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Invisible Norway?

Norway is invisible, says Professor Janne Haaland Matlary. For some sauce.


[17. March 2006] On Wednesday, the so-called "Reputation Committee" presented its report on Norway's position in a globalized world. For two years, the committee, under the leadership of NHO Director Jon Vea, has been working on developing a brand strategy for the country in the north. Committee member Janne Haaland Matlary could therefore, at the end of the work, say to NTB: "The brutal truth is that Norway is almost completely invisible abroad."

Just. Matlary does seem to note the general picture of Norway over the past couple of decades, not specifically to such as the Muhammad caricatures, which have set Norwegian flames in flames in recent weeks. But can the reputation committee really be right in its general analysis that Norway is invisible abroad? Of course not. Just look at the last week's Norway review around the world:

Sri Lanka: The Patriotic National Movement believes it is time to throw Norway away from Sri Lanka, since the "Norwegian conspirators" have made the island their "hunting grounds".

Scotland: Scotland's largest salmon farm, Marine Harvest, is taken over by Norwegian competitor Pan Fish for about NOK 10 billion. Scots fear the Norwegians are shutting down their jobs.

Russia: Nikolai Spassky in the Russian Security Council goes to Svalbard. He will end Norway's self-sufficiency and secure Russia's increased right to economic activity in the important northern regions.

Canada: The Progress Party is Norway's largest party, writes a Canadian Poll Institute, and cites VG.

India: Kerala newspapers say that according to the Norwegian embassy in New Delhi, "there are currently no substitutes in the health care system in Norway". Then that case is resolved, at least towards job-seeking Indian nurses.

Perhaps the problem is that our country is visible in the wrong way. Far more than a selection is needed to improve Norway's reputation in the world. n

Dag Herbjørnsrud
Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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