:: Factsheet Norway (pdf) ::
Despite being a relatively small nation of about 5 million people, Norway enjoys a top ten global ranking in various economic sectors (as of 2010):
- The second biggest exporter of fish and seafood products
- The third biggest exporter of natural gas
- The fourth biggest maritime nation,
- The fifth biggest oil exporter
- The sixth biggest hydropower producer
Not least, through a fruitful co-operation between government R&D institutions and industry have in all these (and in other) sectors developed technologically advanced industries – with clusters of companies that cover a wide variety of each individual sector.
As a signatory of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, Norway is an integrated part of the European Internal Market. In line with other European countries, Norway promotes free trade, is open to foreign investments and has also in this respect a business friendly framework.
As one of the richest countries in per capita terms and according to the United Nation’s Human Development Index, Norway has the best standard of living, education and life expectancy combined. A stable political environment and a respected judicial system ensure well-functioning markets and a top ten ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking. Norwegian monetary policy successfully maintains a stable inflation and exchange rate. The use of the latest technologies and a focus on quality allows Norway to maintain its competitive edge.
All in all Norway presents a low-risk and long-term investment opportunity. Due to solid fundamentals, many analysts predict continuous economic growth in the years ahead.
- Technologically Advanced – through considerable investment in education, research and development and innovation.
- Highly Educated Workforce – where women are well represented. Norwegian universities and colleges are well funded and conform to European guidelines, ensuring its students are internationally competitive.
- Stable and Transparent Political Framework – that ensures a predictable and transparent business environment with minimal corruption, respected judicial system and a well-functioning market.
- High Purchasing Power – due to a strong economy, a high standard of living and a favourable exchange rate, make Norway an attractive export market.
- Responsible Resource Management – of substantial oil and gas reserves, attained through fiscally responsible spending and investment of government surpluses via the Government Pension Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund. Prudent financial regulations ensure a robust financial and banking system.
- Technological Advanced Environmental Solutions – supported by a growing environmental industry. Strict rules and environmental regulations have ensured that Norwegian industries have made the environment a priority and also allowed the environmental industry to develop.
- Untouched Natural Surroundings - offer a rewarding cultural experience. Fjords, waterfalls and northern lights make Norway an ideal tourist destination. A wide range of culturally related products are exported, catering to international markets.
- Offshore Industry – As a large exporter of both oil and gas, theNorwegian offshore industry plays an important role as a reliable supplier to the world’s energy markets. Norway also contributes to the exploration and production business globally and is a substantial exporter of petroleum related goods and services, particularly subsea technology. Norwegian resource management, environmental protection, as well as health and safety regulations are strict and ensure that production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf takes place in a sustainable manner.
- Renewable Energy - The combination of innovative companies, a solid foundation in hydropower, state-of-the-art research facilities and strong support from the public sector has allowed Norway to become one of the pioneers in renewable energies. Hydropower provides nearly all of Norway’s electricity, and almost all gas and oil production is exported. Norway holds substantial hydropower interests abroad like the Magat dam in the Philippines, operated in part by SN Power. Business interest, capital and political commitment should ensure that Norway will continue to be in the forefront of renewable technologies.
- Maritime Industry – Norway has a large maritime fleet composed of both traditional shipping as well as offshore vessels. In addition, Norway has a well established maritime industry, that includes ship management, classification society, financing, maritime law and shipbuilding. There are also a number of Norwegian companies that supply an extensive range of goods and services to the international fleet.
- Seafood Industry – Norwegian seafood is world renown among consumers and prominent chefs, in particular Norwegian salmon and spring cod. Norway has become one of the world’s major aquaculture countries, also with outfitters that have developed and manufactured a wide array of fish farming equipment.
- Information Communication and Technology Industry – The Norwegian ICT industry is composed of a wide range of high-tech companies that create new telecommunications, hardware, software, and industrial electronics products, not to mention high-end consultancy services.
Photo: Harald Valderhaug / Innovation NorwayUSEFUL LINKS