Official visit to Malaysia: Opening of business seminar
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After only one day in Kuala Lumpur the Crown Princess and I are impressed by what we have experienced – and grateful for the warm way we have been recieved. We have been very much looking forward to our first trip to Malaysia – and our expectations have so far been more than fulfilled.
I would like to thank the organizers for their effort to arrange today’s business seminars.
The sizeable business delegation accompanying us this official visit is substantial evidence that the Malaysian markets are interesting for Norway – and that our countries have mutual interest in strengthening our business relations. The variety of areas of common interest is broad: Oil and gas, aquaculture, cooking, defense and security, forestry, environment – and construction of tunnels and roads. The ties between the Malaysian and Norwegian business sector have grown stronger over the last years. There are now more than 60 Norwegian linked companies in Malaysia and this number has grown by 48% since June 2006. The business sector is a key element in our visit to this beautiful country.
The petroleum industry has traditionally been the most important pillar in our bilateral relation. There is excellent cooperation between our governments and between Petronas and Norwegian companies within the oil and gas sector. I hope this seminar will contribute to find areas in which we have complementary technologies and knowledge.
As an example of industrial cooperation, I would like to mention the technology for enhanced oil recovery. The recovery rate on the Norwegian continental shelf is very high. When Ekofisk – the first Norwegian oil field- was put into production in 1971, the recovery rate was estimated to be 17 per cent. Due to technological developments and international and industrial innovation, the recovery rate today is expected to be 46 per cent.
Aquaculture is another example of a sector with significant potential for cooperation. Both Malaysia and Norway have long coastlines and have therefore been able to develop an aquaculture industry. Norwegian companies have come up with many innovative technologies with a strong focus on sustainability – and I am convinced Malaysian and Norwegian expertise in this field has a lot to exchange.
I am also pleased to note that there will be seminars on defense and tunneling. These are both sectors with great potential in the bilateral economic relations between our two countries.
The strength and potential of our commercial cooperation is duly recognized by the strong attendance from the Norwegian side today with more than 60 companies present. I wish you successful and inspiring seminars.