History of Norway
The Norsemen, also known as Vikings, ravaged the coasts of
northwest Europe from the 8th to the 11th century and were ruled by
Olaf II Haraldsson became the first effective king of all Norway in
1015 and began converting the Norwegians to Christianity.
After 1442, Norway was ruled by Danish kings until 1814, when it
was united with Sweden although retaining a degree of
independence and receiving a new constitution, in an uneasy
In 1905, the Norwegian parliament arranged a peaceful separation
and invited a Danish prince to the Norwegian throne—King Haakon
• The population of Norway in 2013 was estimated by
the United Nations at 5,063,709 (growth rate:
0.3%);which placed it as number 114 in population
among the 193 nations of the world. In that year
approximately 15% of the population was over 65
years of age, with another 20% of the population
under 15 years of age.
• Population :
5,063,709(July 2013 est.)
• Median age :
total: 38.7 years
male: 37.9 years
female: 39.6 years (2013est.)
• Population growth rate :
0.363% (2013 est.)
• Birth rate :
11.27 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
• Death rate :
9.37 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
• Net migration rate :
1.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North
Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden
• Geographic coordinates:
62 00 N, 10 00 E
• Map references:
total: 324,220 sq. km
• land: 307,860 sq. km
• water: 16,360 sq. km
• Area - comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico
• Land boundaries:
total: 2,542 km
• border countries: Finland 727 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 196 km
25,148 km (includes mainland 2,650 km, as well as long
fjords, numerous small islands, and minor indentations 22,498 km; length
of island coastlines 58,133 km)
• Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
• Climate: temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder
interior with increased precipitation and colder summers; rainy year-round
on west coast
• Terrain: glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by
fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords;
arctic tundra in north
• Elevation extremes: lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m
• highest point: Galdhopiggen 2,469 m
• Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc,
titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower
• Land use: arable land: 2.87%
• permanent crops: 0%
• other: 97.13% (2001)
• Irrigated land:
1,270 sq. km (1998 est.)
• Natural hazards:
• Many families consist mainly of the nuclear
• Marriage is not a prerequisite to starting a
• Many couples live together without legalizing
the arrangement with marriage. Therefore, it
is best not to make presumptions about
people's marital status.
Women are highly respected in business and generally
receive equal pay and have access to senior positions.
Norwegian women expect to be treated with respect in
Businesswomen are direct and can be skilled
Women may take up to one year's maternity leave at
80% pay or 10 months at 100% pay.
If a woman decides to stay home with pre-school
children she receives a monthly stipend from the
“The poet Aksel Sandemose put Jante Law into words and they
convey an important element of Norwegian culture: humility.
Janet's Law teaches people to be modest and not 'think big'. It is
demonstrated in most people's refusal to criticize others.
Norwegians try to see all people as being on equal footing. They
do not flaunt their wealth or financial achievements and look
askance at those who do”
The tenets of Jante Law are:
You shall not think you are special.
You shall not believe you are smarter than others.
You shall not believe you are wiser than others.
You shall not behave as if you are better than others.
You shall not believe that you know more than others.
You shall not believe that you can fix things better than
• You shall not laugh at others.
• You shall not believe that others care about you.
• You shall not believe that you can teach others anything.
Meeting and Greeting
• Greetings are casual, with a firm handshake, direct eye
contact, and a smile.
• Norwegians are egalitarian and casual; they often
introduce themselves with their first name only.
• In some circumstances people may use the honorific
title "Herr" (Mr.) or "Fru" (Mrs.) and their surname.
• You can wait to be invited before moving to first names
although most people will start with this.
• Shake hands and say good-bye individually when
arriving or departing.
• Shake hands with people on a first come first served
Gift Giving Etiquette
• If invited to a Norwegian's home, bring flowers, chocolates,
pastries, wine, or imported spirits to the hostess.
• Flowers may be sent the morning of a dinner party so they
may be displayed that evening.
• Do not give carnations, lilies or white flowers as they are
used at funerals.
• Do not give wreaths, even at Christmas.
• Do not give even numbers of flowers.
