View the information below regarding the economy of Norway. The summary and statistics contains
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(Source: Government of Norway 2002 budget).
GDP (2001): $164.7 billion.
Annual growth rate (2001 est.): 1.4%.
Per capita GDP (2001): $36,306.
Natural resources: Oil, gas, fish, timber, hydroelectric power, mineral ores.
Arable land: 3%.
Agriculture: Products--dairy, livestock, grain (barley, oats, wheat), potatoes and other vegetables, fruits and berries, furs, wool. Industry: Types--food processing, pulp and paper, ships, aluminum, ferroalloys, iron and steel, nickel, zinc, nitrogen, fertilizers, transport equipment, hydroelectric power, refinery products, petrochemicals, electronics.
Trade (2001): Exports (f.o.b.)--$59 billion: crude oil, natural gas, pulp and paper, metals, chemicals, fish and fish products. Major markets--U.K., Germany, Netherlands, France, Sweden, U.S. (7.7%). Imports (c.i.f.)--$34 billion: machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs, iron and steel, textiles and clothing. Major suppliers--Sweden, Germany, U.K., U.S. (7.1%).
GDP by activity (2001): Agriculture, forestry and fishing--1.7%; manufacturing--8.7%; oil, gas, and mining--20.8%; construction--3.7.%; electricity supply--2%; service industries, excluding general government--38.1%; general government--15.5%; other--9.5%.
Economy of Norway
Norway is one of the world's richest countries in per capita terms. It has an important stake in promoting a liberal environment for foreign trade. Its large shipping fleet is one of the most modern among maritime nations. Metals, pulp and paper products, chemicals, shipbuilding, and fishing are the most significant traditional industries.
Norway's emergence as a major oil and gas producer in the mid-1970s transformed the economy. Large sums of investment capital poured into the offshore oil sector, leading to greater increases in Norwegian production costs and wages than in the rest of western Europe up to the time of the global recovery of the mid-1980s. The influx of oil revenue also permitted Norway to expand an already extensive social welfare system. Norway has established a state Petroleum Fund which reached $110 billion as of June 2003. The fund primarily will be used to help finance government programs once oil and gas resources become depleted. Norway is currently enjoying large foreign trade surpluses thanks to high oil prices. Unemployment remains currently low (3%-4% range), and the prospects for economic growth are encouraging thanks to the government's stimulative fiscal policy and economic recovery in the United States and Europe.
Norway voted against joining the European Union (EU) in a 1994 referendum. With the exception of the agricultural and fisheries sectors, however, Norway enjoys free trade with the EU under the framework of the European Economic Area. This agreement aims to apply the four freedoms of the EU's internal market (goods, persons, services, and capital) to Norway. As a result, Norway normally adopts and implements most EU directives. Norwegian monetary policy is aimed at maintaining a stable exchange rate for the krone against European currencies, of which the "Euro" is a key operating parameter. Norway is not a member of the EU's Economic and Monetary Union and does not have a fixed exchange rate. Its principle trading partners are in the EU; the United States ranks sixth.
Offshore hydrocarbon deposits were discovered in the 1960s, and development began in the 1970s. The growth of the petroleum sector has contributed significantly to Norwegian economic vitality. Current petroleum production capacity is more than 3 million barrels per day. Production has increased rapidly during the past several years as new fields are opened. Total production in 2001 was about 251 million cubic meters of oil equivalents, nearly 79% of which was crude oil. Hydropower provides nearly all of Norway's electricity, and all of the gas and most of the oil produced is exported. Production increased significantly in the 1990s as new fields come onstream.
Norway is the world's third-largest oil exporter and provides much of western Europe's crude oil and gas requirements. In 2001, Norwegian oil and gas exports accounted for 57% of total merchandise exports. In addition, offshore exploration and production have stimulated onshore economic activities. Foreign companies, including many American ones, participate actively in the petroleum sector.