Meld. St. 12 (2012-2013)

Long-term Perspectives on the Norwegian Economy 2013 – a summary

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1 The Norwegian Economy – Key Facts


Norway forms the western and northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula and has common land borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. Norway’s area is 323,787 square kilometers (approximately 125,100 square miles), excluding the Svalbard Island group in the Arctic Ocean and other overseas territories. The population of Norway was estimated at 5,052,000 as of January 1st, 2013. Oslo is the capital and largest city in Norway.

Norway is a constitutional monarchy, originally adopted in 1814. The executive power of the Government is vested in the King, who exercises his authority through a cabinet. The legislative power is vested in the Storting (Norwegian parliament). Members of the Storting are elected for four-year terms through general elections based on universal suffrage. The Storting has 169 members and cannot be dissolved during its four-year term.

Economic sectors

Norway is a diverse industrial society with a free market economy and generally low trade barriers. A significant share of the Norwegian economy consists of service industries, including wholesale and retail trade, banking, insurance, engineering, transport and communications and public services. In 2012, the service sector as a whole accounted for approximately 59 per cent of GDP. Norway’s petroleum industries, including crude oil and gas extraction, accounted for about 26 per cent of GDP and just above 50 per cent of exports in 2012. Manufacturing accounted for close to 8 per cent of GDP in 2012.

The exploration and production of petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf has had a major impact on the Norwegian economy. In 2012, Norwegian petroleum production totalled approximately 225 million standard cubic meters of oil equivalents (scm oe.). Norway ranks as the world’s seventh largest oil exporter.

Memberships in International Organisations

Norway is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), which generally includes Norway in the internal market of the European Union (EU). Norway is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), an international free trade partnership. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations and its affiliate organisations and has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 1949.

Norway is a member of a number of other international organisations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Norway is also a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Nordic Council, Nordic Project Fund (Nopef) and Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO).

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