Norway firms at risk if China hits back for Nobel

Fri Oct 8, 2010 3:25pm GMT

* Norway-China free trade deal seen under threat

* Around 200 Norwegian firms present in China

* Statoil awaiting Chinese OK for $3 bln deal with Sinochem

By Walter Gibbs and Gwladys Fouche

OSLO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Companies in Norway are vulnerable to potential economic retaliation from China against Friday's award of the Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident. [ID:nLDE697143]

China said the decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to honour democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo would hurt relations, and summoned the Norwegian ambassador to protest. [ID:nSGE6970ES]

A China-Norway free-trade agreement currently being negotiated is among the first such bilateral deals considered by China, now the world's second biggest economy and hungry for the oil, gas and other resources that Norway can provide.

Last year Norway, the world's fifth biggest oil exporter, sold goods worth 16.1 billion crowns ($2.76 billion) to China and imported roughly twice as much.   Continued...

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