The ocean dominated the programme of Their Majesties in Shanghai today. China and Norway are leading maritime nations, and sustainable development of the marine environment is of great interest to both countries.
The shipping industry is at the core of the Norwegian presence in Shanghai and has remained a key focus for over 150 years. Roughly two-thirds of the Norwegian business interests in this region are related to the maritime and marine sector.
Their Majesties The King and Queen began their day at the Norway-China Business Summit 2018: An Ocean of Opportunities.
An Ocean of Opportunities
Approximately 300 participants representing the authorities, the business sector and the research community convened at the conference venue, adjacent to Shanghai’s largest cruise terminal.
King Harald stressed the need for global cooperation to ensure sustainable use of the oceans. Photo: Heiko Junge, NTB scanpix
King Harald gave the opening speech, emphasising the ocean’s enormous potential to provide economic growth and development around the world. But the King also stressed the need for sustainable use and measures to combat pollution:
“The fragility of our oceans has become an increasing concern. If the oceans are to secure our future as they have provided for us in the past, we must stop treating them as a dumping ground.
"We must work together at the global level to ensure sustainable use of the oceans. We must coordinate our efforts, and combine Norwegian and Chinese expertise, technology, ingenuity and resourcefulness".
"We must work together at the global level to ensure sustainable use of the oceans. We must coordinate our efforts, and combine Norwegian and Chinese expertise, technology, ingenuity and resourcefulness."
Norwegian companies and research groups are in an excellent position to share in the growing market for sustainable goods and green technology, and 11 new agreements were signed at the conference.
Kongsberg Gruppen, DNV GL and Jotun were among those signing new agreements with Shanghai companies today. Photo: Heiko Junge. NTB scanpix
Norwegian seafood producerMarine Harvest was one of the companies receiving particular attention today. Headquartered in Bergen and with over 13 000 employees in 24 countries, the company opened its new seafood processing plant in Shanghai today.
Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen and Marine Harvest Chairman of the Board Ole-Eirik Lerøy (centre) were among those taking part in the opening ceremony for the new seafood processing plant. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix.
The King and Queen were in attendance at the official opening and were accompanied by Chinese industrial magnate Jack Ma. The new plant places Norwegian salmon at the centre of the growing market in Shanghai, and Marine Harvest has entered into an agreement with Jack Ma’s company Alibaba on distribution to Chinese consumers.
Jack Ma has announced that he will be stepping down from his role as industry leader to devote more time to charity works and efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He has become actively involved in the Blue Pioneer Programme, and King Harald and Queen Sonja had the opportunity to meet some of the pioneers today.
King Harald and Jack Ma. Photo: Tim Haukenes
The programme offers training to young Chinese looking to work with ocean-related issues as entrepreneurs and/or conservationists. The aim is to prepare them for establishing companies or organisations that can help to create a sustainable blue economy.
Tasting the Ocean
This evening local time, many of today’s conference participants have gathered to enjoy some seafood. Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen is the host for the dinner, which is based on the theme “Tasting the Ocean”.
The King and Queen will be attendance at the dinner along with the Norwegian delegation. Chinese and Norwegian guests will be enjoying dishes prepared by chefs from Norway. The dinner was organised by Innovation Norway in cooperation with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
- China 2018 (Photo album)
- China and Norway - An Ocean of Opportunities (Speech)
- State Visit to China (News article)
- Visit to the Mogao Caves (News article)
- Welfare and winter sports (News article)
- Formal welcome in Beijing (News article)
- Moving on to Shanghai (News article)
- Concluded with classical Chinese gardens (News article)
The King and Queen opened the new MUNCH
"I think that I speak for all of us when I say that we have been looking forward to this day! It is finally possible for us to gather together, and soon the great doors will open up a new attraction – not just for our capital city, but for Norway, and for the world," said His Majesty The King.
Congratulations from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia.