Norway and Benin agree to strengthen cooperation

A governmental delegation from Benin is on a working visit to Norway from 27 to 28 April to boost bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Beninese delegation was today received by Foreign Minister Børge Brende for bilateral talks. Benin's Foreign Minister Aurélien A. Agbénonci was accompanied by Minister of Energy Water and Mining Dona Jean-Claude Houssou, Minister of Living Environment and Sustainable Development José Didier Tonato, and Special Adviser of the President of the Republic of Benin Johannes Dagnon.

'We had a very constructive conversation about how we can expand relations between our two countries. We discussed issues related to trade and investments, the business climate, multilateral cooperation and global issues including terrorism,' Mr Børge Brende said.

Mr Aurélien A. Agbénoci commented that: 'The objective of the visit of this high-profile delegation is to brand Benin, build trust with our partners and strengthen bilateral cooperation between our two countries through increased Norwegian private investment in Benin, partnerships on environmental protection, maritime safety and security, and peacebuilding efforts in the West African subregion.'

Norway and Benin enjoy good bilateral relations. During the visit, discussions have helped to identify new opportunities for enhanced bilateral cooperation in the light of the ongoing reforms in Benin and the flagship projects of the Beninese Government's action programme that could be of interest to the Norwegian private sector. The two foreign ministers agreed to have regular bilateral consultations in the margins of the annual Nordic–African foreign ministers' meetings. This year's meeting will be hosted by Nigeria in June. Last year's meeting took place in Oslo, and the meeting in 2012 took place in Benin.

During their two-day stay in Oslo, the delegation has several official meetings as well as meetings with representatives from Norwegian companies, organisations and research institutions.