Tag Archives: Torbjørn Røe Isaksen

New economic minister, familiar message: Locals’ reaction during first visit range from ‘seems OK’ to ‘a lot of baloney’


Svalbard’s important. A more diverse range of steady jobs is important. Taking advantage of the unique nature of the area is important. Support – not always meaning money – from the government is important.

Those familiar messages were emphasized repeated by new Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen during his first two days visiting Longyearbyen in that role on Monday and Tuesday. As with many other meetings between top government officials and locals during the past few years to ponder the town’s post-coal economic future plenty of platitudes and possibilities were discussed, although there was little in the way of concrete commitment or Isaksen returning to Oslo with new insight that might alter a new strategic plan for Svalbard scheduled to be finalized this year.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 13, 2018


The ratio of foreign residents to Norwegians continues to increase in Longyearbyen; Norway’s trade minister is seeking input about Longyearbyen’s economic future when he visits Monday; tourism was flat in 2017 but expected to rise in 2018 in part due to new hotels.