Official visit to Chile: Speech at seminar on aquaculture
ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, the Crown Princess sends her best regards and regrets that she is unable to be here with us today. Chile and Norway are both world leading in the salmon industry. Our countries share similar favourable natural conditions for salmon and trout farming. We are leading suppliers of services and technology in the field. This leaves us with a strong common platform as point of departure for today’s seminar on aquaculture.
The development of aquaculture in Chile has been impressive. Salmon and trout production has tripled over the last 10 years, and Chile has become our main competitor in the global salmon market. This joint challenge is beneficial for both countries. It encourages improvements that help the whole salmon industry to maintain its competitiveness. The future success of the industry depends on its ability to ensure that salmon farming remains a cost-effective way of producing healthy and tasty food – at the same time as we improve the social and environmental standards of the industry. It is essential to long term success that the industry is sustainable.
The expansion of the aquaculture industry, both in Chile and Norway, places heavy responsibilities on the operators. The future reputation of the aquaculture industry depends on how we meet the environmental challenges. I am pleased to see that the industry and the authorities in both countries place great emphasis on these issues.
Despite being competitors, the salmon industries in our two countries cooperate to solve major joint challenges. Cross-ownership also stimulates cooperation. I hope that Chile can benefit from some of Norway’s experience with regard to fish health, including vaccination and environmental regulations. On the other hand, I believe that Norway could benefit from learning more about the Chilean focus on value-added salmon products.
More than 20 Norwegian suppliers of technology and services to the aquaculture industry are present in the Chilean market today. They have made substantial investments in Chile. This seminar represents a unique opportunity for the suppliers to present their know-how. It will also provide Norwegian companies with an opportunity to learn more about the Chilean salmon industry. Environmental issues and other challenges can best be met if we share our knowledge and experience, and I hope this seminar will contribute to that end.