Norwegian investment abroad increases more than foreign investment in Norway

At the end of 2008, the stock of Norwegian direct investment abroad amounted to NOK 913 billion; an increase of 16 per cent from the previous year. Foreign direct investment in Norway amounted to NOK 766 billion; an increase of 13 per cent.

At the end of 2008, Norwegian equity capital in foreign companies amounted to NOK 865 billion, which made up 95 per cent of all the Norwegian investment abroad. Foreign equity capital in Norwegian companies amounted to NOK 464 billion or 61 per cent of all foreign direct investment in Norway. During the last 5 years, the share of equity capital of foreign direct investment abroad went up from 85 to 95 per cent, while the corresponding share in foreign direct investment in Norway went down from 65 to 61 per cent. The rest of invested capital in both directions is made up of net loan assets.

Compared with 2007, the value of Norwegian equity capital abroad increased by NOK 134 billion, which is more than three times the increase of foreign equity capital in Norway (NOK 35 billion).

Predominance of EU countries and the USA

The geographical breakdown of both inward and outward direct investment shows that EU countries and the USA are predominant, but the geographical breakdown was somewhat more widespread for outward than for inward investment. Close to 70 per cent of the Norwegian direct investment abroad took place within these countries. The corresponding share of the inward investment was nearly 75 per cent.

Among the European countries, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, France and United Kingdom were the most important countries either for direct investment abroad or for direct investment in Norway.

Manufacturing industries and oil activities count most

Almost half of all foreign investment in Norway took place within the activity areas manufacturing industries and oil business. Norwegian enterprises within the same activity areas made up 45 per cent of Norwegian direct investment abroad.

Holiday houses are included in direct investment and the value is estimated to be NOK 162 billion for outward investment and NOK 55 billion for inward investment.


Income from direct investment is defined to include dividends paid, reinvested earnings and interest. The return in 2008 on Norwegian investment abroad amounted to NOK 42 billion, while the corresponding figure for foreign investment in Norway was NOK 94 billion.

Source: Statistics Norway

Norwegian American Logo

The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.