Norway’s prosperity dependent on international trade

Like most countries in the world, Norway’s prosperity and employment levels are dependent on its participation in international trade.

Our foreign trade is regulated by a number of agreements and rules, such as the WTO agreements, the EEA Agreement and the Efta free trade agreements. These agreements    regulate duties and taxes, among other things. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has overall responsibility for Norway’s trade policy. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries is responsible for Norway’s free trade agreements.  

The two commodities that account for the largest share of Norway’s export income are crude oil and natural gas. Seafood (including processed fish) is also an important export commodity (accounting for 19 % of Norway’s total exports in 2013, according to preliminary figures).  Norway also has considerable trade in services. The export of services is increasing more than any other export category. International shipping accounts for the greatest share of income from trade in services.  

Under Norway’s Generalized System of Preference (GSP), goods imported from developing countries are, on certain conditions, subject to lower tariff rates than goods from other countries. Norway makes a significant contribution to the Aid for Trade Initiative, which aims to strengthen the competitiveness of developing countries and enhance their opportunities to participate in international trade.