• A houseplant is well received in the winter months.
• A bouquet of freshly picked wildflowers is always
• Gifts are opened when received.
Invitations are generally given verbally.
Norwegians are punctual in both business and social situations.
Confirm the dress code with your hosts.
Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is
Do not discuss business. Norwegians separate their business and personal
Reciprocate any invitation.
Table manners are more formal than one might expect of a culture that is
informal and egalitarian.
Hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
Do not begin eating until the hostess starts.
Most food, including sandwiches, is eaten with utensils.
When you have finished eating, place your knife and fork across your plate
with the prongs facing down and the handles facing to the right.
The male guest of honour, generally seated to the left of the hostess, thanks
the hostess on behalf of the other guests with the phrase "takk for maten"
(thanks for the meal).
Norway shares the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland and
Siberia, but compared to these areas Norway has a pleasant
• Late June to early August is when the weather is warmest
and the days are long and bright. Temperatures in July and
August can reach 25 C - 30 C. At the same time there is
hardly any humidity in the air.
• Sea temperatures can reach 18 C and higher, making
swimming a popular pastime.
• The warmest and most stable weather usually occurs on the
eastern side of the southern mountains, including the south
coast between Mandal and Oslo.
• In the autumn the landscape is painted in
golden colours. The temperature drops slowly
through September, making for good berry
and mushroom picking weather.
• During autumn the land areas lose more heat
than the sea, and eventually the coastal areas
have the highest temperatures.
• In winter much of Norway is usually
transformed into a snow-clad paradise.
• The lower inland areas, both in the southern
and northern parts of Norway, can have very
low mean temperatures in winter.
• By contrast, the coastal areas have
comparatively mild winters. However, gales,
rain and clouds can be frequent and heavy.
• May to mid-June is when the scenery in Norway is at its
most spectacular, with trees and flowers waking to life,
snow in the mountains and melt water swelling the
waterfalls. There are several public holidays in May,
and the Norwegians make full use of them to celebrate
springtime after a long winter.
• Spring is the season when the temperature differences
between the southern and northern part of the
country are largest. This is also the time of year when
daytime and nighttime temperatures differ the most.
Currency of Norway
• The krone is the currency of Norway and its dependent territories.
The plural form is kroner. It is subdivided into 100 øre. The ISO
4217 code is NOK, although the common local abbreviation is kr.
The name translates into English as "crown". The Norwegian krone
was the thirteenth most traded currency in the world by value in
April 2010, down three positions from 2007
• EXCANGE RATE :
• The value of Norwegian kroner compared to other currencies varies
considerably from one year to another, mainly based on changes in
oil prices and interest rates. In 2002 the Norwegian krone grew to
record high levels against the United States dollar and the Euro. On
2 January 2002, 100 NOK were worth 11.14 USD (1 USD = 8.98
NOK). In July 2002, the krone hit a high at 100 NOK = 13.7 USD (1
USD = 7.36 NOK). In addition to the high level of interest, which
increased further on 4 July 2002, to 7 per cent, the price of oil was
high. At the time Norway was the world's third largest oil exporter.
Economic conditions of Norway
• Norway’s economic freedom score is 70.9, making its economy the
32nd freest in the 2014 Index. Its score has increased by 0.4 point
since last year, with improvements in investment freedom, the
management of government spending, and monetary freedom
partially offset by declines in freedom from corruption and business
freedom. Norway is ranked 16th out of 43 countries in the Europe
region, and its overall score is well above the world and regional
• Norway was first rated in the 1996 Index and since then has
advanced its economic freedom score by 5.5 points. Improved
scores for half of the 10 economic freedoms, led by notable gains in
the area of market openness measured through trade freedom,
investment freedom, and financial freedom, have enabled Norway to
prosper despite declines in fiscal freedom, labor freedom, and
monetary freedom. Norway’s economy, recording its highest score
ever in the 2014 Index, is now considered “mostly free.”
• Norway remains one of the world’s least corrupt
countries. Well-established anti-corruption measures
reinforce a cultural emphasis on government integrity.
