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Official visit to UAE: Official dinner in Abu Dhabi

Speech by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at an official banquet in Abu Dhabi, 13 April 2010.

Your Excellencies,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has been a great pleasure to spend this day in Abu Dhabi. I have been looking forward to arrive in this dynamic country – which in a unique way has managed to combine innovation and tradition. We are here with a strong resolve to strengthen relations between our two nations. The day has proved to be fruitful and very encouraging.

Today I have had the chance to meet with important business representatives from UAE and Norway. We were convinced that the UAE market is sophisticated, demanding and expanding rapidly. We believe the Norwegian producers would be attractive in a demanding and growing market in the UAE.

Today, we have seen a lot of interaction between the Norwegian businesses and their UAE counterparts. We have been able to share insights in a number of areas. I believe today has set the stage for closer and more frequent contacts between our two countries, which will bear fruits in the years to come.

We share a number of common challenges, not least in the areas of climate change and clean and efficient petroleum production. We are building on good and long-lasting relationship with the UAE oil and gas sector, which will grow even closer after this visit and serve both nations well. Today has given us knowledge on how your decision makers are dealing with climate change issues. The dramatic consequences of climate change are already visible in my country with shrinking glaciers and the melting of the Polar ice cap. We need to work quickly and together to combat the climate threats across the globe. The presentation this afternoon of the ambitious and innovative Masdar-project has been very encouraging and shows us that the UAE is prepared to take a leading role in the fight against global warming.

We also discussed trade issues. Norwegian export to the UAE is increasing rapidly and we see this as an opportunity to enhance the bilateral dialogue, both on the political and the commercial level.

The political dialogue between our two countries has been increasing steadily during the last few years since Norway opened its embassy here in 1994. The UAE is an important partner for Norway, in particular as we have common interests in regional issues. I am pleased to hear that the UAE has now started the process of opening an embassy in Oslo. We wish to welcome you in Norway, and we look forward to the opening of your embassy which we hope will contribute to further developing our bilateral relations. After this visit I am certain that we will be able to retain and expand on our close, mutual engagements in the future.

I want to pay tribute to Ministers and Excellencies present here tonight.
I am looking forward to meet with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces tomorrow.

Now, we will enjoy dinner in each other’s company. Some of the ingredients have been brought from Norway. I hope these tastes from Norway will attract you to visit our beautiful country towards the North, a country that shares many commonalities with the UAE, if not in terms of climate.

Thank you for your attention.

13.04.2010

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