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Annual report '06


2006 was a good year for Norwegian business. The level of activity and capacity utilisation are currently at record levels and we expect this to continue during 2007-2008.

A strong economy suggests that we will continue to have a large number of start-ups and that many Norwegian companies will have good conditions for further growth. Demand, prices and competitiveness are developing positively, and the order reserves of companies are increasing.

The board is satisfied with the results of our customer effect survey, which indicate that 79 percent of companies say that our participation is important for their profitability, 77 percent say that it is important for their competitiveness and 63 percent say that it is important for the survival of their company.

Further international growth

Internationally, the strong growth is expected to continue. The international economic picture suggests that Norway will continue to reap the benefits of high oil prices, low import prices and strong international economies.

Labour shortage

The most obvious bottleneck for companies is currently the supply of labour in general and various types of specialist expertise in particular. In some companies and sectors, production capacity also represents a limiting factor The Norwegian economy and Norwegian companies are entirely dependent on the current high levels of immigration continuing.

Sectors and regions

Innovation Norway’s offices around the counties are collaborating with many partners to develop regional economic barometers and business analyses in all counties.

These barometers consistently indicate that there are extremely good economic prospects for virtually all sectors and regions.  The expectations for growth are particularly high along the coast of Western Norway (oil-driven) and in Eastern Norway (service-driven) and to a slightly lesser extent in the inland counties and Northern Norway. In terms of sectors, there are some variations and the growth impulses are particularly strong within offshore-oriented industry, construction and engineering and business services.  There is also a considerable shortage of labour in all sectors and regions, as well as a lack of production capacity and supply of raw materials in certain sectors. This could have an effect on costs, thereby weakening competitiveness in the longer term.