Official visit to Vietnam: Business luncheon
Ladies and gentlemen,
Xin Cao (Good morning, everybody)
My wife and I are very happy to be in Vietnam and this our first visit to Ho Chi Mihn City.
Starting in the political capital of Hanoi, and moving on to the cultural capital of Hue, we will end our visit in what is often described as Vietnam’s commercial capital – Ho Chi Minh City. We are very happy to be gathered here in the historic Reunification Palace. Business partners from our two countries are sharing tables and exploring options for deepened cooperation and partnerships.
Throughout the three days we have visited this beautiful country, we have been inspired by the enthusiasm, dedication and determination of the Vietnamese people. Vietnam has proved its willingness and desire to strengthen human resources and build a knowledge-based economy.
A knowledge-based economy is a people-based economy. A crucial success factor in enabling and maintaining economic growth and competitiveness is the equal inclusion of both men and women in the workforce. Realising human potential, developing the necessary skills and making use of current technology are all important for sustainable growth.
This visit has given Norwegian companies a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and engage with Vietnamese businesses – forming new partnerships in one of the most promising markets in Asia.
This morning I had the opportunity to take part in a roundtable on the free trade negotiations between Vietnam and the EFTA states. A successful completion of the negotiations by the end of this year will pave the way for further fruitful business cooperation.
Several Norwegian companies have already been present in Vietnam for many years. Just before this lunch, I had the pleasure of opening DNV GL’s new offices here in Ho Chi Minh City. This afternoon, the Crown Princess and I will visit EWOS and Pharmaq, two Norwegian companies that are contributing to the growth of the Vietnamese marine industry through investments, job creation and knowledge sharing. And of course the signing of this agreement makes a good backdrop for our trip
As we move forward, I hope to see further investment and increased trade between our two countries. I feel confident that there is a solid foundation to build upon, to make this happen.
Thank you for your attention.