The Warsaw Voice » Society » Monthly - April 30, 2010
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From Fjords to the Northern Lights
Vidar Segtnan, Commercial Counsellor of the Norwegian Embassy, talks to Ewa Hancock.

What shape are Norwegian-Polish economic relations in?
Such relations between Norway and Poland have developed very positively in recent years. Since 2003 trade between Norway and Poland has more than tripled, and also the number of tourists traveling between our two countries has increased strongly in the same period. Now there are around 100,000 Polish workers in Norway, and that is very important both for the Norwegian and Polish economy.

What is the principal Norwegian export to Poland? What does Poland export to Norway?
The most important export product from Norway to Poland is seafood, especially salmon. In 2009 Norway exported seafood to Poland worth more than 3 billion Norwegian kroner, and Poland was the second biggest market in the world for Norwegian salmon. The majority of Norwegian salmon exported to Poland goes to the Polish processing industry, and in that way Norwegian salmon also create thousands of jobs in Poland.

In 2009 Norway exported oil and gas worth 2.6 billion Norwegian kroner to Poland. Metals are also an important export product from Norway to Poland.

Poland makes a lot of different finished products from metals, and these are the most important Polish export products to Norway. But also cars, other vehicles and furniture produced in Poland are very important export products from Poland to Norway.

What attractions does Norway have for tourists?
Promoting tourism is part of my daily work, since in recent years Norway has become an important destination for Polish tourists. Nearly 90,000 of them visited Norway last year mainly to see the famous Norwegian fjords. Pure, unspoiled nature is the real treasure of Norway and the biggest tourist attraction of our country. The fjord landscape that spectacularly combines the sea with high mountain peaks can be so easily experienced only in Norway—no other country in the world offers such views directly from a road, railway, tourist track or a boat deck. Norway stretches far beyond the polar circle up to North Cape, the most northerly part of the European continent. This symbolic place is also a popular tourist destination that gives people a chance to experience the midnight sun in summer and the northern lights in winter. But Norway is something more than spectacular nature. Cities such as Bergen, Trondheim and Oslo offer many cultural events, festivals and museums. It’s also worth visiting sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List such as Bryggen wharf in Bergen, the historic city of Røros or the Vega islands.