A global industry is dependent on a global regulatory framework. The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association therefore works to support global rules drafted through the UN’s International Maritime Organization IMO and the UN International Labour Organization, ILO.

Majority of turnover generated abroad

The member survey shows that Norwegian shipping companies’ revenue from markets outside Norway amounted to approximately NOK 155 billion in 2020, or 71 per cent of the total turnover in the industry in 2020.

In 2021, growth in foreign markets of NOK 6.5 billion is expected, bringing the foreign share of shipowners’ turnover to 72 per cent. This clearly illustrates the global nature of maritime industry.

Deep sea shipowners in particular gain a large share of their revenue from foreign markets, with about NOK 100 billion in 2020 and an expected NOK 104 billion in 2021. This constitutes as much as 94 per cent of deep sea shipowners’ total turnover.

The Norwegian fleet is the world’s fourth largest in terms of value, and shipowners maintain strong positions around the world. Shipowners highlight China in particular, followed by the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany as important foreign markets. At the same time, four out of ten companies say that Norway is the most important single market. The offshore service segment and rig companies derive more than half of their revenues from the Norwegian market.

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Global spheres of influence, or a liberal world order?

Protectionism and trade wars

At a time when globalisation is increasingly being challenged by regional offensives, national interests and protectionist policies, it is crucial to support an international legal order and multilateral governance. Deep sea shipping companies in particular are noticing the negative effects of protectionism, with as many as 72 per cent saying that it affects them negatively or very negatively.

The Norwegian authorities must work for free trade agreements with countries corresponding to those with which the EU has agreements, and prioritise negotiations with China and the United Kingdom.

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association encourages the authorities to:

  • Continue to contribute to regulatory development in the IMO and work toward harmonised global implementation and uniform practice of international rules
  • Speak out clearly against protectionist trends in foreign markets
  • Negotiate free trade agreements with countries corresponding to those with which the EU has agreements, including prioritising bilateral trade agreements with China and the United Kingdom
  • Continue to support the WTO as the central multilateral organisation for global trade and trade policy by contributing to reform efforts
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9. Europe