Mar 24, 2011

Libya, Japan, and Money

There is somewhat mixed feelings of the recent turmoil in Japan. While it is a devastating and ongoing crisis, which will probably have economic effects all around the world, a recent article suggests that Norway stands to benefit economically from this (greatly).

You see, the electricity that Japan supplies from it's nuclear reactors has to be replaced somehow, and in the short term the simplest way to do this is of course - natural gas. This is something that Norway (along with Russia, Ukraine, and other countries) have an abundance of. Apparently, Norway stands to earn an extra few billion US dollars from this.

On that same note, Norway has also offered aid to Japan, but last I heard hasn't actually sent any. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg had extended the offer of search and rescue teams, however it is essentially up to Japan to ask for the aid from Norway, before they will send it.

Recently however Norway has sent planes to Japan to bring tourists back home.

As for Libya, this is a situation that doesn't directly affect Norway economically, as it is hitting the fuel prices in other countries, in fact it will likely also benefit Norway (Libya is one of the 10 largest exporters in the world for crude oil, thus the prices have gone up, Norway has lots of oil - with increased prices Norway again stands to make lots of money from this).

However, Norway is more proactive on this particular issue. It has one of the biggest foreign aid budgets of any country, and is an active NATO/UN member. So in this particular case, the Norwegian military services are sending some planes to help enforce the no-fly zone in Libya, which to some people (particularly Americans who send planes into military operations all the time) this may not sound like a big deal. However, Norway has only used these planes (F16's) about three times in the last decade or so. So to Norway, it's kind of a big deal.

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