[Insert Industry Title Here] Is Not the New Oil

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[Insert Industry Title Here] Is Not the New Oil


Category: AmCham News

The Norwegian government did not decide in the 1960s that oil and gas were going to be the backbone and foundation upon which the country’s welfare was to be built. Norway discovered it, invested in it and, with some help, made money from it. Lots of money.

Oil is the new oil. And will remain the primary economic driver in Norway for decades. This despite several excellent, and more or less serious, suggestions for potential replacements, including:

Art as the new oil
Data as the new oil
Creative industries as the new oil
Design as the new oil
Algae and plankton as the new oil
Powerhouses as the new oil
Further education as the new oil
Salmon as the new oil
Norwegian film as the new oil
Health as the new oil
Water as the new oil
Beer as the new oil
Refugee Reception Centers as the new oil
Knowledge as the new oil
Tourism as the new oil
Image as the new oil
Fish waste as the new oil
Seafood as the new oil
Rocks as the new oil
60-year-olds as the new oil
King crab and dog sledding as the new oil
Protection of natural resources as the new oil
Norwegian “Super-Strawberries” as the new oil

It would no doubt be a remarkable day when the “Fish Waste Fund” invested billions of dollars in Manhattan property. Or when Dagens Næringsliv’s front page reads “Statplankton’s billion kroner revenue stream.” Not to mention the day Norway has its own “Super Strawberry” minister. Another highlight could be “Dog Sledding Industry Boosts Stavanger’s Restaurant Business.”

There are several stimulating and potentially very profitable industries here, which can prove highly beneficial for Norway. However, by comparison, the oil industry is truly unique in the value it continues to generate – in terms of jobs, salaries, and value creation that supports most other industries in Norway.

In 2014, we could multiply the value created by the fish and fish farming industries by five and it would still only be one fifth of the value created by the oil and gas industry.

So rather than focusing on finding the new oil, we should work to create a robust, level playing field that facilitates innovative value creation across a range of relevant Norwegian industrial pursuits.

Source: AmCham