Norway's economy is comparatively small and highly dependent on international trade and oil and gas prices, yet it seems less open than the western European average. In 1998, its exports and imports of goods and services accounted for only 38.9 percent and 33 percent of GDP, respectively. Chief export partners include the EU countries with 77 percent of exports (United Kingdom, 17 percent; Germany, 12 percent; Netherlands, 10 percent; Sweden, 10 percent; France, 8 percent), and the United States at 7 percent. Imports were shipped mostly from the EU with 69 percent (Sweden, 15 percent; Germany, 14 percent; the UK, 10 percent; Denmark, 7 percent), the United States at
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Norway|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
7 percent, and Japan with 4 percent (1998). Norway has a strongly positive balance of trade, and its surplus increased in 1999 and 2000 due to the increase in the volume of oil exports and the higher average international oil prices. Exports in 1999 stood at US$47.3 billion while imports stood at US$38.6 billion.
Energy and raw and semi-processed goods (oil, metals, and chemicals) still account for some 80 percent of Norwegian exports. The rest consists of exports of machinery and equipment, and various manufactured goods. In 1998, petroleum accounted for some 40 percent of exports, followed by metals and metal products, chemicals, and foodstuffs (mostly fish and fish products). The bulk of imports (55 percent) consisted of machinery, automobiles, equipment, and various manufactured items, followed by industrial raw materials, notably ores for the aluminum industry (40 percent) and food and beverages (6 percent).