Norway is highly industrialized with versatile manufacturing, but the wealth of forest, fish and hydropower has given the industry a strong commodity orientation. Fjords, mountains and rivers have spurred Norwegian engineering in the construction of power plants, dams, tunnels and bridges, as well as oil recovery led to large-scale industrial production.
In recent decades, oil and gas production has brought the industry into new areas, while at the same time driving an advanced technological development that has benefited all sectors, from traditional machine manufacturing to the production of computer controlled control systems.
Ample and cheap supply of electric power has given rise to a significant electrometallurgical and electrochemical industry. The most important individual industry branch is aluminum production, where the company Norsk Hydro dominates (also manufactures artificial fertilizers, for example). The aluminum raw material is imported and, thanks to the cheap electricity, Norway has proved good on the world market.
In the forest industry, production of cellulose and pulp is important. The food industry is significant. However, fish processing (production of fish liver oil and fishmeal) is not so important in Norway, since most of the catch is exported for processing abroad. In addition, some Norwegian companies have moved some processing and packaging of fish to, among other things, Sweden since the neighboring country became part of the EU market.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Norway. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Government involvement in industry is greater in Norway than in Sweden, although it has declined in recent years. Norsk Hydro, which is also large in the oil and gas sector, and Statoil, which searches, produces and sells oil, were merged in 2007 in a new large company where the state is majority owner. The company, now called Statoil, is the largest operator in the world at sea depth over 100 meters.
The dependence on the sea in early Norway made Norway a prominent shipbuilding nation. In modern times, Kvaerner developed into one of the world’s largest shipbuilders. The shipbuilding industry is still the most important branch of the metal and engineering industry, but it has increasingly moved to build smaller vessels and to construct platforms and other equipment for oil production.
Norway is Northern Europe’s leading shipping nation. After the international shipping crisis of 1973–1974, Norway’s shipping was subjected to great stress, and a Norwegian international shipping register was established in 1987 to meet the competition from shipping companies with cheap overseas crews. Thus, foreign crews were also allowed under the Norwegian flag.
The Right and the Progress Party form a minority government
The two parties form a government and present a government program that includes, among other things, a more restrictive immigration policy, a number of tax cuts, the pursuit of less bureaucracy and a reform to allow the police to carry weapons. Høyre’s leader Erna Solberg is appointed prime minister and Progress Party leader Siv Jensen becomes finance minister.
Middle parties decline seat in government
The Right invites Christian People’s Party, the Liberal Party and the Progress Party to government negotiations. However, it soon becomes clear that Christian People’s Party and Venstre cannot imagine sitting in the same government as the Progress Party.
Right wins in the parliamentary elections
The Conservative Party becomes the second largest party and increases its voting share by nearly 10 percentage points to 27 percent, giving 48 seats. The Labor Party retains its position as the largest party in the parliament but backs 31 percent (55 seats). Trea becomes the Progress Party, which, however, loses more than a quarter of its voter support and stays at just over 16 percent (29 seats). The Center Party, Christian People’s Party and Venstre receive 10, 10 and 9 seats, respectively, while the Socialist Left Party with scarcity takes over the 4-percent block and is content with 7 seats. The environmental party De Grønne makes a strong choice in Oslo and for the first time enters the parliament with 1 mandate. The turnout is 78 percent.
Conscription for women
The Storting votes by a large majority to introduce general military service also for women. Norway thus becomes the first NATO country and the first European nation to introduce universal military service for both men and women.
Prohibition of membership in terrorist organization
A new law comes into force that makes it illegal to be a member of or in any other way support a terrorist organization, such as the Sunni Extreme Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.
Measures against begging
The government proposes a series of measures against begging. Reporting obligation but no prohibition is proposed, as well as grants for “humanitarian emergency measures”. It should also be easier to expel EU citizens who have committed crimes. The Progress Party has demanded a ban on begging and has been supported by the police force.