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OECD Territorial Reviews: NORA Region 2011

The Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Coastal Norway

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: NORA Region 2011

The North Atlantic (NORA) region is a transnational area comprising the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, and the coastal counties of Norway. These territories are linked by shared characteristics and challenges, as well as by historical, institutional and cultural links. Improving accessibility to the region, ensuring sustainable development of its fisheries, enlarging and diversifying its economic base, and meeting the challenges of climate change are key issues. Strengthened regional co-operation can help these territories address them by exchanging know-how and best practices, pooling resources and reaching economies of scale, improving the efficiency of public sector provision, and increasing the “voice” of the region.  

However, transnational co-operation in the NORA region faces some barriers, as it involves territories that compete in their main economic activities, are separated by large distances, and have strong institutional and economic links with other countries and regions. In order to get the most from transnational co-operation, this report recommends that the NORA territories: focus co-operation efforts on targeted themes and issues; draw up a regional development strategy; promote greater awareness of the benefits of co-operation; develop a “variable geometry” approach to regional co-operation; and enlarge and refine the role of the NORA institution as a facilitator of co-operation.

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Policies supporting a sustainable, competitive economy in the NORA region

Reinforcing economic competitiveness and a sustainable development process in the NORA region will largely depend on its capacity to overcome different challenges related to the remote location of the region, its vulnerability to climate change, and its narrow productive base. The chapter is divided into four sections. Section 1 provides recommendations for improving accessibility and for coping with the peripherality and demographic challenges of the region. Section 2 focuses on the future productivity and sustainability of the fishing industry, as one of NORA’s main economic sectors. The third section identifies the opportunities for diversifying the economic base, and the crucial role that innovation plays in the region. The fourth section considers the challenges of climate change for the main economic activities of the region and the crucial role of adaptation measures to confront the effects of climate change.

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