Oslo has a very diverse and expansive economy with one of the highest regional GDP’s in Europe. According to figures, the GDP per capita in the region was €49,465 (NOK391, 399) in the year 2003, which is nearly twice the GDP of other EU countries.
The capital contains an important maritime port with nearly 980 companies and 8,500 workforces. Some of the largest shipping companies, shipbrokers and insurance brokers are based in the city of Oslo. The port of Oslo is a major centre of cargo and passenger transport with nearly 6000 ships docking at the port. Around 6 million tonnes of cargo is transported to and from Oslo, and over five million passengers make use of the port each year.
Furthermore, three major classification societies in the world, which include Det Norske Veritas is headquartered at Høvik outside Oslo.
The gross domestic product of Oslo totalled NOK268.047 billion (€33.876 billion) in 2003, which amounted to 17% of the national GDP.
Oslo is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. According to a survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, it ranked tenth in 2006. Norway has rejected EU membership several times. If Norway was part of the EU then the region of Oslo would have ranked fourth in terms of GDP, right behind London, Brussels and Luxembourg.
In the employment sector, the service industry is dominant in Oslo accounting for more than 59% of jobs. Other employment areas include hotels and catering, trade, banking and insurance.