Foreign subsidiaries in Norway

Updated: 22 June 2022

Next update: 27 June 2023

1 475
NOK billion

About the statistics

The statistics provides an overview of foreign-controlled enterprises' economic activity in Norway and their impact on the Norwegian economy.

Number of enterprises

In the Standard Industrial Classification (SN), an enterprise is the smallest combination of legal entities that produce goods or services, and which to a certain extent have independent decision-making powers.

Number of employees

The number of employees is defined as the sum of owners and paid employees working in the enterprise. Persons with more than one position may be counted as employed in more than one business. Figures on number of employees in the structure statistics show an average number of employees for the year.

Salary and personnel costs

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.


Turnover is defined as the enterprise's operating revenues minus public subsidies, special public duties in relation to sales and profit from the sale of fixed assets. Taxes and duties are included, but VAT is not.

Production value

Production value is defined as turnover adjusted for changes in the stock of finished goods, work in progress and goods and services bought for onward sale. The purchase of merchandise is deducted, while capitalised investments by the company are added.

Production value for the main industry sector C Oil and gas exploration

Due to poor data quality purchases of goods purschased for resale are not included.

Value added (factor prices)

Value added is defined as the sum of the output value minus the purchase of goods and services (for goods and services other than those bought directly for onward sale) and adjusted for changes in the stock of raw materials and consumables. Special public subsidies for manufactured/sold goods and other public subsidies//reimbursements are included.

Total purchase of goods and services

The total purchase of goods and services includes the value of all goods and services that are purchased during the course of the year for onward sale, for use in the enterprise's own production process or for storage. The procurement of tangible fixed assets is not included in these figures.

Purchase of merchandise

The purchase of merchandise includes the value of all goods that are purchased by the enterprise for onward sale without any further processing.

Gross investments

Gross investments include procurements of fixed capital, such as buildings and plants (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 added. Gross investments are quoted exclusive of incoming VAT.

Norwegian Standard Industrial Classification (SIC2007), which is based on the industrial classifications approved by the EU (NACE Rev.2 ) and the UN (ISIC Rev.4).

Enterprises that operate businesses in a number of industries, are in principle classified according to the business that contributes most to the company's total added value. The country codes are in accordance with the ISO standard for country codes, ISO 3166.


Foreign Subsidiaries in Norway


Establishments, enterprises and accounts

27 June 2023

Division for Business Dynamics Statistics

Data on national level.

Abroad is divided into countries and country groups.




The statistics is released within 20 months after the reference year.

Reporting to Eurostat and the OECD.

Raw data and revised microdata are stored in accordance with Statistics Norway's standard for archiving files (DataDok).

The purpose is to provide a complete overview of foreign-controlled affiliates economic activity in Norway, and their effect on the Norwegian economy, particularly in relation to employment and added value.

The statistics are internationally known as Foreign Affiliates Statistics. A simplified name is inward FATS..

Figures on foreign-controlled affiliates activity in Norway are used to measure the extent of globalisation, international trade negotiations and economic research, amongst other things. Users are authorities, industry, embassies, education and research institutes etc. Data is also reported to Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Communities) and the OECD, in line with the obligations stipulated in the EEA agreement and other international agreements.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on at 10 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

The figures for the individual industries included in the IFATS statistics are based on Statistics Norway's enterprise-based structure statistics. The structure statistics provide detailed information on the activity in different industries. The direct link to the structure statistics makes it possible to make industry comparisons between nationally-controlled and foreign-controlled enterprises. For more information about the different industries, see structure statistics

With regard to foreign ownership, the statistics on foreign direct investments in Norway (inward FDI) are related to the IFATS statistics. The statistics on inward FDI stocks describe the liabilities abroad in the form of foreign-owned share capital and other capital linked to direct investments. However, these statistics say little about how foreign ownership interests in Norway affect other aspects of the Norwegian economy. The IFATS statistics are extremely helpful in being able to describe this effect, and are a natural continuation of Statistics Norway'' existing statistics on the globalisation field.

Statistics on Norwegian enterprises abroad (outward FATS) shows equivalent relations where norwegians controll enterprises outside Norway.The statistics follow the same international requirements as inward FATS

Statistics Act § 10 and § 20.

Regulation (EC) no. 716/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 on Community statistics on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates (the FATS regulation)

The statistics are prepared in line with recommendations by Eurostat, stipulated in "Recommendations manual on the production of Foreign Affiliates Statistics"

The statistics covers foreign-controlled affiliates in Norway, i.e. units that are controlled either directly or indirectly by an enterprise abroad. See section 4.1 for the definition of "foreign-controlled". Figures are also presented for the industry as a whole as a reference for the statistics on the foreign-controlled enterprises.

The statistics cover enterprises within the main industry sectors; oil and gas exploration and mining and quarrying, manufacturing, Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, water supply, sewerage, waste management and remidiation,construction, wholesale an retail trade, transporttation and storage, accomdation and food service activities, information and communication, real estate activities, professional, scientific and tecnical activities and administrative and support services activities.

Enterprises within financial services and insurance are not included in the population. Neither are agriculture and forestry, fishing, public administration, education, health and social work and other community, social and personal service activities.

Ownership data from the EuroGroups Register (EUROSTAT) and the national Shareholders Register are used to identify Norwegian foreign affiliates.

There is no separate data collection. The IFATS statistics is based on Structural business Statistics (SBS), which in turn use data from administrative sources. Additional information is collected on separate forms completed by a sample of enterprises.

Controls and alignments are carried out in the structure statistics of the data that emanates from tax questionnaires and supplementary forms for the enterprises included in the sample. Industry classification, number of employees, turnover, salary expenses, other operating costs, operating result, investments and costs of goods are all particularly critical controls.

The editing of the data material is carried out according to comparisons with figures for the previous year, the central register of establishments and enterprises, the register of company accounts at Brønnøysund, other available sources and in consultation with the customer where necessary.

With regard to the foreign-controlled enterprises, ownership is checked by reviewing the data from the register of shareholders, and with information from accounts and the companies' websites etc. on the enterprises' ultimate country of ownership.

Not relevant

Figures are not published when a cell in the table consists of less than three units, as this may enable the identification of a respondent, i.e. where figures can be traced to a respondent. This also applies to cells with more than three units where one or two respondents dominate the figures.

Definitions of some identifiers, e.g. number of employees, have changed during the period to which the figures relate. Attempts have been made to take this into consideration in order to make the figures as comparable as possible over time.

The quality of the statistics depends on the sources and the data.

Not relevant