Official visit to Finland
His Royal Highness The Crown Prince started his two-day official visit to Finland today. The visit is taking place at the invitation of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Finland Mr Sauli Niinistö, and the purpose is to further strengthen the excellent ties between the two countries.
Crown Prince Haakon began his visit by attending meetings with President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, which were followed by an official luncheon held by the city of Helsinki and hosted by Mari Puoskari, Chair of the Helsinki City Board.
Our location in the northern reaches of Europe means we encounter many of the same opportunities and challenges, said the Crown Prince in his remarks during the luncheon. Climate and the environment are some of the issues which we must consider carefully when we open our northern areas to greater economic activity. It is crucial that Finland and Norway have well-established regional cooperation in this field as well, particularly with regard to the labour market, transport and knowledge management in the north. I believe there is great potential for expanding cooperation in other parts of our countries as well.
Ship design for Arctic conditions
In the afternoon Crown Prince Haakon paid a visit to Aker Arctic Technology. The company specialises in the design of ocean vessels and offshore installations for ice-filled waters. The Crown Prince was given a guided tour of the testing laboratory and watched a demonstration of a solution ordered by Statoil for use in the Johan Castberg oil field, one of the northernmost production fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Finland and Norway are key strategic partners in the Nordic region and the High North, and enhanced Finnish-Norwegian cooperation in the North was high on the agenda when President Niinistö visited Troms County in Norway last year. Resource persons from Finland and Norway presented their views on strengthened cooperation during a roundtable discussion held as part of the visit to Aker Arctic Technology.
In the evening the Crown Prince was the guest of President Niinistö at an official dinner at the House of the Estates.
Unfortunately, Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess is on sick-leave and has been prevented from taking part in the official visit.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.