Oceans - Norway


Oceans: what connects us

Norway and the Netherlands are both seafaring nations with a long tradition of trade and cultural exchange. The North Sea is what connects us and provides endelss opportunities for future cooperation.

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The maritime industries in both countries are world leading, with a highly skilled workforce and advanced technological solutions. The strong cooperation between the public and private sector is a hallmark feature of the martime sector in both countries.

Dutch and Norwegian governments work towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and finding solutions to environmental challenges at sea caused by climate change. This includes green shipping, sustainable use of the ocean resources and international ocean governance.


As a trading nation, the Netherlands has succeeded in building up a strong global maritime position, partly as a result of the strategic position at the estuary of the rivers Meuse, Rhine and Scheldt. This is reflected in the international leading position of the industries from the Dutch maritime cluster. Rotterdam is regarded as ‘gateway’ to Europe. As Europe’s largest port, it serves a hinterland with hundreds of millions of inhabitants.

The Netherlands has an open economy and is one of the world’s ten leading exporters. The Dutch maritime cluster is active on all continents and includes: ports, offshore, maritime suppliers, shipbuilding, maritime shipping, dredging, maritime services (including maritime education and knowledge institutes), inland shipping, water sport industry and the fishing industry.

Dutch Maritime Strategy

Nor-Shipping and ONS

Image: ©NMT Norshipping
Every other year, the embassy in Oslo teams up with Netherlands Maritime Technology to host a networking session for Dutch and Norwegian companies participating in Nor-Shipping – Norway’s largest fair for the shipping industry. During this fair, exibitors show case their innovative products and solutions and connections are made and reinforces. The embassy assists Dutch and Norwegian stakeholders to connect and to navigate the maritime landscape in Norway.

The Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) in Stavanger is a world-leading biennial trade fair on energy, technology and innovation. Building on the offshore fossil industry, it’s current focus is on offshore innovative energy solutions, including hydrogen and offshore wind. It attrachts businesses and policy makers from across the world. The embassy takes part in the Netherlands pavilion to facilitate networking and to display Dutch ideas and cater for Dutch participation with our parters in IRO.

Blue bio economy

In both countries, enthusiastic entrepreneurs and scientists are working on discovering the true potential and possibilities of the up until now undiscovered blue bio economy. Both governments are stimulating finding solutions to be used in climate and environmental policies and enable a strong cooperation between the public sector, private sector and research institutions. There are already strong joint research efforts between Norway and the Netherlands in this field – and more to come in the future.

Image: ©Frans Lemmens

If you are curious in learning more about the Norwegian blue bio economy sector, this report penned by the Embassy can provide a useful introduction. It identifies some of the recent and emerging developments in the Norwegian blue bio economy. It also provides a brief overview of the key ocean-related policy activities undertaken by the Norwegian government, the most important stakeholders and relevant sources of information.

Blue Bio Economy in Norway (rvo.nl)

Seaweed research at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research NIOZ (The Netherlands, Texel Island). Seaweeds are a potential alternative for land plant biomass.

Image: ©Terese Samuelsen

State Visit
During the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to Trondheim in 2021, the embassy organised a Oceans Tour for the Royals. Together with the Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, the royal couple visited the SINTEF/NTNU Plankton Lab to see the potential of algae and seaweed for the future. They also talked to students from NTNU about their ocean projects at the Maritime Robotics in Trondheim.

State Visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to Norway in November 2021.


Please do not hesitate to contact the Netherlands embassy in Oslo for more information.