The Government is today presenting the white paper on Long-term Perspectives on the Norwegian Economy 2021. The white paper addresses the challenges facing Norway towards 2060, and the Government’s strategies for handling these.
– We have for a number of years said that the white paper on Long-term Perspectives on the Norwegian Economy is about what challenges Norway will be facing in future, but these challenges are here right now. While there are currently four people of working age behind every person of retirement age, there will only be two by 2060. This means that pension, health and care expenditure is growing without an accompanying increase in tax revenues. In addition, revenues from oil and gas activities will decline. We will at the same time be tackling the climate challenges and implementing the green shift, says Minister of Finance Jan Tore Sanner (Conservative Party).
In response to the challenges facing us towards 2030 and 2060, the Government will conduct a policy that creates private sector growth, increases employment and promotes efficient and effective public sector resource utilisation.
– The Government’s key strategy is to get more people into work. That requires us to create more private sector jobs, and we need to ensure that more people have the opportunity to join the labour force. A strong, diverse and green business sector is key to providing people with a job, as well as to sustaining further standard of living improvements in the years to come, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservative Party).
Education, integration, inclusion, innovation and efficiency improvement initiatives are laying the foundations for the Government’s continued development of Norway into a more economically sustainable welfare society.
– Few countries are as well placed for tackling these challenges as Norway. We have a high-trust society, we are ahead of the curve on digital transition and we have relatively high employment, low unemployment and healthy labour relations. We also have a business sector with high restructuring capacity, as well as robust public finances, says Jan Tore Sanner.
The Government believes that the climate challenge needs to be met by proactive national measures and global cooperation. Very large emission cuts will have to be made in all parts of the world to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including in Norway. This will be costly. However, the projections in the white paper on Long-term Perspectives on the Norwegian Economy indicate that the consequences for Norwegian oil and gas activities will probably be less severe than many have anticipated. There will still be a need for new oil and gas investment. The Norwegian economy has already become less dependent on petroleum, and we are well poised for successful implementation of the upcoming transition.
– The good news is that our climate policy is working. Emissions in Norway are declining. Tackling the climate challenges will be demanding and entail costs. However, the global cost of failing to take action is much larger. It is therefore imperative for our economic objectives and our climate and environmental policy objectives to be interlinked, says Minister of Education and Integration Guri Melby (Liberal Party).
Our ability to maintain sustainable economic growth in Norway is dependent on the same taking place in the world around us, as well as on a renewed commitment to international cooperation and trade. The challenges currently facing the world require, more than ever, joint solutions and a willingness to embrace change.
– The coronavirus pandemic has illustrated how Norway’s development is closely intertwined with how the wider world is faring. The pandemic has not been defeated until all corners of the world have access to vaccine. Norway has therefore taken a lead in the ACT-A collaboration to accelerate development and production of, and access to, Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines all over the world. We need to adopt the same attitude to international trade and cooperation in the years to come, concludes Minister of Children and Families Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (Christian Democratic Party).