State Visit to focus on six industry sectors

Norway will focus on the following six industry sectors during the state visit by King Harald to Vietnam, scheduled to take place 1 to 5 November 2004:
– Oil and gas technology
– Fishing
– Hydropower
– Maritime/Shipping and associated services
– Information and communications technology, ICT
– Environmental technology
     All according to documents prepared by Norway’s main foreign trade body Innovation Norway and presented at a Vietnam seminar in Oslo this spring.
     And that is so for the only details publicly available about the event.
     “There is as of today no official information available regarding a possible Norwegian state visit to Vietnam,” replies Per-Arne Tuftin at Innovation Norway when Scandasia on 28 June asks the state agency to elaborate on the seminar presentations.
     In the seminar papers does Innovation Norway propose that the first two days of business talks take part in Hanoi 1 and 2 November, with a focus on oil and gas, hydropower and maritime/shipping, while a third day scheduled for Ho Chi Minh City 4 November should be oriented toward environmental technology, infrastructure projects and ICT.
     Environment, marine/shipping, hydropower and oil & gas are all areas in which Norwegian aid has created a strong impact in Vietnam, argues Innovation Norway.
     The pick of industrial sectors is not surprising.
     They all reflect strong Norwegian competence areas.
     And, as the Norwegian embassy in Hanoi points out in a paper about the state visit, do Vietnam’s and Norway’s industry sectors have similarities.
     Norway has had diplomatic contacts with Vietnam since 1971 and opened an embassy in Hanoi 1996. The embassy does also host the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norad.
     Trade grows. But imports from Vietnam to Norway have been substantially higher than exports from Norway to Vietnam over the last six years.
     In 2003 imports reached around NOK 500 million while exports were less than NOK 100 million, according to Innovation Norway.
     Innovation Norway was created 1 January this year. It replaces the Norwegian Tourist Board, the Norwegian Trade Council, the Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund, SND and the Government Consultative Office for Inventors, SVO.

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