Transparency is a key institutional asset. The
judiciary is independent, and the court system, headed
by the Supreme Court, operates fairly at the local and
national levels. Private property rights are securely
protected, and commercial contracts are reliably
Language of Norway
• Norwegian, closely related to Danish and Swedish, is
part of the Germanic language group.
• In addition to the letters of the English alphabet, it has
the letters æ, å and ø. Historically, Old Norse was
displaced by a modified form of Danish for writing, but
in the 19th century there arose a reaction against
• Many dialects are spoken. There are two language
forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk; the former (spoken by a
large majority of Norwegians) is based on the written,
town language, the latter on country dialects
• English is spoken widely in Norway, especially
in the urban areas.
• The Lapps in northern Norway have retained
their own language, which is of Finno-Ugric
origin. There is also a small Finnish-speaking
Religional system in Norway
• The state church is the Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Norway but all religious faiths have
freedom to function.
• Citizens are generally considered to be
members of the state church unless they
specifically indicate other affiliations. As such,
reports indicate that about 86% of the
population are nominally affiliated with the
Evangelical Lutheran Church.
There are about 62,051 Muslims; 43,019 members of
Pentecostal congregations; about 42,546 Roman Catholics;
21,303 members of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of
Norway; 14,812 Jehovah's Witnesses; 12,918 Methodists;
10,385 Norwegian Baptist Union member.
• The Norwegian Humanist Association, an organisation for
atheists and the nonreligious, claims about 70,363 adults as
registered members and between 10,000 and 12,000 children
• Other groups include Orthodox Jews, the Greek Orthodox
Church, the Anglican Church, and Hindus. ociate
Building Relationships &
• Norwegians are transactional and do not need long-standing
personal relationships in order to conduct business.
• Nonetheless, they prefer to do business with those they trust,
so it is important that you provide information about yourself
and the company you represent prior to meeting your business
• Relationships develop slowly and depend upon the other
person being professional and meeting all agreed upon
• Giving a well-researched presentation indicates that you are
serious about conducting business.
• The basic business style is relatively informal.
• Norwegians respect confident, self-assured businesspeople.
• They are excellent time managers who do not require face-to-face contact
in order to conduct business.
• If you are like-minded, the relationship will develop over time.
• Appearing overly friendly at the start of a relationship may be viewed as
weakness. Maintaining eye contact while speaking is interpreted as
• Their communication is straightforward and relies on facts.
• They are conservative and deliberate speakers who do not appreciate being
• They are scrupulous about honesty in communication, often to the point of
pointing out the negatives in their own proposals in greater detail than the
• Norwegians are not emotive speakers and their body language is subtle.
Business Meeting Etiquette
• Appointments are necessary and should be made as far in
advance as possible.
• Appointments may be made in writing or by telephone.
• If writing, address the letter to the head of the division, even if
you do not know the person.
• Punctuality is imperative since it indicates trustworthiness.
• If you are delayed even 5 minutes, it is polite to telephone and
explain the situation. Arriving late without prior notice can
damage a potential relationship.
• It is often difficult to schedule meetings during July and
August, which are popular vacation times; during the two
weeks before and after Christmas; and during the week before
and after Easter.
• Meetings are rather informal.
• Send an agenda before the meeting so that your Norwegian
colleagues can be prepared.
• There is not much small talk. Norwegians prefer to get to the
business discussion quickly.
• Presentations should be precise and concrete, and backed up with
charts, figures and analysis.
• Avoid hype or exaggerated claims in your presentation.
• Leave time for Q&A at the end of a presentation. Norwegians do not
interrupt and will save their questions until you have finished
• Decisions are consensus driven.
• Expect decisions to take time as your colleagues must weigh
all the alternatives.
• Present a firm, realistic, and competitive initial price and
expect a minimum of bargaining.
• Price is often the most important deciding factor.
• Norwegians do not generally give discounts, even to good
customers or for large orders.
• Norwegians are detail oriented.
• Maintain eye contact while speaking.
• Negotiations are frank.
• Avoid high-pressure sales tactics.
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