Norwegian subsidiaries abroad
Updated: 20 February 2024
Next update: Not yet determined
|Turnover (NOK million)
|Employee benefits expense (NOK million)
|Gross investments (NOK million)
|1 968 835
|1 048 987
|Northern, Central America and the Caribbean
About the statistics
The statistics provide an overview of Norwegian subsidiaries abroad. By looking at foreign enterprises controlled from Norway, we get an insight into the activities of Norwegian business outside of Norway. The variables included are number of enterprises, employment, employee benefits expense, gross investments, and turnover, distributed by industry and country.
Norwegian subsidiaries abroad
A Norwegian subsidiary abroad is defined as an enterprise that is controlled, directly or indirectly, by an enterprise or other economic unit in Norway through an ownership share of more than 50 per cent.
According to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC2007), an enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal entity that produces goods or services. In this statistic, a legal entity is an enterprise. Legal entities are limited liability companies, partnerships and sole enterprises. Only economically active enterprises, with turnover and/or employment and/or employment, employee benefits expense and/or gross investments, are included in the population.
Employment is defined as the sum of wage-earners working in the enterprise. This includes also working proprietors and partners working regularly in the unit. Persons with more than one job, may be counted as employed in several industries. Employment numbers show the average number employed during the year.
Turnover is defined as the enterprise's operating revenues minus public subsidies and profit from the sale of fixed assets. Taxes and duties are included, but VAT is not.
Employee benefits expense
Salary costs include wages, holiday pay, fees etc., employer's National Insurance contributions, reportable pension costs and other personnel costs. Salary costs do not include remuneration to owners of sole proprietorships or general partnerships, or to family members with no fixed salary.
Gross investments include additions of fixed capital, such as plots of land, buildings and facilities (excluding housing), machines, tools, instruments, fixtures and fittings and transport (excluding private use), both new and used. Sums spent on improvements/extensions to these are also included in gross investments.
Ultimate investor country
The ultimate investor country is the country where the “last” enterprise or person in the ownership chain is registered or has registered address. That is, the enterprise that is not controlled by another enterprise or the last person in the ownership chain.
The statistic is international known as Outward Foreign Affiliates Statistics (OFATS). It is thereby commonly referred to as OFATS.
The industrial classification is in accordance with the Norwegian Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 2007) which is based on the industry standard of EU (NACE Rev. 2) and the United Nations (UN) (ISIC Rev. 3).
Name: Norwegian subsidiaries abroad
Topic: External economy
Division for Financial Accounts
National level. Ownership abroad is divided into countries and country groups.
The statistics are published annually, within 20 months of the reference year.
Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.
Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.
The purpose is to provide an overview of the Norwegian subsidiaries’ economic activity abroad, i.e., foreign affiliates abroad.
In Norway, data for outward FATS was collected for the first time in 2008, with data for number of enterprises, employment, and turnover. From reference year 2021 numbers for employee benefits expense and gross investments were included.
Figures for the Norwegian subsidiaries’ activities abroad are used in economic research to measure the degree of globalization, and in international trade negotiations.
Users are authorities, businesses, embassies, the media, and educational and research institutions, among others. There is also extensive international reporting on data for foreign affiliates abroad, particularly to Eurostat and OECD.
The outward FATS are related to the statistics on Norwegian direct investment abroad (FDI). The holdings of FDI describe claims of payments in the form of Norwegian-owned capital and other capital tied to direct investment.
However, the direct investment statistics say little about how Norwegian ownership interests abroad affect other aspects of the economies where the investment takes place. The FATS statistics are useful in being able to describe this effect.
Statistics on foreign subsidiaries in Norway (inward FATS) show equivalent relations where foreigners control Norwegian enterprises. The statistics follow the same international requirements as outward FATS.
The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).
The statistics are part of the national programme for official statistics 2021-2023, main domain International Economic Relationships, sub-domain Economic globalisation.
The European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 of 27 November 2019 on European business statistics (EBS-Regulation). In addition, the detailed Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1197 of 30 July 2020 laying down technical specifications and arrangements pursuant to the EBS Regulation.
The statistics are prepared in line with recommendations from Eurostat, embodied in the "Recommendations manual on the production of Foreign Affiliates Statistics". New manual was released in 2023.
The statistics cover, in principle, all Norwegian subsidiaries abroad, i.e., subsidiaries in foreign countries that are controlled either directly or indirectly by an enterprise in Norway. See section definitions for a closer definition of "Norwegian subsidiaries abroad".
Only economically active enterprises are included in the population. The statistics include all Norwegian-controlled institutional sectors. Non-financial corporations are, in this context, the most important sector.
The statistics are based on Statistics Norway’s own collection of survey on investment abroad. The survey provides information about the foreign enterprises, including what the enterprise owns, accounting information on investment and revenue, and information on turnover, employee benefits expense, employment and gross investement.
In addition, we use information from a various range of sources, like the media and annual reports submitted to the Register of Company Accounts in Brønnøysund, to find changes in investment abroad.
The sample is based on a cut-off sampling survey. The sampling survey covers the largest Norwegian enterprises with activity abroad. In addition, a sample of smaller enterprises is drawn. The size of the sampling survey has increased since the first year (2008), but all the largest enterprises have been included the whole time.
Collection of data
The statistics over Norwegian subsidiaries activities abroad are based on Statistics Norway’s own collection of surveys on investment abroad, which is a joint collection with Norwegian direct investment abroad (outward FDI).
Editing is defined here as checking, examining, and amending data. The data collected is to a large extent compared to information with figures for the previous year and the annual accounts submitted to the Register of Company Accounts in Brønnøysund.
Regarding the Norwegian subsidiaries that are included in the survey, we check the ownership structure by reviewing the data with information from annual reports and the enterprises’ websites etc. Only enterprises with Norway as Ultimate investor country (Norwegian-controlled enterprises) are included in this statistic.
Industry location is reported by the Norwegian enterprise that owns them the foreign subsidiaries. If no industry is reported in the survey, we use the industry of the Norwegian enterprise if the information is not available in the administrative source (EuroGroupRegister) providing business location for multinational companies.
We have not established any methods to inflate the number of enterprises, turnover, employment, employee benefits expense and gross investments abroad to population level.
Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.
Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.
Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.
To ensure confidentiality, the “suppression” method is used in these statistics.
More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.
The size of the sampling survey has increased since the first year (2008), but all the largest units have been included the whole time. For reference year 2021 two extra variables were published, which also affects the possibility to make comparisons over time.
The quality of the statistic is affected by the quality of the register of enterprises for the data collection, as well as the quality of the data that is reported. The most common sources of errors are:
- that respondents use erroneous scales, e.g. report figures in kroner instead of thousand kroner
- that respondents makes wrong assessments of what we ask for
- that Statistics Norway’s forms and reporting solutions are not good enough
- that Statistics Norway’s processing of the data during registration leads to errors
Statistics on Norwegian subsidiaries abroad are based on Statistics Norway's own data collection. We use a compulsory fine in the event of a reporting obligation not being met. A unit may fail to uphold the reporting requirement, but all the important units are included in the statistics.
The total population of enterprises abroad controlled from Norway is unknown, but we are sure that the most important enterprises are covered by the survey. To ensure highest degree of relevance at the lowest cost, we attach great importance to make sure the largest enterprises in the population are included in the sample, measured by the size of the variables to be reported.
Last year's figures are revised upon publication.