Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 2/22/2017

The Nordic Region

  • The four main Nordics - Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – are advanced, high income and highly connected countries.  While each country has its own unique market and characteristics, there are certain synergies that tie together these highly innovative marketplaces. 
  • With an aggregate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 1.7 trillion and combined population of nearly 26 million persons, the Nordics are of genuine interest to a number of U.S. companies with products, technologies and services that are appropriate.
  • Norway
  • Norway is a modern, energy-rich country with 5.2 million people. 
  • Norway is considered one of the world's wealthiest countries with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita exceeding USD 97,000 and GDP per capita based on purchasing power parities (PPP) exceeding USD 67,000, ranked 2nd among OECD countries in 2014. 
  • Norway’s external financial position is exceptionally strong from a global perspective and the country has an important stake in promoting a liberal environment for foreign trade. 
  • The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on the petroleum sector.
  • Norway is the world's 3rd largest exporter of natural gas and 10th largest exporter of crude oil.  Its large merchant shipping fleet is one of the most modern among maritime nations and ranked the 5th largest by value.  Other major industries, such as offshore shipping, shipbuilding, fishing and fish farming, information technology, pulp and paper products, and light metals processing have prospered as well. 
  • Incomes are also more evenly distributed, making every person a consumer.  Despite the downturn in the oil and gas market, unemployment rates are still low, but edging up to 4.8%.  Interest rates are low.
  • The Norwegian economy features a combination of free market activity and government intervention.  The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector, through large-scale state enterprises.  
  • Norway is located in the Northern Europe and is a part of the Scandinavian Peninsula.  Jan Mayen and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard are also part of Norwegian territory.
  • The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; 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 spread across a nearly 1600 mile long, narrow and mountainous country with a coastline ten times its length.
  • Norway is a vibrant, stable democracy.
  • The majority of Norwegians are fluent in English and many have very close cultural and family ties to the United States. 
  • Norwegian business ethics are 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 28 EU Member States, as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.  All passport controls between these Schengen countries have been abolished.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Norway Trade Development and Promotion