Norway. In his New Year's speech, Prime Minister Jens
Stoltenberg explained that his government intends to be the
first in the world to buy emission allowances for all
government employees' flights abroad, i.e. over 20,000 trips
annually. At this spring's Labor Party Congress, the Prime
Minister followed up with his party planning to have reduced
its carbon dioxide emissions by 10 percent by 2012 compared
to 1990, far more than the Kyoto Protocol requires. By 2020,
emissions should have decreased by 30 percent and by 2050
will have no greenhouse gas emissions at all, according to
Stoltenberg. Former UN chief Kofi Annan, who was visiting
the Congress, described Stoltenberg's plan as "number one in
the world" and urged all countries to follow suit.
CountryAAH, Norway's disputed LO leader Gerd-Liv Valla was subjected to
murder threats at the beginning of the year which forced her
to work from home, where she was protected by guards in
bulletproof vests. The drama developed after a conflict
between Valla and LO's international secretary, who resigned
and accused Valla of bullying and harassment. The conflict
led to one of the largest media storms Norway experienced, and
in March, Gerd-Liv Valla chose to resign as LO manager after
being severely criticized for his leadership style. Valla
was considered to have great political influence in the
Norwegian labor movement.
While oil prices went up and the Norwegian Oil Fund
passed SEK 2 billion during the year, unemployment in Norway
continued to decline. In ten years, it had halved, reaching
almost down to 2 percent during the year. In Rogaland county
in Vestlandet, unemployment was reported to be down 1.5 per
cent at the beginning of the year. As a result, the labor
shortage became a growing problem for Norwegian industry.
In March, the European Court of Justice raised the case
of the war children born in Norway during the Second World War
with German fathers and Norwegian mothers who were subjected
to abuse. 159 of them had sued the Norwegian state and
demanded an apology and a higher financial damages than the
Norwegian state offered. In total, between 10,000 and 12,000
so-called German children were born.
In the spring, Norway became the first country in Europe to
normalize relations with the Palestinian government after
the Hamas movement took place there at the beginning of the
year. The Secretary of State from the Norwegian Foreign
Ministry met with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya
in Gaza, and Norway decided to contribute financially to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.
In April, Norway and Iceland signed an agreement on defense
and security cooperation, which means that Norwegian fighter
aircraft will be stationed in Iceland and that Norway will help
Iceland assert its sovereignty in peacetime, as the country
was suspended without military forces since the US withdrew
its air force from the island..
In the municipal elections in September, the Socialist
Left Party (SV) made a disaster election and lost half of
its voters. The most successful party was the bourgeois
opposition party H°yre, which thus took the place as the
next largest party after the Labor Party. In the
parliamentary elections two years earlier, the Progress
Party became the second largest. The Labor Party retained
its position as the largest party, but the government
coalition was weakened by the SV's sharp decline. A few
months after the municipal elections, the government was
reformed. former SV leader and international mediator Erik
Solheim was included in the ministerial circle. He became
Minister of the Environment and Development Minister.
Norway's foreign trade
The Norwegian business community is to a large extent
based on international trade and the international division
of labor. Norway has had a foreign trade surplus every year
since 1988, and since the turn of the century the surplus
has been in the order of 200 billion.
Norwegian goods exports are to a large extent based on
the utilization of the natural production resources in the
country. Traditionally this applies to exports of wood pulp,
cellulose, paper and cardboard, fish and other fishery
products, fertilizers, carbides and other products from the
electrochemical industry, and aluminum, ferro alloys and
other products from the electrometallurgical industry. Since
the 1970s, oil and gas discoveries in the North Sea have
provided the basis for considerable export activity.
Not only the natural resources have an impact on the
composition of a country's production and foreign trade. In
low-resource demanding industrial groups such as the
mechanical and engineering industries, the electrical and
other appliance industries, natural resources do not play
such a big role. Crucial is the human effort, organizational
and structural conditions, capital equipment, etc. Of
particular importance is the professional level of the
workforce and the management's ability to plan and organize
production, product development, design and marketing. Since
the 1950s, the traditional Norwegian home industries have
started to focus more and more on sales abroad. In
particular, exports from the engineering industry have
increased in the fields of ship equipment, machinery and
electrical and electronic products. There has been a gradual
transition from the export of raw materials and
semi-finished products to more processed products. This
trend is related to trade policy conditions. Through the
collaboration in GATT and EFTA, the trade agreement with the
EU and the EEA Agreement, have succeeded in the successive
dismantling of restrictions on international trade and a
reduction in customs duties. This has created new export
opportunities for more processed goods, as these were
primarily goods that were previously charged with
quantitative regulations and high tariffs in almost all
In 2005, total imports of goods and services to Norway
amounted to NOK 353 billion. Goods imports are spread over a
very wide range of different goods. A significant part
consists of machinery and means of transport and other
investment goods, raw materials and other input goods for
Norway's largest trading partners were Sweden and
Germany, respectively. 13.4 and 13% of Norway's total
imports. The geographical distribution of Norway's exchange
of goods (excluding ships, oil platforms, oil and natural
gas) with other countries shows that nearly 3 /
4 of Norway's international trade takes place
with the other countries in Western Europe.
