State luncheon in Santiago
Your Excellency Sebastian Piñera, President of the Repúblic of Chile
Your Excellency Cecilia Morel
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of The Queen and myself, I would like to thank you, Your President, for the kind invitation to Chile, and for the warm welcome we have received.
We have been looking forward to this state visit – the first Norwegian state visit to Chile since the one made by my father, the late King Olav V., in 1967.
The official visit in 2008 by my son, Crown Prince Haakon, made us eager to come and experience your beautiful country for ourselves.
Our visit marks a hundred years of uninterrupted diplomatic relations, reflecting the excellent ties between Chile and Norway. Our common history goes even further back. Norwegians came to Chile near the end of the last century to participate in the whaling and fishing business.
Chile and Norway are nations living by the ocean, and living from what we can harvest from the sea.
Our countries understand the importance of managing these vital resources wisely. As well-integrated nations of the global community, we support each other and collaborate actively in multilateral forums and international organizations. We share a common determination to seek the best possible solutions to the challenges facing us— and to make the best possible contribution internationally.
The Queen and I feel very fortunate to be in this land of dramatic contrasts in nature, world-famous wines and Nobel Prize laureates.
When Chile is mentioned, many Norwegians think of Gracias a la vida, the beautiful song by Violeta Parra. It expresses so well a sense of gratitude for life and – at the same time – an awareness of all life’s difficulties. A moving message that I think we can all relate to.
We come together in many fields that highlight the benefits of globalization. Sport is a good example. Every year, the Norwegian alpine team prepare for the skiing season in different Chilean resorts. Our team is made up of our very best skiers – our top athletes. And we send them to the best places to train.
We send them to Chile.
In the 1970s and 1980s, several thousand Chileans came to Norway to find a new home. They have enriched our culture and our society. Many Norwegians have a Chilean friend.
These are some examples of the ties between our countries. Another important area is business cooperation. That is why we are accompanied on our visit by a significant business delegation. We are confident that there are many opportunities for further expanding our relations in this field.
Please join me in a toast to what I see as a promising future for the friendship and cooperation between our two countries.