Promoting Norwegian interests for a century
Yesterday evening local time, the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) celebrated its 100th anniversary. Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were in attendance at the centennial gala in New York.
For a century, the NACC has been opening doors in the US for the Norwegian business community. From its headquarters in New York and offices in eight other major cities throughout the country, the NACC has provided support to Norwegian companies seeking to establish themselves in the US.
Today somewhere between 200 and 250 Norwegian companies are represented in the US. The chamber of commerce has helped many of them to get a foot in the door to the market.
The NACC also awards several prizes. Two of them were presented at the gala dinner yesterday evening.
The Nora Award for Women of Achievement was established in 2013 in recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Norway. Named in honour of the brave protagonist in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, the award was presented to Norwegian actor and director Liv Ullmann. In its statement, the NACC board drew particular attention to Ms Ullmann’s commitment to safeguarding human rights. She was one of the first women to serve as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Her Majesty Queen Sonja was the first recipient of the Nora Award in 2013.
The Norwegian-American Trade Award was presented to Innovation Norway. CEO Anita Krohn Traaseth accepted the prize on behalf of the organisation, which promotes Norwegian trade and industry and Norway as a tourist destination. The award was presented by the 2011 recipients, the founders of the fashion brand Moods of Norway. "n the beginning," said co-founder Peder Børresen, "only our grandmothers and Innovation Norway had any faith in us."
Crown Prince Haakon congratulated both the NACC and the prizewinners in his speech to the centennial celebrants, emphasising the importance of the chamber of commerce’s efforts to promote US-Norwegian relations.
"As a result, relations between Norway and the US are closer than ever. From the technology clusters of California to the maritime world of Houston, Texas, or to businesses anywhere else, you have played a vital role as a facilitator of Norwegian interests."
Design, music and innovation
Today (local time), Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will meet with representatives of Norwegian companies showcasing themselves for investors and actors in the US business community. They will also present a piece of Norwegian cultural heritage to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum – the US national museum of design. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess will attend a luncheon with representatives of Music Norway, musicians and members of the New York music industry, rounding off their programme with a visit to the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in New York, a social hub for Norwegians abroad.