As two of the world`s richest countries, Canada and Norway have many similarities when it comes to trade and commerce. Both countries rely heavily on exports to drive their economies, and they share many common industries, such as oil and gas, forestry, and fishing. It is no surprise, then, that the two countries have had a long-standing free trade agreement in place since 1989.

However, in recent years, there have been talks of renewing and updating the Canada-Norway Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to reflect the changing global trade landscape. In 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced that they would be exploring the possibility of modernizing the FTA to include new sectors such as technology, innovation, and the digital economy.

One of the main goals of the updated FTA would be to eliminate more tariffs and barriers to trade, making it easier for Canadian and Norwegian businesses to sell their goods and services to each other`s markets. This would be particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which often struggle to navigate complex trade regulations and paperwork.

Another key area of focus for the modernized FTA would be environmental and labor standards. Both Canada and Norway are committed to sustainability and social responsibility, and the new agreement would aim to ensure that trade between the two countries is conducted in a way that upholds these values. This could include provisions for sustainable resource management, protections for workers` rights, and measures to combat climate change.

Of course, there are still challenges to be overcome in the negotiations for the updated FTA. Norway is not a member of the European Union, which means that any new trade agreement with Canada would need to be negotiated separately from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU. Additionally, there may be disagreements over specific sectors or issues, such as the controversial practice of seal hunting in Canada.

Despite these obstacles, the modernization of the Canada-Norway Free Trade Agreement has the potential to create new opportunities for businesses and industries in both countries. By strengthening economic ties and promoting sustainable, responsible trade, Canada and Norway can continue to build on their longstanding partnership and contribution to global trade.