Norway had long net debt to foreign countries. However,
during 1995, Norway's claims abroad were greater than its
debt. At the end of 2003, net receivables abroad amounted to
approx. 809 billion kroner
Foreign trade as a percentage by country 2005
Norway - Oslo
Oslo, municipality and capital of Norway; 454 km2, 673 469
residents (2018). Oslo, which is the country's largest city, is identical to the
municipality of Oslo and the county of Oslo. In addition to the actual city,
Oslo also includes parts of Nordmarka's lush, hilly forest area. Holmenkollen
and Frognersetern, as well as smaller islands in the Oslo Fjord. Oslo's
urban area, which extends into neighboring municipalities, has 988,873
residents, and the Oslo region (metropolitan area), which in addition
to the city also includes parts of Viken county, has 1,546,706 residents.
The Oslo region is the center for Norwegian industry, administration, trade,
banking and insurance. Although the industry has declined in size since the
early 1970s, it still employs 9% of Norway's industrial workers. Most of the
country's largest industrial groups have their headquarters located in the Oslo
region. Norsk Hydro A / S, Aker Group (Fornebu), Hydro Aluminum A / S and Elkem
A / S. However, several of these groups have no production in the urban region.
Industrial employment mainly contributes to companies in the graphic and
engineering industries (primarily the electrical and electronic industries and
the machine industry) and the food industry. Characteristic of the industry is
also the close connection to research environments in the city. This is typical
of electronics and data companies, but also for the pharmaceutical industry. The
formerly important shipbuilding industry is now of relatively little importance.
The industry's important position in the business sector is not reflected in
the number of employees. Dominating in this regard is the public and private
services sector, followed by trade as well as banking, insurance and other
financial activities. Most of Norway's largest banks, e. g. Nordea Norway, DNB
(formerly Den norske Bank), and insurance companies, e. g. The Storebrand Group
(Bærum) is headquartered in the Oslo region.
Oslo is the country's transport center. From the new Central Station, rail
lines to Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Stockholm and Gothenburg are extended.
Oslo Airport (Gardermoen) is the country's largest domestic and international
airport. Oslo has the country's largest import port if you disregard oil
products, and passenger traffic by boat abroad is significant. From Oslo,
regular traffic is maintained with Copenhagen, Frederikshavn and Hirtshals in
Denmark and with Kiel in Germany.
The road network in the Oslo region was previously insufficiently developed,
which in rushing times resulted in significant congestion problems. Major work
to improve the traffic situation was started in the 1980s. To finance the road
development and improve public transport, all car traffic is now charged to
Oslo. With the help of ring roads, the subway construction and gradually
expanded subway traffic, traffic in Oslo today flows relatively well.
Architecture and cityscape
When Christiania in 1814 received the status of the capital city had a
comprehensive and unified architecture with stone buildings of one or two floors
in an area of approximately 600 m by 600 m. In addition to the cathedral from
1697, the Cathedral School and the medieval Akershus was all institutions
originally constructed for private use.
In the middle of the 19th century, the shape of a capital city began to
emerge. The castle, designed by the Danish Hans Ditlev Linstow, was erected in
1825–48. Since 1840, the axially laid out Slottsveien - later Karl Johans gate -
existed as a connection between the city and the castle. Along this, the most
important institutions were placed, including the university (1841–54) by
Christian Henrik Grosch, who also designed the Basarhallene (1840–54) behind the
cathedral, after the city fire in 1858 built with the Fire Chief (1860) by the
same architect. The Storting building (1861–66) was designed by the Swedish Emil
Langlet. To the east Karl Johan ends by the East Railway Station (1882) by Georg
Bull, who also drew several city plans. The National Theater (inaugurated in
1899) was designed by Henrik Bull.
