Reasons to invest in Oslo

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Published by Oslo Business Region, 31 August 2020

What makes Oslo a desirable destination for your investment? Do we have the growth potential and the combination of characteristics and behaviours it takes to make the return you would like to see? We believe so, and we have collected a number of reasons why:

COMPACT

Oslo is compact in every sense, with short distances to basically everything. Geographically quick and easy to get around, and the informal, egalitarian society makes other distances short, too – between people, from people to power and from words to action.

CONNECTED

Oslo Airport is the second most busy in the Nordics. It caters for flights to and from 154 destinations (2018), of which 18 are intercontinental, 103 European and 33 domestic. When a new passenger terminal opened in 2017, capacity was increased to 32 million passengers annually.

DIGITAL

Oslo is among the global top 10 most prepared and willing to incorporate next-generation technology, as demonstrated by the opening of the world’s first 5G movie theatre and the 5G trials partnership between the telecom company Telenor and Oslo University Hospital. The city is 17th out of 174 cities globally in IESE’s Technology sub-index for IT access. This is mainly due to Oslo’s top internet speed performance, ranking 8th out of 100 cities in a major study of digital infrastructure.

DEAL DELIVERY

The Oslo region is home to about 245,000 companies, big and small. In total, 87 investments were made in Oslo businesses in 2019, up from 67 in 2018, and 51 in 2016. Capital invested in 2019 was USD 271. As for foreign capital, overall in Norway, 31 funding rounds, or 24% of all transactions, in 2019 had at least 1 international investor participating.

KNOWLEDGE & TALENT

Oslo has one of the youngest populations in Europe and is home to a highly educated and skilled population that are able to adapt to fast changes.
The city is home to more than 15 higher education institutions, with the University of Oslo being the largest with their near 30 000 students. Access to public education is free. The region also has a large number and research institutes that conduct research that is highly relevant for businesses and the public sector.

SCIENCE DISTRICTS

Oslo Science City, a new innovation district connecting University of Oslo, Oslo Science Park, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF research institute and the areas around was launched in August 2020. The district is already part of a wider local knowledge ecosystem that is home to nearly 30,000 employees and students, 8,000 researchers, 10,000 hospital staff and 1,000 organisations including one of Europe’s largest hospitals, a leading University, numerous research institutes and several incubators. Two more similar innovation districts are to follow, in the city centre and one named Construction City in the Hovinbyen development.

AMBITIOUS CITY GOVERNMENT

Political and executive leadership are committed to business growth and ambitious strategies and plans are in place to secure healthy economic development. Oslo has one of the highest proportions of residents feeling they can contribute to local decision-making, and trust in public authorities. A string of environmental, public transport and cultural initiatives have been implemented in recent years, including funding for clusters and networks and innovative public procurement processes. The city government has introduced a number of funding support to businesses in response to the Covid 19 situation.

STABLE ECONOMY

Norway and Oslo has a strong and prosperous economy, characterised by being open and mixed, with a combination of public and private ownership as well as free market activity. As of August 2020, Norway's population is 5.374.807 and the total Norwegian labour force numbers 2.8 million people. Unemployment rates are low, the workforce highly skilled, and we have the second highest per capita GDP in Europe, making Norway an extremely productive country.

GROWTH POTENTIAL

World-class knowledge and experience from traditional industries like maritime, oil and gas is paired with an urgency to seek new, more innovation driven growth. High value sectors are driving job creation and growth in many innovation-rich industries such as arts, culture, media and other creative sectors. The startup scene is maturing and focus is moving towards scaling into the global markets.

OPEN & INTERNATIONAL

The Norwegian market has always been open to foreign investments, with a transparent and efficient regulatory framework that facilitates entrepreneurial activity and innovation. There are about 6000 foreign-owned limited companies in Norway. Foreign companies represent about 20% of the overall employment and about 25% of all value creation in the country. In Oslo, the number of internationally recognised, innovative companies has increased by 17% over the past year (2019).

GROWTH ECOSYSTEM

The Oslo region is home to about 50 professional cluster or network organisations and hubs to support business development and growth. Many offer office space, and most of these operate in the fields of environmental and energy technology, bio economy, life sciences, and ICT systems.

QUALITY of LIFE

Oslo’s outstanding liveability offer, the region’s amenities, character, nightlife, urban fabric and public spaces contribute to an extremely high quality of life. A culture for taking employee health and wellbeing very seriously is also serving Oslo’s reputation as a place where talent can access a special work-life balance and can concentrate on reaching its potential in a hectic urban life.

GREEN CAPITAL

As Europe’s fastest mover on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognition of Oslo’s health, wellbeing and carbon agendas is widespread. Awarded the European Green Capital in 2019, Oslo is a clear leader on decarbonisation with an unprecedented global appetite for electric vehicles and the introduction of a car-free city centre. In 2018, electric and hybrid cars totalled 60% of all newly-registered private cars. Bike sharing schemes and public transport are working well and the city is literally green, with 95% of inhabitants having a park or open green space within 300 metres of their homes.