Norwegian authorities and the business community will work closely together to increase exports outside the oil and gas industry by 50% by 2030.
While the Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent demand for Norwegian oil and gas through the roof, change is ahead. The upcoming energy transition will see the phasing out of Norway's cash cow.
Norway's minister of trade and industry Jan Christian Vestre has announced a program of reform designed to fill the export gap left by the declining oil and gas industry over the decades to come.
The program “Hele Norge Exsporterer” (All of Norway Exports) aims to increase non-oil exports by 50% in the next 8 years. The initiative aims to bring together authorities, the business community and policy instruments to increase Norway's impact on the international stage.
“We have good individual players and competitive advantages, but to position ourselves at the top of the world, everyone must play on a team. That is what this initiative is about,” said Vestre.
Strategic, targeted export promotion initiatives
Under the initiative, work with strategic export initiatives will be more closely aligned with the government's work. Export promotion work should be seen in connection with other active business policy, such as those with green industries.
“The government has set an ambitious goal to increase value-creating exports, which we can only achieve through a tougher strategic prioritization of export initiatives,” said Vestre.
“Achieving the goal requires a willingness to prioritise and manage resources and instruments to a greater extent. Therefore, we move the work with export promotion initiatives closer to the government's work,” he added.
A new National Export Council
The Government will establish a National Export Council, which will provide advice and input to the ministry, including the formulation of proposals for 5-10 major strategic export initiatives. It will feature representatives from the business community and be served by a secretariat.
“With the National Export Council, we ensure that the business community contributes to the authorities having the best possible basis for making decisions about export initiatives. It is very important that the business community actively participates in the management of the various initiatives,” said Vestre.
Introducing ‘Made in Norway'
The minister has also initiated a new national brand program titled ‘Made in Norway' designed so that industries, clusters and companies can take international positions through the strength Norway as a brand represents.
The possibility of establishing a new national labeling scheme where Norwegian-produced goods and services receive a recognized stamp of quality will also be considered. This can increase the willingness to pay for Norwegian solutions.
Among other things, the government will establish an application-based scheme in Innovation Norway where companies can apply for support to participate in trade fairs and joint business promotion activities. Several EU countries have such schemes and many companies have requested similar in Norway.
The minister has asked all his ministerial colleagues to take a closer look at possible export measures in their own fields. He has also asked all relevant underlying agencies and affiliates to prioritise exports.