Norway is one of the few countries with a complete maritime cluster, with shipping companies, shipyards, equipment manufacturers, classification societies, ship brokers, insurers and financial institutions among the world’s best.

It is today the fifth-largest ship-owning nation in the world as measured in fleet value.

Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association | © NSA
Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association | © NSA

Bridges spoke with Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA), on the latest trends in the sector and its connections with Japan.

Bridges: How well-positioned is Norway to continue its role as an innovation leader?

Solberg: The Norwegian maritime industry is behind a continuous stream of innovations in ship design, dynamic positioning, propulsion systems, equipment and services.

Members of the NSA have great ambitions of their own, and on behalf of their industry. As many as nine out of 10 will invest in climate neutral solutions when building new ships and all will invest in technology that enables lower emissions than conventional technology.

In which areas do you see further cooperation with Japan?

Being the third-largest economy in the world, a front-runner in development of green shipping and a large ship-building nation, Japan is a very important market, supplier and customer for the Norwegian maritime industry. Our members enjoy close relations with Japanese shipping companies and Norwegian-controlled ships call regularly to Japanese ports. In fact, Japan is the third-largest market for our members in Asia.

Japan and Norway share high climate ambitions for their shipping industry and both countries aim for emission-free shipping by 2050.  We see great potential for further collaboration in the development of new green fuels and technology, ocean wind and also within developments of regulations and policies that will help speed up the transition to an emission-free future.