Pakistan enjoys close and cordial relations with Norway. Norway recognized Pakistan as a sovereign state in 1947, shortly after its foundation.
There is an established mechanism of Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) between the Foreign Ministries of the Pakistan and Norway. The Consultations are held alternatively in Islamabad and Norway. The 11th session of Bilateral Political Consultations held in December 2021 was among the first few consultations being hosted in Oslo since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, indicating significance that Norway attached its relations to Pakistan.
Pakistan enjoys cordial relations with Norway. The two countries share common perceptions on a number of international issues. Efforts are being made to forge closer cooperation in the fields of climate and environment, hydropower and renewable energy, education and research, IT, tourism and people-to-people contact. Pakistan has a meaningful relationship with Norway in development cooperation, mainly focused in the fields of poverty reduction, education, social development and environment.
High level meetings and visits
- Former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg visited Pakistan in December 2005.
- Former President Pervez Musharraf visited Norway in January 2006.
- Former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited Norway in July 2015.
- Norway’s former Foreign Minister Børge Brende visited Islamabad in 2015 and 2016.
- Former Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Norwegian counterpart, Ine Eriksen Soreide, on the sidelines of Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi in November 2018.
- Meeting held between former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Prime Minister Erna Solberg on the sidelines of 74th session of the UN GA in New York in September 2019.
- Meeting between the former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood and former Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide held on the sidelines of the 76th session of UNGA in New York in September 2021.
- MoU on Child Labour signed in 1977.
- MoU on Convention on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Tax Evasion signed in 1998.
- MoU on Exchange of Information in regard to Citizenship Checks to Combat Illegal Immigration and People Smuggling signed in January 2001.
- MoU on Cultural Cooperation in October 1997.
- Agreement on the Establishment of Norwegian-Pakistani Advisory Board on Matters relating to Marriages, Family and Children arising out of Migration signed in 2005.
- Declaration of Intent on a Debt-for-Development Swap, for US$20 million, in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank signed in January 2006.
- Declaration on Intent on Cooperation in the Fisheries Sector signed in January 2006.
- MoU between High Education Commission (HEC) and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) signed in January 2006.
- Air Services Agreement signed in January 2014.
- Readmission Agreement signed in January 2017.
Economic And Trade Relations
Norway and Pakistan have no bilateral trade agreement. Norway has preference for trade in the region and with the exception of China and South Korea, Norway does not have meaningful economic and trade ties in Asia.
Norway follows the GSP system as classified by the OECD for the purpose of Official Development Assistance to different income group countries. In accordance with the OECD’s classification, Norway grants additional preferential tariffs to the LDCs and LICs. Norway has has accorded Pakistan GSP status, meaning that Pakistani goods benefit from a 10-100 percent tariff reduction when imported into Norway.
Trade level between Pakistan and Norway is well below its true potential. The volume of bilateral trade in the fiscal year 2021-2022 was US$ 128.40 million, slightly tilted in favour of Pakistan. Pakistan exports to Norway amounted to US $66.52 million whereas imports from Norway amounted to US$ 61.88 million. Pakistan’s major exports to Norway included household linen, clothings, apparel, sportswear, rice, fruits, sports equipment etc. Pakistan’s imports from Norway included scrap, fish products, Nickle, wood pulp, polymers etc.)
Norway’s small market size and high tariff rates are among the impediments to the growth of bilateral trade.
A six-year analysis of trade between Pakistan and Norway is reflected in the table below:
US $ Million (Fiscal Year)
Norway views Pakistan as an attractive investment destination apart from a trade partner. There are around 10 Norwegian companies with businesses in Pakistan. Telenor is the largest Norwegian firm with investments over US$ 4 billion since 2004. Other Norwegian companies with businesses in Pakistan are (i) Nera Networks, providing services and equipment to the telecommunications sector, (ii) Jotun Paints, producing paint at a modern factory near Lahore, (iii) The Varner Group, contracting garments from various Pakistani textile factories, (iv) Bokhari (NorPak International), producing and exporting rugs and other handicraft textile products from Pakistan to Norway.
Norwegian alternative energy company Scatec Solar ASA is setting up three solar plants of 50 MW capacity each in Sukkur, Sindh.
There are an estimated 50,000 Pakistanis residing in Norway. Pakistanis are engaged almost in every field, including police service, airlines, banks, teaching, medical, engineering, journalism, media and politics contributing meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the two countries. Presently, four Pakistanis are elected members of the Norwegian Parliament. A number of Pakistan-origin Norwegians had been elected during the local municipal elections, held in September 2019.
Oslo City Council hosted a colourful event in October 2021 at Oslo City Hall (Nobel awards venue) to mark over 50 years of arrival of Pakistanis in Norway. HM King Harald V, Lord Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen, Chief Minister Raymond Johansen and a large number of Pakistani community members attended the event. In their remarks, the Norwegian dignitaries highly lauded the eminence of Pakistanis in social, economic and political mosaic of Norway.
After the finalization of dual nationality arrangement in February 2021, the diaspora have been given the facility to avail the dual nationality. The community appreciated Embassy’s continuous efforts to facilitate Norwegian nationals of Pakistan-origin wanting to reclaim their Pakistani nationality under an interim arrangement approved by the competent authority/Secretary Interior in April 2022.