The Norwegian Government launched Team Norway in August 2013
as an overarching project to provide more effective support to Norwegian companies abroad.
This will be achieved through enhanced coordination and closer cooperation between several organisations.
In the UK, Team Norway will include the Norwegian Embassy in London, Innovation Norway’s office in London,
the newly established London office of the Norwegian Seafood Council, and the Norwegian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC).
Norway is doing very well, and to make sure that it continues to do so, Norwegian companies need to grow internationally;
this to make sure that Norway can continue to have an excellent welfare system and maintain a high rate of employment.
The UK is Norway’s biggest trade partner, and Norway has been trading with the UK for decades – but still there are challenges to overcome.
One such challenge is often forgotten: the cultural difference between Norway and the UK.
For most people in Norway, the UK is just an hour and a half away by plane.
But the cultural difference is much greater – and within the UK, too, there are cultural differences:
doing business in London and doing business in Aberdeen is not the same.
Moreover, there are legal differences between England and Scotland, which one needs to seek advice on.
The Brits are very clever in communicating; they can make conversations out of nothing.
Norwegians like to talk about themselves. Having English as the mother tongue is of course a big advantage as well,
while the language, and especially some of the local dialects, can be a challenge for Norwegians.
I have witnessed Norwegians in sales discussions with Brits,
thinking that they had secured a contract while the English party thought that they would never see the Norwegians again.
The Brits have a very indirect way of communicating, while the Norwegian way is much more to-the-point.
This can lead to challenges, particularly at the beginning of negotiations, or even when making small talk during an evening meal.
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