Norway has a long history of success and achievement within the maritime industry. As one of the world’s leaders and employer of over 97,000 people, the country is the fifth largest maritime nation in the world. With a focus on innovation, cooperation, and an ongoing commitment to the environment, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry and its Maritime Strategy is central in this process.
Knowing that the world market is indelibly interrelated and that transparency and social responsibility are of the outmost importance, the Ministry promotes environmentally-friendly sustainable development while working with organizations both national and international in securing a successful future for the industry. The Government’s Maritime Strategy highlights this focus in addressing the main challenges facing the maritime sector.
These challenges include the ongoing process of globalization of the maritime sector. The Ministry, knowing that now more than ever that the world is moving towards a single market, seeks to work both nationally and internationally in facilitating correct, fair and transparent framework. The introduction of a Norwegian maritime tax structure that is competitive with the rest of Europe has its roots in achieving this goal.
Fair and consistent national taxation is only one aspect of finance measures and initiatives designed to continue to position Norway in the role of facilitator in the development of international regulations for shipping. Health, environment and safety are also important aspects of the Maritime Strategy and it is the goal of the Ministry that these factors will continue to be integrated in all facets of Norwegian maritime activities.
Specific initiatives aimed towards the continued process of raising the international profile of Norwegian maritime activities include the development of the Global Maritime Knowledge Hub, with a national project - reaching to the far corners of the globe. This knowledge is reinforced by an ongoing commitment in general by the Norwegian Government as part of its Maritime Strategy, the initiative laying the groundwork for maintaining Norway’s position as a world leader in maritime industries and provides a blueprint for expanding the sector through greener technology.
|© The Norwegian Shipowner’s Assosiation
Close communication is essential to a united maritime sector here in the country, and the Norwegian Government has ongoing cooperation with member organizations such as the Association of Norwegian Maritime Exporters (NME), Norwegian Maritime Suppliers (NML), and the Maritimt Forum of Norway. They all share the goal of expanding the Norwegian shipping industry’s global market share. Adept at promoting the interests of the sector, these organizations also act as points of contact for customers needing advice in choosing the most suitable Norwegian suppliers or potential partners, and work with the Norwegian Government to promote the development of best policies relating to the industry. This is a high priority, since competition requires more than sheer expertise from the maritime cluster; it also requires the understanding and the backing of the Government for the industry to keep pace with fast-changing developments on the international level.
This cooperation is also very evident in regards to the Norwegian International Ship Registers (NIS), located in Bergen, Norway, which is under the governance of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. NIS was successfully established and opened on July 1st, 1987 with the goal of strengthening the maritime industry in Norway. Since then, great emphasis has been placed on maintaining NIS as a competitive and attractive quality register both for Norwegian and foreign owners.
Strategy and research programmes such as MARINTEK, the Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute and MARUT, the cooperative effort between the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Norwegian Shipowners Association and the Federation of Norwegian Industries also help the Norwegian Maritime Industry stay on the cutting-edge. The Research Council of Norway is also key within R&D with such activities that include SMARTRANS and MAROFF, supporting research which can contribute to increased value creation, innovation, competitiveness and environmental effectiveness of the Norwegian maritime industry.