State Secretary Meets President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

State Secretary Øyvind Slåke of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry met with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Malacañang on October 15th.
    The meeting was held at the conclusion of the State Secretary’s visit to the Philippines as part of the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
    Norway’s Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Ståle T. Risa, accompanied the State Secretary. Secretary Peter D. Favila of the Department of Trade and Industry also attended the meeting, where the close maritime industries cooperation was one of the main topics of discussion.
    The State Secretary pointed to the approx. 25 000 Filipino seafarers onboard Norwegian ships, and the President made mention of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association Cadet Program which this year offers some 550 scholarships to young Filipinos seeking a career at sea.
    Another aspect of the bilateral cooperation discussed was the energy sector which is becoming increasingly important.      The Norwegian company SN Power has now invested USD 600 million, the biggest Norwegian investment in the Philippines ever, in the hydroelectric power plants Magat and Ambuklao-Binga, together with its Filipino partner, the Aboitiz group.

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