catching local criticism for it, but officials at both telecoms firm Telenor
and the Norwegian government – which controls Telenor – continued to do their
best on Friday to flatter and impress a top delegation from
for years to break into the increasingly attractive Vietnamese market.
On Friday June 6.2008,
Telenor hosted the president of
Nguyen Mihn Tiet, at its headquarters just west of
oversee the signing of six agreements of cooperation between Norwegian
organizations and Vietnamese companies.
had a representative office in
for three years and wants to cash in on its mobile phone market. “We’re
waiting for the Vietnamese to open up the sector so that we can establish
ourselves there”, Telenor chief executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas told news
bureau NTB. “It will take a long time, but we’re patient”.
cutting deals with the Vietnamese were the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association,
Norwegian employers’ association NHO, colleges in
and is seen by western companies as having great potential. The Norwegian firms
clearly want to capitalize on it.
the business ties, with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg saying he hoped that
this week’s state visit by Nguyen “can lead to expanded economic
and contribute to sustainable growth and reduce poverty”.
in a press statement that there were “special ties” between
“since many Norwegians have came from
Vietnamese heritage, however, aren’t entirely positive about
during the state visit, claiming that
rights and freedom of religion.
communist regime harshly criticized the Norwegian government’s warm welcome for
Nguyen, claiming it was like “receiving Mugabe”. Kieu Tran was two
years old when her parents fled
hundred thousand people became boat refugees, and around half died”, said
Tran. “For those of us who fled, it’s incredible that
president is being received with pomp and circumstance by the king and the
worked for years to promote democracy and human rights in
when traveling back to
to visit activists.
officials defend their attempts to do business with
development minister Erik Solheim, is to move from being traditional aid donors
to more professional cooperation in areas where Norway has expertise, he told
know from other countries in East Asia that strong economic growth contributes
to political reforms”, Solheim said, adding that