Business seminar on hydropower

Innlegg ved næringsminister Monica Mæland, Hanoi, Vietnam 19.mars 2014

*Sjekkes mot fremføring*

Dear Vice Minister Le Duong Quang,

Ladies and gentlemen.

Dear friends.

Good morning to you all!

This is my first day in Vietnam, a truly beautiful country, with scenic coast, rainforests, mountains and rivers cutting through the exotic landscape.

But appearance is not everything, Vietnam also impresses in many other areas:

  • It is among the fastest growing economies in South-East Asia.
  • And, as estimated by Price Waterhouse Cooper, Vietnam will be among the 20 largest economies in the world by 2050.

In this perspective I am glad that the ties between Vietnam and Norway are strong already – and growing even stronger.

The last years we have seen many positive developments in relationship between our countries:

  • Trade in goods has increased significantly.
    Trade in services is also becoming more important.
  • The number of Norwegian companies in Vietnam has grown. Vietnam is a promising market for Norwegian companies in a wide range of sectors.
    Such as maritime services, the marine industry, consumer products and ICT.
    And, importantly, within hydropower and energy related services.
  • And last, but not least, we are taking important steps in our free trade negotiations between EFTA and Vietnam.
    These negotiations are of great importance to Norway.

 

Water is essential for life.

For ages, the rivers and lakes of Vietnam and Norway have been fundamental for human life.

In the same way: Access to energy is essential for sustainable economic growth and development.

Not only because it increases the quality of life for individuals – but also because society can benefit in a wider sense.

Access to energy is a premise for industrialization and large scale production – which in turn create jobs and can contribute to more prosperous communities.

In Norway, hydropower pushed forward the industrialization.

We can look back at a history of more than 100 years of hydropower development:
Which has led to the development of a world- class industry, specialised in areas like high head and underground construction.

And the knowledge and experience from Norway, provides a basis for what we do abroad.

Today, several Norwegian companies, such as SN Power, invest in hydropower in emerging markets.

 

The need for energy is growing in Vietnam.
If developed in a responsible manner, renewable energy, such as hydropower, provides environmentally friendly and sustainable ways to satisfy demand and spur economic growth.

If we add up all the potential hydropower in the region – which should be harvested in a sustainable manner – this is likely to solve not only Vietnam’s energy needs – but also the needs for the region as a whole.

Norway and Norwegian companies are very pleased to be able to share experience and discuss future possibilities for the further development of hydropower in Vietnam.

I hope you will have a useful and interesting seminar here today, and I urge you to use this opportunity to make new business connections and establish new friendships between Vietnam and Norway.

Thank you for your attention.