Keeping Norwegian business’ competitive

This year’s Norway-Asia Business Summit, held in Bangkok on the April 24, highlights opportunities and challenges for Norwegian businesses in this fast-growing region. Inspiring speakers deliver expert advice and insights on how to gain competitive edge, with an optional summit in Rangoon from April 27, focussing exclusively on Myanmar.

The annual Norway Asia Business Summit kicks off in Bangkok on the 24th of April. We have spoken to the summit’s Head Organiser and former President of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce Axel Blom about what to expect at this year’s event and how it will differ from previous summits.

Big turnout
Though Bangkok right now is the center of political unrest the organisers of the Norway-Asia Business Summit expect a big turnout for the event.

Head Organiser Axel Blom is looking forward to this years summit with great anticipation
Head Organiser Axel Blom is looking forward to this years summit with great anticipation

“The typical participants at the Norway-Asia Business Summit held in Bangkok will be both Norwegian companies present all over Asia and new companies interested in doing business in Asia. In addition, we have a large contingent of people from various support organisations in Norway and representatives from the Norwegian Government.
Delegates participating in the Myanmar extension, will typically be companies interesting to enter this exciting new market,” said Axel Blom who expects 200 participants for the summit in Bangkok, which will be held in beautiful surroundings at the Shangri-La Hotel located near the Chao Phraya riverside.
In addition he expects 50 participants for the Myanmar extension. The reason for such high expectations is a continued upwards success of the event which is now taking place for the fifth time. Thailand competed against other Norwegian Business Associations in the region in securing the event for Thailand in 2014.

Quality speakers
The planning of this year’s summit began back in June and due to the early preparations Blom feels this have made grounds for an even better summit.
“The long advance planning has meant that it was easier to catch high calibre speakers.” he said. Among others; Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and former head of World Economic Forum, Børge Brende will be there in addition to head of the Confederation of Norwegian Industry (NHO), Kristin Skogen Lund.
Various subjects such as the world energy crisis and the world food crisis will be addressed. Professor Jan Ketil Arnulf from the BI Norwegian Business School will talk on education and cross cultural management, and both China and India have been given specific sessions looking far into the future.” said Blom.
One of the summits significant attractions is the former Secretary General of ASEAN and former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Thailand Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. The Harvard graduate will be talking on what we have in store with the introduction of the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community.
Like former Norway-Asia Business Summits, this year will also tell the stories of Norwegian success in the region.
“I do not want to give away which stories will be told, but President and CEO of Telenor Group Jon Fredrik Bakaas, President and CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA Bjørn Kjos and several insightful Yara employees will inspire the participants at the summit as to how it is possible to succeed in the region,” said Blom but underlined that it is the future perspective that is the main focus of the summit.

Focus on the future
The summit seeks to serve a purpose and this is to broaden its participants horizon on the possibilities Asia in general and ASEAN in particular has to offer.
“Previously the focus has to a large degree been on present time, but at this year’s summit we really want to give some perspective on the future and its possibilities. It all comes down to one thing; How can Norwegian industry stay competitive?,” said Blom.
This years summit is divided into seven sections. Among these are macroeconomic perspectives on Asia, a look at Norway’s maritime industry in Asia, a session on Norwegian businesses competitiveness in Asia and how Team Norway can add value.
“We have put a lot of effort into designing an interactive website which can support the event before, during and after the summit” said Axel Blom. Presentations and photos from the event will be made available to registered participants through the website.
“The summit is all about giving renewed insight into Norway can become even stronger in the Asian market place market,” said Blom.

Not all business
Though it is called a business summit it is not all about business. For those who would like to bring their spouses, the organisers will arrange a spouse program comprising of Thai cooking classes, cultural sights and of course shopping to keep them entertained while staying in Bangkok.
On Sunday, the last day of the summit in Bangkok, there will be a golf tournament for those who register for it. The entry fee is a bit over USD 200 which includes 18 holes of golf, a golf goody bag, lunch and drinks at the Thana City Golf and Sports Club.

For further information on the Norway-Asia Business Summit visit

Last years summit in Indonesia was a great success.
Last years summit in Indonesia was a great success.


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