A BUSINESSMAN is promoting the North-East in Norway in a bid to attract investment.

Mike Pedersen, who has 20 years' experience running IT companies in Norway and the UK, is acting as an ambassador on behalf of regional development agency One NorthEast.

He hopes to encourage firms from across the North Sea to invest in the region by promoting it as the Nordic gateway into Europe.

Mr Pedersen, 52, whose wife is Norwegian, runs KandoIT Limited, helping organisations from Norway set up business in the UK.

He said: "Norway is a huge country with a population of just 4.5 million, and the UK is its single most important export market outside Scandinavia.

"The North-East traditionally has strong links with Norway - there are 25 Norwegian firms based here - but there has been little concerted effort in the last 15 years to help them use our region as a gateway into Europe and beyond.

"The people of the North-East share many similarities with Norwegians, therefore Norwegian companies should feel welcome and comfortable operating from the North-East.