Official visit to Malaysia
TRH The Crown Prince and The Crown Princess started their official visit to Malaysia today. The Norwegian business presence in Malaysia is rapidly growing, and some 130 representatives of Norwegian trade and industry have accompanied the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess on their visit.
Diplomatic ties were established between Norway and Malaysia on 8 March 1968 – exactly 42 years ago today. Nevertheless, this is the first time a member of the Norwegian Royal Family has paid an official visit to the country.
Most of the visit will take place in the nations capital, Kuala Lumpur. With 1.8 million inhabitants the city is Malaysias largest, and is the countrys financial and cultural centre.
Official greeting ceremony
An official greeting ceremony held outside the Perdana Putra Complex south of Kuala Lumpur marked the opening of the visit. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were formally welcomed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, and his wife, Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor.
After the greeting ceremony, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and the Prime Minister and his wife withdrew for discussions.
Audience with the King and Queen of Malaysia
From the site of the greeting ceremony, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit travelled to the National Palace, Istana Negara, where they were granted an official audience by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong.
Following the audience, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess held a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Official welcome banquet
It is seven hours later in Malaysia than in Norway, and the welcome banquet held at the residence of Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib in Kuala Lumpur has come to a close.
In his speech during the banquet, Crown Prince Haakon emphasised the similarities between Norway and Malaysia. Both countries have extended coastlines, and fisheries and aquaculture are key industries. Both have major forestry interests and extensive oil and gas resources. The Crown Prince said:
I could go on, but I think the main message is clear: Tropical Malaysia and Arctic Norway have more in common than we should think at first glance. These areas should be utilised and we should explore the possibilities for further cooperation between our two countries. The large business delegation accompanying us on this official visit proves the great Norwegian interest for Malaysia.
The programme will continue tomorrow. Opportunities for enhancing cooperation between Norwegian and Malaysian trade and industry will be an area of focus.
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.