Norway - Foreign trade

Foreign trade plays an exceptionally important role in the Norwegian economy, accounting, with exports of goods and services, for some 43% of the GDP in the mid-1990s. Exports are largely based on oil, natural gas, shipbuilding, metals, forestry (including pulp and paper), fishing, and electrochemical and electrometallurgical products. The manufacture of oil rigs, drilling platforms, and associated equipment has developed into a sizable export industry. Norway imports considerable quantities of motor vehicles and other transport equipment, raw materials, and industrial equipment. Exports tripled between 1974 and 1981, largely on the strength of the petroleum sector, which accounted for a negligible percentage of exports in 1974 but half the total export value in 1981. During the same period, imports advanced by 93%. Following years of trade deficits, Norway had surpluses from 1980 through 1985. However, the drastic fall in oil prices caused a decline in export value resulting in deficits between 1986 and 1988. Since 1989, Norway has once again consistently recorded trade surpluses.

Norway exports a substantial amount of crude petroleum, and a large percentage of the world's preserved and fresh fish. The top nine exports follow:


Crude petroleum 49
Natural and manufactured gas 9.8
Fish 5.7
Refined petroleum products 4.6
Aluminum 3.9
Ships 1.9
General industrial machinery 1.5
Paper 1.4
Iron and steel 1.3

In 2000 Norway's imports were distributed among the following categories:


Consumer goods 18.5%
Food 5.7%
Fuels 3.1%
Industrial supplies 26.9%
Machinery 24.0%
Transportation 19.9%
Other 1.9%

Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:


United Kingdom 12,375 2,787 9,588
Netherlands 6,857 1,340 5,517
Germany 6,171 4,080 2,091
France 6,009 1,374 4,635
Sweden 5,042 5,047 -5
United States 4,642 2,826 -1,816
Denmark 2,293 2,189 104
Belgium 2,073 636 1,437
Finland 1,299 1,221 78
Italy 1,119 1,081 38
Japan 989 1,774 -785

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Jan 5, 2009 @ 7:07 am
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