Thursday, 17 August 2023
08:30 – 09:30 AM
Thon Hotel Arendal
Friergangen 1, 4836 Arendal, Norway
Espen Stedje, Secretary General, Foreningen Norden
Siv Henriette Jacobsen, Chair, Viken Fylkeskommune
Ole Kolstad, Managing Director, Rana Utvikling
Ingelin Noresjø, Head, Grønt Landtransportprogram, NHO
Thomas Becker, Managing Director, STRING
About the event
Construction of the world’s longest subsea tunnel is now well underway. The 18-kilometre-long immersed tunnel between Germany and Denmark will be completed in 2029. This will mean that Northern Europe will be linked much more closely. For Denmark, this will have as great an effect as the construction of the Oresund Bridge. Norway, on the other hand, are now at a crossroads: exploit the opportunities such a project provides for increased exports and to transfer goods from road to rail, or do nothing and instead increase the number of bottlenecks and foreign trucks on Norwegian roads.
The opening of the Fehmarn Belt tunnel in 2029 will provide opportunities, but also challenges for Norway. Analyses show that a faster and easier connection between Northern Germany and the Øresund region will lead to a more integrated labor market, increased cooperation and thus economic growth and enhanced innovation power (see reports here).
This can also provide opportunities for Norway. The effects will be greatest in the regions bordering the tunnel. Northern Germany and the Øresund region hereby gain a new development potential of which Norwegian business is not a natural part. It is therefore important that measures are now taken to link Norway closer to the Scandinavian and European potential that the tunnel provides.