Since the Nordic economies are relatively small and open, exporting constitutes an important part of the economic activities in the Nordic region. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have all had greater exports than imports every year since 1995. As the Nordic countries focus on exporting a few different products, each of them contributes to the growth of the regional Nordic economy and they together form a competitive market in the global economy.
Norway is the third biggest oil exporter and fifth biggest gas exporter in the world, and it alone provides for 16% of all European gas consumption. This number is expected to increase in the near future because of the troubled relationship between the European Union (EU) and Russia, the other main supplier of oil and gas for the EU countries. Moreover, since Norway now focuses on implementing infrastructure and technology for the renewable energy industry, we expect renewable energy exports to increase in Norway following the growth in the production of renewable energy.
In 2012, three of the countries in the Nordic region, Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland occupied three of the top five positions in Boston Consulting Group’s e-Intensity Index. These countries have created many world famous IT brands, such as Ericsson, Nokia, Bluetooth, and Skype. With the increasing investment in technology research and development, these three countries will export more high-tech products and IT labor in the future.
As for now, Nordic exports to emerging markets constitute only 3-10% of total exports and investment flows. The Nordic countries should consider exploring these markets because as we know, emerging markets are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the growth in the world economy. Currently, Nordic companies mainly focus on business and government markets and are overlooking the vast consumer markets in emerging countries. I believe that the Nordic countries will explore large consumer groups in the emerging markets sooner rather than later with the help of modern information technology.
In all, the future of the export industry looks bright for the Nordic countries, as they focus on strengthening their advantages. More interaction with emerging market economies will likely open up more export opportunities.