Recently, I attended a seminar about business opportunities between Norway and Spain, held at the Malaga Chamber of Commerce. The speakers were the Norwegian Ambassador in Spain, Johan Vibe, the President of the Spanish-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Carmen Sanz, and the Norwegian Trade and Tourism Councillor, Gaute Hagerup, who is also Director of Innovation Norway in Madrid.
These seminars are useful to learn about the many business opportunities that can arise between countries that, at first sight, look so different.
What can Spain offer Norway?
The Norwegian representatives were quite surprised to see the high number of high quality technological companies, many of them related to radio frequency technology, located at the Technological Park of Andalusia (PTA) in Malaga. But that was not all.
Malaga is a very appealing destination for Norwegian companies, for several reasons:
- Quality of life. Excellent climate conditions, excellent food and excellent places to practise outdoor activities.
- Air connections. Malaga has been a tourist destination for Norwegians for years (in 2014, 1.5 million Norwegians visited Spain, most of them went to Andalusia), so there are several direct flights connecting Malaga and different Norwegian cities, such as Oslo and Bergen. This is really an advantage compared to Madrid, which has less and much more expensive connections.
- The Norwegian church in Fuengirola. This is a great place to get in contact with other Norwegians living in the area.
- Norwegian schools. More and more popular in Spain, there is one in Arroyo de la Miel. This enables them to commute to Spain and maintaining the link to their country and culture.
As a result, more and more Norwegians are buying properties in Spain. There are around 60,000 Norwegians living in Spain, most of them in the Costa del Sol. Their acquisitions account for 5 % of the foreign purchases in the Real Estate industry in Spain.
What does Norway import from Spain? Spanish exporters, this is important for you!
- Civil Engineering and Construction: despite being a small country, they have a big need to improve their transport network, including roads, railway and harbours.
- Consumer goods: clothing, shoes, furniture, decoration, home linen.
- Welfare services, mainly for elderly people: it goes beyond building residences for elderly people. In Norway, they consider the physical environment as part of the patient treatment. This, together with the good reputation of Spanish doctors, makes the Costa del Sol an excellent place for pre- and post-surgery treatments.
- Wine: there are more and more Spanish wines being sold in Norway.
- Health care: Norway is short of medical professionals (doctors, nurses) as well as medicines.
- Nautical industry: industrial and tourism crafts and auxiliary services for the nautical industry.
- Knowledge: related to all these industries, there are more and more engineers, doctors, nurses and Spanish teachers working in Norway.
All these imports from Spain contribute greatly to Norwegian exports. What does Norway export to the rest of the world?
- Technology (nautical and telecommunications)
- Renewable energies
- Oil and gas
- Nautical transportation services (transport, goods insurance)
- Extreme cold weather clothing
In all these industries, translation plays an important role. As stated by the President of the Spanish-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Carmen Sanz; despite Norwegians having a high command of English, you will need to deliver documents in Norwegian, especially if you are participating in public tender offers. Therefore, you have to consider translation as part of your investment in Norway.
Even if the negotiation takes place in English, it is probable that the contracts signed between the companies are in Norwegian. Again, you will need a professional translator for this.
As explained in other occasions, for B2C companies it is essential to address their customers in their own language. It is good for the company’s branding and credibility in the new market, and it also helps to reach more customers. Even if people have a high command of a foreign language (let’s say English), when they search the Internet, they tend to do it in their native tongue. Therefore, for your SEO/SEM strategy, you will probably be more successful if you run a local SEO/SEM strategy in Norwegian.
At Jensen Localization we can help you in all this. We can help you to get in touch with companies offering internationalization services in Norway, they will let you know where to start. Once you know what you want to do in Norway, we can help you on your language needs, either English or Norwegian.
If you are a Norwegian company selling abroad, we can also help you! At Jensen Localization we work both ways, delivering high quality translations from and into the Norwegian languages (Bokmal and Nynorsk) to clients all over the world, in a variety of industries. Feel free to contact us for further information about how we can help you to go global.