Norway - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
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The Nordic Region 

The five main Nordic countries - Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland – are advanced, high income and highly connected countries.  While each country has its own unique market and characteristics, there are certain synergies that tie these highly innovative marketplaces together.  With an aggregate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeding USD 1.8 trillion and a combined population of 27 million people, the Nordics are of genuine interest to many U.S. companies with leading and advanced products, technologies, and services. 
•    Norway is a modern, energy-rich country with a population of 5.5 million.  It is considered one of the world’s wealthiest countries with a GDP per capita of USD 106,148.  Incomes are also more evenly distributed, making every person a consumer.  
•    Norway is located in Northern Europe and is part of the Scandinavian Peninsula.  The Svalbard archipelago and Jan Mayen in the Arctic Ocean are also part of Norwegian territory.  
•    Most of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden while its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east; and Denmark lies south of its southern tip across the Skagerrak Strait.  Norway’s extensive coastline is facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. 
•    With its population covering 323,802 square kilometers, Norway is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.  It is a narrow and mountainous country nearly 1,600 miles long with a jagged coastline ten times its length. 
•    The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on the petroleum sector.  
•    The projected GDP growth for Norway in 2023 is 1.2%.  In August 2023, the unemployment rate was 3.5% and the year-on-year inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index (Total Index) was 3.3%.  Norway’s Central Bank raised the key policy interest rate to 4.25% on September 22, 2023.  The value of the Norwegian currency (NOK) has weakened by around 10% since January 2023 and trades at around NOK 11 to the USD in October 2023.
•    The Norwegian economy features a combination of free market activity and government intervention.  The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector, and maintains control over a number of large-scale state enterprises - some of them fully owned, and some publicly traded, but where the government has controlling interests.  
•    Norway’s external financial position is very strong from a global perspective and the country has an important stake in promoting a liberal environment for foreign trade and investment.   
•    Russia’s escalated war on Ukraine in 2022 has had a significant impact on the energy situation and energy security in Europe, which in turn has impacted the Norwegian economy.
•    Norway is now the largest energy provider to Europe and ranks as the 4th largest exporter of natural gas globally.  
•    Norway’s large merchant shipping fleet is one of the most modern among maritime nations and ranked the 4th largest by value.  Other major industries, such as offshore shipping, shipbuilding, fishing and fish farming, green technologies, information and communication technologies, and light metals and other energy-intensive industries have prospered as well in recent years.   
•    Norway is a vibrant, stable democracy.  
•    Most Norwegians are fluent in English, and many have very close cultural and family ties to the United States.   
•    Norwegian business ethics are largely similar to those of the United States. 
•    Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU) but is linked to the EU through the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.  By virtue of the EEA, Norway is practically part of the EU’s single market, except in fisheries and agriculture. 
•    Norway is part of the Schengen Agreement, which guarantees free movement of persons and the absence of internal border control between 22 of the 27 EU Member States, as well as 

Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.  Passport controls between Schengen countries have been reintroduced in 2017. 

 Political & Economic Environment:  State Department’s website for background on the country’s political environment