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Svalbard

Territory of ‌Norway
Flag of Norway Coat of Arms of Norway
Map of Svalbard
CapitalLongyearbyen
Status Territory
Governor
- From 2009Odd Olsen Ingerø
History
February 9, 1920 Svalbard Treaty
August 14, 1925Svalbard Act
Area61,022 km²
Population
- 20092,572
 Density0/km²
CurrencyNorwegian krone
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Svalbard is a territory of Norway, located in the Arctic. Even if Norway is part of the European Economic Area (|), and the Schengen Agreement (|) Svalbard is not subject to these. Taxes levied on Svalbard are lower than in the rest of Norway, since the Svalbard Treaty of 1920 limits the income from taxes to be used for expenses of running the administration there.


Background

First discovered by the Norwegians in the 12th century, the islands served as an international whaling base during the 17th and 18th centuries. Norway's sovereignty was recognized in 1920; five years later it officially took over the territory.[1]

Economy

Coal mining, tourism, and international research are the major revenue sources on Svalbard. Coal mining is the dominant economic activity and a treaty of 9 February 1920 gave the 41 signatories equal rights to exploit mineral deposits, subject to Norwegian regulation. Although US, UK, Dutch, and Swedish coal companies have mined in the past, the only companies still engaging in this are Norwegian and Russian. The settlements on Svalbard are essentially company towns. The Norwegian state-owned coal company employs nearly 60% of the Norwegian population on the island, runs many of the local services, and provides most of the local infrastructure. There is also some hunting of seal, reindeer, and fox.[2]

Governor

  • Odd Olsen Ingerø () (September 15, 2009 - )



Nation

Norwegian Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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