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The electric car boom attracted a Finnish company to Norway

11.04.2017

CEO of Parking Energy Ltd: Norwegians don’t have similar know-how in high technology.

Norway’s heavy input into new technology, and especially into the development of electric vehicles, has also aroused the interest of Finnish companies working in this sector.

It’s about time, too: only a handful of Finnish companies have been established in Norway. Currently, a couple of hundred Finnish companies operate locally in Norway. Despite its geographical proximity, Norway is only Finland’s 13th largest foreign trade partner.

Parking Energy Ltd, specialising in the charging technology, looks to Norway with optimism.

Jiri Räsänen, CEO of Parking Energy Ltd, sees huge potential on the Norwegian market.

- Norway is the clear number one on the world’s electric car market, and it’s therefore only natural that we would head for the Norwegian market. With a population roughly the same as Finland, the country now has nearly 150,000 electric cars, says Jiri Räsänen, CEO of Parking Energy Ltd.

One in five Norwegian cars runs on electricity, and the Norwegian Government is planning to ban the sale of traditional diesel and petrol-fuelled cars by the year 2025. For companies such as Parking Energy, the market is tens of times larger than in Finland. At present, there are only about 4,000 electric cars in Finland.

Communication works

The Helsinki-based company is also attracted by Norway’s purchasing power and the long-lasting building boom.

- From our perspective, the situation is excellent, as there doesn’t seem to be as much competition in new products as there is in the traditional fields. Know-how of high technology is not quite the same as in Finland; nor is the corporate culture in the service sector as wide as, for instance, in Sweden, Räsänen explains.

He feels that the Finnish company has been received well in Norway. Exports have been facilitated by the fact that a few other Finnish companies specialising in the recharging of electric cars have already acted as trailblazers.

- So far the country has seemed very straightforward. It’s been easy in Norway to get to talk with the local decision-makers and representatives of the electricity sector. Dealing with the authorities is surprisingly similar to that in Finland, and contacts on the whole are very uncomplicated, Räsänen says.

- Norway complies with the EU Directives on many issues, but owing to the Norwegian bedrock, electrical earthing is slightly different from elsewhere in Europe. With the exception of this minor hitch, we haven’t had any problems entering the market, he continues.

FACT: Norway

  • Gross domestic product: About EUR 486 billion (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product is EUR 207 billion (2015)
  • Gross domestic product per capita: EUR 93,270 (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product per capita is EUR 37,827 (2015).
  • Economic growth: 1.6% (2015).
  • Inflation: 2.3% (2015).
  • Exports: EUR 105 billion (2015).
  • Imports: EUR 71 billion (2015). The total value of Finnish exports to Norway in 2015 was about EUR 1.55 billion.
  • Principal sectors: Industry and services. Norway’s main export products are oil, natural gas, machinery, metals, chemicals and fish.
  • Currency the Norwegian Krone: The exchange rate is EUR 1 to NOK 9.16.

More information about Finnvera’s export credit guarantees is available here.
Sources: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Focus Economics, Finnish Customs

Read more: Norway - peeping out behind Sweden and focusing on the new

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