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EXPORTING TO THE NORDIC COUNTRIES
•    The purpose of this guide is to provide exporters in developing countries with an overview of the various issues that they will most likely encounter when setting up an export business to the Nordic countries

THE NORDIC ECONOMY
•    The Nordic countries have all experienced rapid economic growth since World War II and are among the wealthiest in the world
•    Here, the Nordic countries comprise of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden
•    The nominal gross domestic product per capita is on average over € 40,000 per year
•    The Nordic market has over 25 million  consumers
•    English is spoken widely, official languages include Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish


THE RETAIL MARKET IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES
•    On average, the value of the retail market is € 45 billion
•    Big chains dominate the retail markets in all countries, and many have operations across the borders
•    Big players include Dansk Supermarked (Denmark), S-Group and Kesko (Finland), and ICA and Coop Group (Sweden)
•    The big retail groups buy the imported goods directly from their foreign suppliers to a great extent
•    Buying is centralized within each chain, not only nationally, but in many cases also at the European level. Examples of international procurement co-operations include Associated Marketing Services and Coop Trading

PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT FOR DCs AND LDCs
•    The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme: tariff reductions are granted to products imported to Nordic countries from developing countries
•    Everything But Arms agreement: duty and quota free access (with few restrictions) for products from LDCs
•    Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA): negotiated with ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific)
•    Free Trade Agreements (FTAs): preferential duty regimes, negotiated e.g. with Mexico, Chile, South Africa, and some Mediterranean countries (Euro Mediterranean agreements)
•    Rules of Origin: the exporter must provide the necessary documentation

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
•    Export to the Nordic countries is subject to not only each country’s local but also in the case of Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, EU legislation
•    The essential regulations include:
•    Product Safety > Aim is to safeguard consumers’ health. Product safety shall always be controlled before a product enters the market.
•    Product liability > If a consumer can prove that a defective product has caused injury or damage, s/he can claim financial compensation
•    Food safety > Aims to ensure a high level of protection of human life and health with due regard for animal health and welfare, plant health and the environment

PRIVATE SECTOR STANDARDS AND CODES
•    Companies are scrutinized by different stakeholders and they need to safeguard their reputation
•    Corporate responsibility (CR) has become a strategic investment for companies. CR involves taking  more responsibility for sustainable development and the use of resources than required by law
•    In many cases, buyers use standards as part of their basic requirements to the suppliers
•    Key standards include ISO 9000 standard for quality management, ISO 14000 for environmental management, and ISO 2000:2005 for food safety

Export Partner Assistance
Denmark
•    DANIDA (www.um.dk )
•    Danida Business Partnerships
Finland
•    Ministry of Foreign Affairs (http://formin.finland.fi/tradepolicy/importpolicy )
•    Finnpartnership (www.finnpartnership.fi )
Norway
•    Norad (www.norad.no )
Sweden
•    Sida (www.sida.se )
•    Trade Promotion Programme of the Swedish Chambers of Commerce (www.swedishchambers.se)

 
 
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