As part of an extensive trip to China that included participation at the EXPO in Shanghai, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Trond Giske, also visited Guangdong in the end of May. Mr. Giske is a strong advocate for closer Sino-Norwegian business and trade relations.
The main purpose of his visit to Guangdong was to learn more about the Pearl River Delta’s importance as a traditional manufacturing hub, but also to understand the emergence of a new Chinese economy focusing on innovation and high-tech. There are already strong Sino-Norwegian industrial partnerships within both the traditional and new industries, but new opportunities and partnerships arise fast.
The Minister met with Huawei in Shenzhen, to mark that Huawei has been contracted by Norwegian Telenor to build the world’s first 4G mobile network in Norway. Huawei is a prime example of the emergence of world class Chinese technology.
On his way from Shenzhen to Guangzhou the Minister visited Yuexin Shipyard, which builds Norwegian designed ships. Norway has a strong maritime presence in China, and currently over 90 ships with Norwegian design are being built in Guangdong.
Many Norwegian textile and consumer goods companies have their products made in the Pearl River Delta. The current attention to labour shortage, wages and factory conditions in China are therefore also relevant for Norway. Minister Giske met with suppliers to Norwegian companies to learn more about recent improvements and remaining challenges in the labour conditions in China.
The Minister ended his Guangdong visit by attending a media reception at Daiwo Sushi in Guangzhou – to share his impressions of the visit to local media – and to celebrate record Norwegian salmon exports to China. 90 % of salmon consumed in China is Norwegian, and Daiwo, albeit a Japanese restaurant, serves fresh and healthy salmon sushi and sashimi from Norway.