In 2003, Norway exported services for approximately NOK 160 million (approx. EUR 20 million), roughly half of which came from the shipping industry. All in all, services account for slightly less than one quarter of Norway’s total exports.
The utilization of Norway’s abundant natural resources presents enormous challenges. A harsh climate, long winters, a rugged terrain and the world’s roughest seas all must be overcome. Along the way, Norwegian enterprises have not only harvested wealth but also generated a substantial treasure of technical and engineering know-how. Modern Norwegian consulting companies have emerged as a direct or indirect spin-off from many of the country’s traditional industrial strongholds, including a wide range of marine technologies, hydropower, rock engineering, aquaculture, fisheries, forest industries, and the oil and gas industry.
A modern industrial sector is dependent on an effective transport sector. Norwegian transport services include shipping companies, shipping and forwarding agents, air freight carriers and third party logistics. Despite a population of only 4.6 million, Norway accounts for nearly ten per cent of the global fleet and has one of the world’s largest merchant marine fleets. The Norwegian shipping industry is not only one of largest, but one of the most diversified in the world.
In addition to technologically oriented consulting activities, Norwegian firms increasingly supply a variety of other services in as diverse fields as finance and insurance, legal and auditing services, marketing and public relations and management consulting. Moreover, a wide range of private consulting firms, as well as public and independent R&D institutions with close links to institutions of higher education and other centres of research and learning, provide consultancy services worldwide.