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Official Name: Kingdom of Norway

Internet Domain: .no
International Dialing Code: +47

Table of Contents

Location and Size Credit and Collections
Government Risk Assessment
Legal System Business Climate
Economy Business Protocol
Comparative Economic Indicators Other Sources of Information

Location and Size

Norway is located in Northern Europe (Scandinavia), bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden. Its land area is 304,282 sq km, making Norway slightly larger than Mexico.

Government

Norway is a constitutional monarchy made up of 19 counties and 3 dependent areas.

Branches:

  • Executive branch: chief of state King Harald V; head of government Prime Minister Erna Solberg; cabinet - State Council appointed by the monarch with the approval of parliament
  • Legislative: modified unicameral Parliament, 169 seats
  • Judicial: Supreme Court appointed by the monarch

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Legal System

Norway’s legal system is a mixture of customary law, civil law and common law.

Norway has accepted compulsory International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction with restrictions. 

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Economy

Norway is one of the world's richest countries in per capita terms. Its economy is a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the petroleum sector, through large-scale, state-majority-owned enterprises. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, including petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Norway is highly dependent on the petroleum sector, which accounts for nearly half of exports and more than 30% of state revenue.

Norway has been greatly impacted by the current global economic recession, however, its drop in production was less severe than in other countries. The authorities immediately reacted with several measures aimed at reestablishing the credit markets' normal performance and stimulating production.

Leading Markets (2017): UK 24.28%, Germany 13.4%, Netherlands 10.87%, France 8.55%, Sweden 5.76%, US 4.82%

Leading Exports-commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish

Leading Suppliers (2017): Sweden 13.86%, Germany 12.89%, China 7.8%, Denmark 6.78%, US 6.16%, UK 6.01%

Leading Imports-commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs

Top Industries: machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, ship building, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

Top Agricultural Products: potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy

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Comparative Economic Indicators - 2017

Norway Sweden Finland Denmark Poland USA
Population* (millions) 5.2 9.1 5.3 5.5 38.5 321.1
Population growth rate* (%) 0.8 0.2 0.1 0.3 -0.05 1.0
Literacy (%) 100.0 99.0 100.0 99.0 99.8 99.0
Unemployment rate (%) 4.5 8.3 8.5 4.3 8.9 4.3
Inflation (%) 2.1 -0.3 0.0 1.3 3.5 -0.3
Population below poverty line (%) N/A N/A N/A 12.1 17.0 12.0
GDP** (USD billions) 267.4 331.4 178.8 197.8 689.3 1,414.0
GDP real growth rate (%) 1.1 -5.1 -8.1 -4.7 1.7 1.6
GDP per capita** (USD) 70,400.0 36,600.0 34,100.0 36,000.0 17,900.0 57,000.0
Public debt (% of GDP) 60.6 35.8 44.0 41.6 46.5 61.14
Exports (USD billions) 122.8 130.8 62.9 91.5 139.5 1,046.0
Imports (USD billions) 65.8 120.5 59.0 84.7 144.3 1,563.0
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold (USD billions) 48.9 47.3 11.5 76.7 79.6 130.8
Currency Kroner
NOK
Krona
SEK
Euro
EUR
Krone
DKK
Ziotych
PLN
Dollar
USD
Exchange rate per USD) 7/24/2017 7.8 8.2 0.8 6.3 3.6 N/A
Exchange rate (per EUR) 7/24/2017 9.2 9.5 N/A 7.4 4.2 .9

Data from CIA World Factbook

*July 2017 estimates
**PPP - Purchasing Power Parity

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Credit and Collections

Dispute Resolution

Norway has ratified principal international agreements governing arbitration and settlement of disputes, including the New York 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

Norway's legal system is well developed and provides effective means for enforcing property and contractual rights. Laws governing commercial matters are consistently applied without undue government interference.

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Risk Assessment

In its 2017 budget, similar to that of 2016, the government presented a series of measures aimed at stimulating activity and reducing the economy's dependence on natural resources. The main elements include a cut in corporation tax (from 27% to 22% by 2018) and income tax so as to increase the attractiveness of non-oil investment and support private consumption. This budget also includes finance for infrastructure projects and specific measures to stimulate employment and competitiveness, especially in the regions most affected by the weak oil prices.

Coface Country Risk Rating: A1-- The political and economic situation is very good. The country boasts a stable and efficient business environment. Corporate default probability is very low.

Coface Business Climate Rating: A1 -- The political and economic situation is very good. A quality business environment has a positive influence on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is very low.


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Business Climate

The Norwegian economy enjoys vibrant entrepreneurial activity and high levels of prosperity. The country has a strong tradition of openness to global trade and investment, and transparent and efficient regulations.

Norwegian voters have rejected membership in the European Union in two referenda. Instead, the country maintains close economic interaction with EU members under the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.

Market Access: Norway generally treats private and public enterprises equally in terms of market access. Foreign investors are in most cases permitted to participate freely in privatizations of Norwegian state firms.

Transparency of Regulatory System: The transparency of Norway's regulatory system is generally on par with that of the European Union. Norway is obliged to adopt EU directives under the terms of the EEA accord.

Intellectual Property Rights: Norway adheres to key international agreements for the protection of intellectual property rights (e.g., the Paris Union Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Copyright Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention of 1952, and the Rome Convention). However, internet piracy does exist in Norway and the authorities have not undertaken any serious efforts to combat internet or other piracy of copyrighted property.

Enforcement of IPR protections is inconsistent. Norwegian police and judicial authorities are generally committed in principle to taking action against piracy and intellectual property rights infringement. However, the authorities lack the capability and resources to handle such complaints.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Norway does not expressly ban imports of counterfeit or pirated goods. A trademark or copyright holder must obtain a court order and have the case referred to the police before customs authorities will take action to stop entries of pirated goods.

Conversion and Transfer Policies: Ordinary payments from Norway to foreign entities can normally be made through commercial banks.

Economic Freedom: Norway’s economic freedom score is 74, making its economy the 25th freest in the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom. Norway is ranked 25th out of 44 countries in the European region, and its overall score is well above the world and regional averages.

Corruption: Norway scored an 85/100 on Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index. This score puts Norway as the 6th lowest in corruption perception. (Corruption is ranked from 1 to 10 with 1 being the most corrupt and 10 being the least corrupt.) 

Political Violence: Norway is a stable democracy where violent political protests or incidents are extremely rare. There have been no recent occasions of politically motivated attacks on foreign commercial projects or property.

5 INteresting facts about NORWAY

1. Norway's national symbol is the lion.
2. The Cheese Slicer was invented in Norway in 1925.
3. The official Christmas tree in Trafalger Square in London has come from Norway every year since 1946.
4. If you own a television in Norway, you have to pay an annual licensing fee of $480.66 (USD).
5. Norway introduced salmon sushi to the Japanese. 


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Business Protocol in Norway

Norwegians do not require long-standing personal relationships in order to conduct business. Nor do they require face-to-face contact. Their basic business style is relatively informal. They are scrupulous about honesty in communication.

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Sources for further information on doing business in Norway

American Chamber of Commerce in Norway

Embassy of the United States in Oslo, Norway

Norway: the official site in the United States

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This information is provided by ABC-Amega Inc. Providing international receivable management and debt collection services for exporters to more than 200 countries including Norway. For further information, contact info@abc-amega.com.

This report represents a compilation of information from a wide variety of reputable sources.

Comparative Economic Indicators: CIA World Factbook

Risk Assessment information: Coface Country Rating.

Exchange Rates: OANDA.com The Currency Site.