Article | Last updated: 2013-01-21 | Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation
Value creation to ensure long-term and sustainable development must include both financial, environmental, cultural and social dimensions. Natural and cultural resources in the different regions of Norway can be utilised to a greater extent as a basis for employment, value creation and future welfare.
The Government wants to maintain the main features of the settlement pattern. There has been a strong population growth in recent years, primarily as a result of a high level of immigration, but also because there has been a high birth surplus. Population growth is strongest in the city regions, but it also benefits many municipalities in less central regions. The city regions also experience the strongest employment growth. There is much to indicate that this development will continue in the coming years.
Innovation and business development take place across administrative boundaries and sectors. This requires good and holistic planning within each municipality and across municipal and county boundaries. Through combining the business community’s and the public’s need for adaptation of suitable areas based on sustainable management of natural and cultural resources, predictability is ensured with respect to localisation and migration of attractive labour.
The environment is an important framework condition for production in all parts of industry, including primary industries such as agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture. A good environment is an important input factor for many industries, for example the tourism industry, that make use of ecosystem services such as clean water for swimming and healthy river systems.
Landscapes, cultural environments and cultural heritage sites/monuments form an important basis for value creation and business development. Such values can contribute to developing attractive local communities and travel destinations and are competitive factors for establishing enterprises and choosing a place to live. The opportunities inherent in value creation based on our natural and cultural heritage can be utilised to a greater extent than they are today.
The most valuable and vulnerable natural areas, stocks and cultural heritage sites/monuments are assigned protected or listed status for future generations and can thereby be a resource in relation to outdoor pursuits, recreational use and experiences. Areas verging on the protected areas can in many places be prepared for value creation and business development based on local natural and cultural assets.
The agricultural sector has one of the most complete value chains in Norwegian industry and is important for employment and settlement in large parts of the country. It is a goal to facilitate increased value creation and employment through establishing new business activities connected to agricultural resources.
Green tourism initiatives, agricultural tourism, ‘Inn på tunet’ services, food with local identity and energy production have a great growth potential and affect several sectors.
The contribution of Norwegian forests to local value creation and employment has been and continues to be considerable. Forest areas are also important for outdoor pursuits, experiences, natural diversity and public health. The goal is to maintain sustainable forestry in all parts of the country that forms a basis for value creation and attractive workplaces and ensures recruitment.
The seafood industry is a big export industry and contributes to activity and employment in all parts of Norway, particularly in many local communities along the coast. The marine sector must be given opportunities for long-term and environmentally responsible value creation. Opportunities for value creation must be seen in conjunction with necessary infrastructure.
Reindeer husbandry requires large expanses of land and, in many places, it is also a condition for developing the Sami language and culture. In the long term, it is a challenge to ensure areas for reindeer husbandry so that the traditional nomadic form of husbandry can be maintained. Interventions in and encroachments on reindeer grazing areas have increased significantly in recent years and have led to a lasting reduction in grazing land and more problems for reindeer husbandry.
Mineral extraction has formed the basis for the development of many local communities. Several previous mines and the mining community of Røros have protected status today. The mineral industry continues to contribute to value creation for society and to the creation of local workplaces, and it is necessary to take measures to facilitate a sustainable and environmentally responsible mineral industry.
Value creation and business development in figures
Employment in the private services sector now accounts for nearly 45 per cent of total employment in Norway. The percentage is particularly high in Oslo and Akershus counties, because many new knowledge-intensive industries are concentrated in and around the capital.
Employment in the public services sector accounts for approximately 35 per cent of total employment and has remained stable in the country as a whole and in most regions. In Northern Norway, more people are employed in the public services sector than in the private services sector.
The proportion of industrial labour dropped considerably throughout the country through the 1990s and 2000s and is now less than 10 per cent. However, the importance of industry varies considerably in different regions and is most important in Southern and Western Norway.
Employment in the primary industries only accounts for 3 per cent of total employment. Employment has dropped in the past two decades, most strongly in those parts of Norway that originally had the highest share of employment.
Every year, approximately 10–15 per cent new workplaces are created and nearly as many disappear. New jobs are generally more knowledge-oriented than the jobs that disappear. Traditional labour-intensive industries are down-sizing, while new workplaces require higher education.