French abroad: what is the role of the Franco-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce? What are its main missions?
Louis Cabe: The CCFN’s mission is to promote the economic, commercial and industrial ties that unite Norway and France, as well as bilateral cooperation between the two countries. She has been an important player in the Franco-Norwegian business community and in bilateral cooperation since its inception in 1919. And this is due to its multisectoral network. It is a great honor and privilege for us to have excellent cooperation with both embassies, which allows us to build bridges between the private and public sectors in both countries.
How do you see the current economic situation after two years of pandemic?
The Norwegian economy is extremely stable. Thanks to the strength of its public finances, the country has accelerated the energy and digital transition. It should also be noted that its economy also benefits from rising hydrocarbon prices and uses these revenues to massively invest in diversifying its industry.
Which sectors offer the greatest opportunities for the French in Norway? Is there a specific area of growth that needs to be highlighted?
The ocean industry and cross-fertilization between the various maritime sectors – transport, aquaculture, marine energy and fisheries – are the main sectors that create jobs. But I would also mention green mobility, technologies related to the problems of the circular economy and decarbonisation. In this area, sea wind and hydrogen are two sectors of Norway that are actively developing. Opportunities for partnerships for technological innovation are numerous. Cybersecurity, as well as innovative and high-quality products in the food industry, are other areas of development that should be considered when looking for work.
What is the place of French companies in Norway? Have you noticed the enthusiasm of French leaders for the country in recent years?
Bilateral relations between our two countries are very dynamic, and French companies have a very good image here. Recently, the success of large groups working outside the energy sector has increased. Companies such as Alstom and Eiffage have just won major tenders. In Norway, there are many opportunities to set up consortia for innovation through pilot projects. And local and European funding remains, moreover, very affordable for those who want to develop their company.
What projects, future projects for you as CCFN President? And what problems does your organization face?
We expect gradual growth. So we first strengthen our teams and invest in new tools to meet growing demand. Our teams are also working in the direction of Norway / France, as our Chamber of Commerce, let me remind you, is bilateral. That’s why we work closely with the Norwegian team in France.
We are also structuring new concepts, such as Business Expeditions, which combine the commercial side and the study tour on where Norway lies ahead: electric mobility, such as industrial decarbonisation, the transition to electricity or even green finance. We are regularly called upon by large groups, competitiveness clusters and even schools to organize this type of mission for three to four days. Purpose: to draw inspiration from good Norwegian practices.