The industries that established themselves along Akerselva attracted large
workers' settlements in the east, while the bourgeoisie spread west of the
center, which was dominated by commercial and office buildings. In the early
1900s, the city expanded north with monumentally designed residential areas
according to plans by Harald Hals. In the center was added the Town Hall
(1917–50) by Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson; otherwise, the center
changed relatively little until about 1980, when the economic upswing enabled
large-scale renewal projects such as Aker Brygge, largely designed by Niels
Torp. However, the largest single building project of the 1980s was Norges Bank
(1987) designed by Lund & Slaatto, an architect duo whose influence on Norwegian
architecture began with the massive Sankt Halvard church and monastery
In 1998, Oslo's new Gardermoen airport was put into operation, where both the
terminal (executed by the Aviaplan architect's office under Chief Architect
Gudmund Stokke) and the surrounding buildings (Lund & Slaatto, Jensen & Skodvin
and others) hold high class.
Oslo has three permanent theater scenes: the National Theater (with four
stages and an annual Ibsen festival), Det Norske Theater and Oslo Nye Teater, to
which comes the Norske Opera, as well as establishment for opera, comedies and
revues, eg. ABC Theater and Chat Noir. The Aker Brygge entertainment and
business center also includes two theater rooms, one of which is intended for
In the Oslo Concert Hall, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra plays, while jazz,
soul and rock etc. are grown at Oslo Jazzhus, Stortorvets Gjæstgiveri and
others, and for large audience magnets there is Oslo Spektrum.
Among the art museums are the National Gallery, which displays Norwegian
visual art but also has a large international, classical collection, while the
Museum of Contemporary Art and Henie – Onstad Art Center in Bærum municipality,
12 km west of the center, specializes in contemporary Norwegian and
international art. Works by two of Norway's best-known artists show the Munch
Museum at Tøyen and the Vigelands plant in Frognerparken. The Frogner Park is
also home to the Vigeland Museum and Oslo City Museum. Oslo City Hall with its
large murals is also a museum of Norwegian monumental painting. The
International Children's Art Museum has attracted much attention.
At Bygdøy, just west of Oslo, there are a number of special museums: the
Norwegian Folk Museum, Norway's equivalent to Skansen in Stockholm with, among
other things. Gol's stave church, Viking Ship House with the Viking ships from
Gokstad and Oseberg from the 8th century, the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the
Kon-Tiki Museum. Nansen's and Amundsen's polar ship Fram is surrounded by large
polar historical exhibitions. Akershus, on a cape in the Oslo Fjord and in
itself a remarkable cultural memory, houses, among other things. Home Front
Museum and Defense Museum.
Oslo was founded according to Snorre Sturlasson by Harald Hårdråd in the
middle of the 1000s. However, according to archaeological observations, the
site, "Gamlebyen" at Bjørvika east of the present Akershus, was a town already
from about 1000. Olav III Kyrre (regent 1066-93) made Oslo the bishop's seat,
and the strong bishopric in Norway at that time also meant that the place soon
became a political center. But events during the decades around 1300 partially
changed Oslo's role and profile: Håkon V Magnusson (regent 1299-1319) built
Akershus and made the castle a permanent royal residence, and merchants from
Rostock came and took the lead of Oslo's foreign trade for 200 years ahead. At
the end of the Middle Ages, however, the city suffered the same decline as
Norway in general.
In the 16th century, better times were arranged for Oslo, when Hansan's trade
dominance in Nordic waters was broken, while Norway's timber exports gained a
big boost. But extensive fires had been a difficult scourge for the city ever
since the Middle Ages, and when it was re-established in 1624, Kristian IV
decided that it would not be rebuilt. Instead, he built a new city,
Kristiania, right next to Akershus, transferred Oslo's privileges to it and
ordered the citizens to move there.
Kristiania soon grew, and Akershus was a long-standing governor's residence.
But Norway's highest governing body was in Copenhagen, and the city was
therefore mainly developed in the mercantile area, especially from the 1720s.
Sawn timber continued to be its largest export commodity, and the timber trade
for a long time benefited from good economic conditions. This, in turn, led to
the emergence of a trading patrician, a wealthy upper class of sawmill
owners, large merchants and shipowners. However, the British naval blockade
against Norway during the war years 1807–14 had effects that the city could
overcome only around the middle of the century.
In 1814, however, Kristiania's position changed radically through Norway's
detachment from Denmark and union with Sweden. The city became the seat of the
government, the parliament and (from 1815) the administrative center of the
state. Already in 1811, it had acquired a university, and it soon became also
the cultural center of the country. Furthermore, during Kristiania's first
half-century as the capital, an external adjustment was made to its new status,
mainly by the erection of several public monumental buildings.
The city's population increased from 9,000 to over 250,000 in 1801–1920.
Oslo, which in 1925 reclaimed its old name, became the country's leading
industrial city and in 1948 had reached up to 430,000 residents and in 1970
480,000. while the number of residents in the inner city has decreased.