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Visit concluded in Ho Chi Minh City

Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess concluded their official visit to Vietnam today, their programme focused on Norwegian companies and opportunities for enhancing business cooperation between Norway and Vietnam.

21.03.2014

The last day of the visit was spent in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s largest city with some 7 million inhabitants, it was the capital of South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975 under the name Saigon. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess met with Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, Mr Le Hoang Quan.

Negotiations on a free trade agreement

Crown Prince Haakon started the day at a meeting about the ongoing negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EFTA States. The negotiations are scheduled to be concluded at the end of the year and will contribute positively towards further growth in the business cooperation between Norway and Vietnam.

New offices for DNV GL

DNV GL opened its new offices in the Bitexco Financial Tower today. Crown Prince Haakon participated in the formal opening, accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Monica Mæland, who spoke in connection with the event.

DNV GL is well-established in Vietnam with several shipyards, among other things. The company has some 60 employees in Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh City, and sees promising opportunities for expansion, particularly within the oil and gas sector. The new offices will enable DNV GL to consolidate its various activities under a single roof.

Reunification Palace

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess also had the opportunity to visit the Reunification Palace. A landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, the Reunification Palace was the seat of the presidents of South Vietnam. On the morning of 30 April 1975, a tank demolished the main gate, marking the end of the Vietnam War.

Today the palace is a popular tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors.

Business luncheon

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess joined the business delegations at their luncheon. Valuable contacts have been established between the representatives of Norwegian and Vietnamese trade and industry during the visit, and Crown Prince Haakon drew attention to this in his speech:

Starting in the political capital of Hanoi, and moving on to the cultural capital of Hue, we will end our visit in what is often described as Vietnam’s commercial capital – Ho Chi Minh City. We are very happy to be gathered here in the historic Reunification Palace. Business partners from our two countries are sharing tables and exploring options for deepened cooperation and partnerships. (…)
This visit has given Norwegian companies a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and engage with Vietnamese businesses – forming new partnerships in one of the most promising markets in Asia.

Visited Norwegian companies

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit concluded their trip to Vietnam with visits to two Norwegian companies located in the Mekong Delta region. EWOS supplies fish feed to local aquaculture facilities, while Pharmaq’s activities include the manufacture of vaccines for production fish.

Earlier today, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess witnessed the signing of an agreement between Pharmaq and the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Agreement gives Pharmaq the possibility to develop vaccines for several different farmed fish species in close co-operation with the Vietnamese authorities and their organisations.

- By signing this agreement of co-operation we take an important step further in a common goal of a forward-looking, sustainable Vietnamese fish farming industry, stated Morten K. Nordstad, CEO in Pharmaq.

This afternoon, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were able to try their own hand at administering vaccinations to fish.