The government wants to create more jobs in the private sector in Svalbard after the state-owned coal company Store Norwegian has fired several hundred employees.
This is according to the new Svalbard report which will be presented on Wednesday, NRK news reported.
– We have established Innovation Norway in Longyearbyen, which is important to create jobs in the private sector in Svalbard . We want the level of taxation on Svalbard to remain low, and we will also consider establishing a few government jobs in Longyearbyen, Mr Gjermund Hagesæter in the Ministry of Justice said to the channel.
Today the tax level on Svalbard is at 15.8 per cent, including the National Insurance Scheme. There are about 2,300 people in the Norwegian settlements, but while the number of Norwegians has decreased, the number of foreigners has increased
Within the travel and tourism sectors there are about 300 jobs in total, but this figure is likely to increase. Hagesæter says however that it is neither advisable nor desirable for Svalbard to have one major player to take over the reduction in Store Norske.
Hagesæter believes the new Svalbard report is important for drawing up guidelines for Norwegian activities on the archipelago.
– I think the main thing that we want to make clear is that we will continue to enforce the sovereignty of Svalbard in a consistent and firm way, he said.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today