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A New Business Strategy for Western Norway

Vestland-, Møre og Romsdal- and Rogaland county municipalities are creating a new business strategy for Western Norway.

The three county municipalities in Western Norway are embarking on the task of creating a new business strategy for the whole of Western Norway to be led by the West Norway Council.

– We want to secure the national framework conditions for new growth and restructuring and lay the foundations for the national policy and we need a common strategy for that, says Per Vidar Kjølmoen, Deputy County Mayor of Møre and Romsdal county municipality and leader of the steering group for the new business strategy.

Per Vidar Kjølmoen

Business and society on the West Coast and in Norway are facing major changes. Global trends such as the green shift, urbanisation, centralisation and an aging population will also affect people on the west coast in the years to come, Kjølmoen points out.

– The whole world is at a turning point, a time that represents both challenges and opportunities along the entire coast of Western Norway. We in the county municipalities want to have an active role in managing how Western Norway and Norway can emerge stronger from the times we are in, Kjølmoen explains.

Close Involvement from the Business Community

The initial work started this week and the business community will be closely involved in the process as the steering group consists of representatives from the whole of Western Norway and from several industries including GCE Ocean Technology.

Competence, collaboration, centralisation, settlement and technology development were among the topics raised in the first meeting between the actors. As well as the "westerners'" ability to change and adapt.

Owe Hagesæther, CEO of GCE Ocean Technology wants to see concrete measures:

– The industry's ability to adapt in Western Norway is extensive, but we lack the government's full on investments in renewable energy and other emerging ocean industries. The government must implement a clearer and greater commitment, like the nation did when we developed the oil and gas industry. We must focus on where the Norwegian industry has its advantages and we have a lot of world-leading technology anc competence to build on, says Hagesæther.

Owe Hagesæther

Norway must moreover, be better at attracting foreign investments according to Hagesæther.

- Yes, we must be able to attract both expertise and investments from those who can contribute to change, says Hagesæther.

Kjølmoen is pleased that the business community is getting involved in the work on the strategy.

- We believe in close cooperation with the industries. It is important that they have a clear voice in the work, he explains.

One Common Voice from Western Norway

One of the goals when developing a new business strategy is to create a common platform for the business community across counties and industries.

Where does Western Norway have the potential for growth? What framework conditions are needed to achieve growth? These are some of the questions to be answered before summer. The advisory company PwC has been assigned the task of assisting the West Norway Council in their work.

- I want us to stand together around some common goals to create an even stronger business community in Western Norway. We have both export-oriented industries and a top-class international tourism industry. It will be important to strengthen value creation from these industries in the years to come, ends Kjølmoen.

The business strategy should be ready in June 2021.

Contact Information

Owe Hagesæther

Chief Executive Officer

Owe Hagesæther