regulations governing work permits and the approval of qualifications and education.
“We look forward to discussing these issues with other WTO member countries,” said Mr Eide.
The WTO conducts regular reviews of member countries’ trade policies. Norway’s trade policy is examined every four years on the basis of a report prepared by the WTO Secretariat on developments in all policy areas of relevance to trade and investment flows. Almost all the Norwegian ministries have provided input to the report. The Norwegian authorities have also prepared a shorter report on selected topics related to trade policy.
The review will be concluded at a meeting in Geneva on 9–11 October. Norway’s opening statement to the trade policy review meeting is available here.
All the documents related to the review will be published on the WTO website in due course.