Polymerdagarna – Inside report
Polymerdagarna is an annual event in Norway where the processing industry gathers for a conference. There were a number of different speakers on a wide array of subjects. One of the more compelling discussions was regarding how Norway with its particular situation is going to maintain a competitive processing industry.
Norway has extremely high cost levels – the highest compared to the European Union average with about 170%. Even Sweden (about 135%) is a low cost company compared to Norway. Lithuania is currently the lowest cost country in Europe with about 20% of the average cost.
Another interesting fact presented during the fair was that out of all oil and gas exported from Norway a mere 2% is being transformed into higher value products, the rest is exported in its raw form.
The conclusion from the day was also compelling – in order to manage the cost structure and also the industry needs to deliver higher value to customers. Delivering higher value means more innovation and higher precision, enough to offset the cost disadvantage. If Norway is to have a chance to stay innovative the first point on the agenda should be to make sure that there is a strong manufacturing industry in the country and also that this industry is attractive to a new generation of young professionals.
/Amit Paul, MD Paxymer