Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess are in Vietnam on an official visit. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess arrived in Hanoi yesterday evening, and began their visit today with an official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will be visiting Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City, in what the Crown Princess called "a journey through Vietnam’s history, culture and impressive economic development". A large Norwegian business delegation is accompanying the Crown Prince and Crown Princess on their trip.
Official welcoming ceremony
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were formally received at the Presidential Palace this morning by the Vice President of Vietnam, Her Excellency Mrs Nguyen Thi Doan. The ceremony was followed by discussions with the Vice President and official discussions between the Norwegian and Vietnamese business delegations.
Temple of Literature
Following the meetings, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited the Temple of Literature, one of several Vietnamese temples dedicated to the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Built in 1070, the temple exemplifies the emphasis given to education in Vietnam for nearly a thousand years. The country’s first university was established here in 1076.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were given a guided tour of the temple compound, which is built around five courtyards and sequestered from the busy city outside its walls.
There has been significant growth in bilateral trade between Norway and Vietnam in recent years, with potential for further expansion. A business seminar held earlier today focused on hydropower, the maritime industry and the offshore industry, and several other seminars and meetings are scheduled to take place during the visit. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess joined the Vietnamese and Norwegian business delegations at their luncheon.
The luncheon was held at the Museum of Vietnamese History in Hanoi, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit held her first speech of the visit. She concluded her remarks by pointing out that the two countries share common interests in a number of areas:
- In conclusion: Our two countries share a common interest within a wide range of bilateral and global issues. I therefore look forward to seeing our countries develop even closer cooperation in the years to come.
Later in the afternoon, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess met with the Prime Minister of Vietnam, His Excellency Mr Nguyen Tan Dung.
The evening’s programme
This evening, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan is hosting an official banquet for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess in Hanoi.
The evening will be concluded with a friendship concert at the Hanoi Opera House. The programme features pieces by Bach and Mozart as well as by Vietnamese composer Ngo Hoang Quan and Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. The pieces will be performed by musicians from the Vietnam National Academy of Music and Norway’s Barratt Due Institute of Music. The institutions are involved in the Norwegian-Vietnamese musical collaboration “Transposition”, which was launched in 2007.
Facts about Vietnam
Largest cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hai Phong
Total area: 331 114 km² (Norway: 385 186 km²)
Population (2011): approximately 90 million
Official language: Vietnamese
Form of government: Socialist republic
Head of state (2014): President Truong Tan Sang
Norway established diplomatic ties with Vietnam on 25 November 1971, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi was officially opened on 10 September 1996. Norway enjoys an open dialogue with the Vietnamese authorities in a wide array of areas, and foreign and development policy issues are discussed on a regular basis.
Cooperation within the business sector is growing. Several Norwegian companies, particularly within the maritime sector, have established themselves in Vietnam.
Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Crown Prince Haakon in Bergen
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Condolences from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic.