Skrog til stort skip ved Bryggen i Bergen
Shipping has always been important to Bergen
Bilde: Bergen kommune

Business and industries in Bergen

Bergen is capital of Western Norway and centre of the foremost maritime region in the world. The city has the highest density of business clusters in Norway and a popular destination for visitors.

Through all times and for all times to come Bergen lives of and by the ocean. Our region has the richest, most diverse and concentrated environment related to the maritime and marine sector. Several of the most important primary industries in Bergen are founded and based upon our close vicinity to the coast and resources from the ocean. 

The non-renewable production of energy, oil and gas, is the largest industry in Bergen. Our region is also in front nationally and globally in the renewable production of energy and the marine and maritime sector. Travel and leisure, finance, media, trade and cultural industries are in addition important for the city. 

Studies adopted to business 

Access to relevant competence is preconditional for the development of business. Bergen houses 30.000 students and many of them come from other parts of the world. Our main institutions of higher education are University of Bergen (UIB), Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Naval Academy, Bergen School of Architecture, Norwegian Business School (BI – Bergen campus) and VID Specialized University (Bergen campus). 

Leading in innovation and entrepreneurship 

Through our commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship Bergen has succeeded to create our nation’s highest density of business clusters supported by Innovation Norway. The clusters contribute to increased sharing of competence, more cooperation and are central in the innovative eco system. 

The City of Bergen conducts an active policy for business development in order to support the transition of our industries into a renewable and digital future. The city government supports programs and promotes a closer cooperation between the different actors in the region. Our section for business development cooperates with the business clusters and a range of actors who promotes business development and innovation. 

Graphic showing the main industries of Bergen
Non-renewable production of energy is the largest main industry of Bergen.

Facts about the main business sectors in the Bergen Region 

Non-renewable production of energy (oil and gas) 

Two thirds of the values created in Norway related to the production of non-renewable energy came from the Western region. Oil and gas are the largest business sector in Bergen. 12.432 full-time equivalents (FTE) in 1.060 companies (2017). 

Marine industries 

With a turnover of 90 billion NOK, and about 60 billion NOK from aquaculture, and 15.000 full-time equivalents, Western Norway had 45 per cent of this industry nationally in 2016. Bergen had 1.310 FTEs in 355 companies. 

Maritime industries 

The maritime industry of Western Norway constitutes the half of the FTEs and about the half of the national turnover in this industry. Bergen had 6.088 FTE and 1.508 companies in 2017. 

Renewable energy 

Western Norway had a third of Norway’s FTEs stemming from production of renewable energy (2016). Bergen had 1.490 FTE from 590 companies. 


The Norwegian media industry has been growing with 67 percent from 2003 to 2016. Bergen had 251 companies in the media industry in 2016. Many of them are located together in Media City Bergen (MCB) that opened in 2017. 


Our travel industry is growing. From 2016 to 2017 this sector grew by 8 per cent. In 2018 there were for the first time more than two million stays overnight at the hotels of Bergen, an increase by 9,5 per cent from 2017. 

Our restaurants had a turnover of 2,5 billion NOK I 2014. We have 387 eateries that employ 3.715 persons. 


The finance sector in Bergen is also a large industry with 4.869 FTEs and 1.012 different enterprises in 2017. This sector created values of 13,5 billion NOK. The City of Bergen also has an ICT sector with 3.500 FTEs that create values for 4,1 billion NOK. 

(Source: City of Bergen. Action plan for business development 2019-2020. )

For further information please contact:

The Municipality of Bergen
Business Development (Næringsseksjonen)