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Risk - to whom?

The Government's 2001 budget increases the scope for industrial development in the context of aid. All financing of equity in Norwegian companies in developing countries is concentrated in Norfund. At the same time, this fund has seen its capital double to NOK 1.1 billion (USD 130,000,000).
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
The Government's 2001 budget increases the scope for industrial development in the context of aid. All financing of equity in Norwegian companies in developing countries is concentrated in Norfund. At the same time, this fund has seen its capital double to NOK 1.1 billion (USD 130,000,000).

This way, the Government is increasing Norwegian industry's access to so-called "risk capital". As a supplement to other mechanisms, such as The Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK), this is supposed to reduce the risk for the industry when operating under different skies.

In financial circles, it is said that you shouldn't invest more than you can afford to lose, which sounds reasonable. And yet, then, incentives are needed to direct the flood of investments.

But there is a third party in this issue. Local communities and the local environment are not covered by either Government guarantees or risk capital. Nor can they afford to lose much, considering how little they often have to get by on in the first place, and considering the precarious balance on which the environment depends. Who provides guarantees to these parties if the growing involvement of Norwegian industry abroad should carry a cost too high for them to pay?

Norwatch Newsletter 1/01