The growth and spread of FDI during the 20th century has been described as a significant economic-geographic development. Norwegian FDI has been increasing since the 1980s, but the large scale of it is a new phenomenon. Singapore is now the third most important host country for Norwegian FDI. This thesis is a study of Norwegian FDI in Singapore, and the research question is: Which economic and political factors do Norwegian companies regard as important when investing abroad, and to what degree have they been deciding in the process of choosing Singapore as the investment location?
The analysis is based on two types of information: statistics on Norwegian FDI to Singapore in the period 1998 to 2006 and interview data. The investment decisions of three Norwegian companies are analyzed. The selected companies are Pareto Securities, Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) and Jotun, operating in the financial services sector, the solar energy industry and the chemicals industry, respectively.
The results indicate that both economic and political factors influence the investment decision of the companies. The most decisive economic factors were access to new markets, access to skilled labor and cost savings. In addition, political factors such as control of corruption and an efficient bureaucracy seemed to be of great significance. The statistics show that the largest sectors of Norwegian FDI in Singapore are oil and gas, shipping, production of paper and telecommunications. It is suggested that Singapore functions as a gateway for Norwegian FDI to Asia.