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Official visit to Malaysia: Speech at official banquet

Speech by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at an official banquet at the Prime Minister's residence in Kuala Lumpur during official visit to Malaysia, March 2010.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor,
Honorable Ministers, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much, Prime Minister, for your kind words of welcome. The Crown Princess and I are very pleased to be here in Malaysia on this first official visit to your beautiful country. Based on the warm welcome we have received today, we are certain we will have an exciting and memorable visit. My wife and I are very much looking forward to the next few days.

Prime Minister,
Malaysia has had an impressive economic development since its independence –MERDEKA- in 1957. Malaysia is one of the most important economic engines in South East Asia and many companies, including many Norwegian, have realized the opportunities within the Malaysian markets. The Norwegian business presence in Malaysia has been growing steadily over the last years. From 2006 the number of Norwegian companies with offices or joint ventures in Malaysia has grown by 48% and the intra-trade between Malaysia and Norway has steadily increased.

On this exact day 42 years ago diplomatic connections between our two countries were established. It is my hope that this visit will contribute in strengthening the relations between Malaysia and Norway.

From a geographical perspective, Malaysia and Norway should not have much in common. The Arctic Circle cuts through Norway while Malaysia is only 3 degrees north of the Equator.
But we both have long coastlines. Fisheries and aquaculture are therefore important for both countries. Both Malaysia and Norway have vast forest areas – hence a common interest in forestry issues. Our countries are in the fortunate position of having great natural resources such as oil and gas. This is an area where there are strong business ties between Malaysia and Norway.

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 utilized 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.

Prime Minister,
Let me express my gratitude for the reception we have been given. Before this visit I was told that Malaysians are very welcoming. You have indeed made us feel welcome. The Crown Princess and I are now experiencing this first hand.

I invite you all to join me in a toast to the Prime Minister, to Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor and to the Malaysian people.

Thank you.


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