Tale/innlegg | Dato: 18.03.2014 | Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Innlegg av næringsminister Monica Mæland, Kuala Lumpur 18.mars 2014
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Ladies and gentlemen!
Selamat tengah hari!
I would like to thank the organisers of this meeting for the opportunity to come here and speak to you today.
GIEK, the Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits and Export Credit Norway are two of the Norwegian government’s most important tools in helping our exporters reach new markets.
I am also glad to see so many faces here today.
This confirms my impression that there is great interest in
Norwegian-Malaysian business relations in both our countries. Relations that I believe will continue to grow in the years ahead.
Trade between our countries has been growing at a steady pace the last decade, both in services and goods.
But we believe that there are great possibilities to increase the economic relations between our countries.
That is why I am very pleased that Norway and the other members of the European Free Trade Association, or EFTA, will have the very first round of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia next week.
An agreement of this kind will be instrumental in improving the conditions for trade and investments between our countries.
Another proof of our strong relationship is the growing number of Norwegian companies located in Malaysia.
I have met many of them already – and more than 50 Norwegian companies have offices or production facilities here.
The petroleum sector has traditionally been the main area of activity with Aker Solutions, Jotun and DNV GL among the most profiled companies .
But the Norwegian-Malaysian relation has in recent years broadened its foundation by adding telecommunications, shipping, defence industry and of course seafood and aquaculture technology.
I believe it is no coincidence that so many Norwegian companies are located in Malaysia.
Malaysia is ranked in 6th place in the World Bank report on Ease of doing business. Norway is ranked in 9th place.
Furthermore Malaysia’s geographic location makes it an interesting market for Norwegian companies.
Malaysia is a key partner to strengthen the ties to the Southeast-Asian region and ASEAN – in the ASEAN-region we find the highest concentration of Norwegian companies abroad.
Both Norway and Malaysia have open economies and are reliant on international trade.
International trade is of mutual benefit. It makes us share knowledge and ideas – and find innovative and sustainable solutions to common challenges.
Today you will learn more about what GIEK and Export Credit Norway may offer your businesses. These are institutions which play a crucial part in the Norwegian export system.
Given the high level of activity in the global petroleum sector – and activity in areas such as Malaysia – I believe there is high demand for Norwegian competence and solutions.
But as we all experienced a few years ago, during the financial crisis: Having inter-twined economies may spread local problems to the global economy in a blink of an eye.
The financial crisis showed that the Norwegian export credit institutions were important as sources of funding – especially in the offshore and maritime sector.
This illustrates that the Norwegian export finance institutions are among the most robust in the world, facilitating trade and economic activity– in good times and in bad times.
I will leave it to GIEK and Export Credit Norway to tell you more how they are relevant for your businesses and future prospects.
I hope that they will become increasingly relevant for Malaysian companies as it will manifest the strong and growing relations between our countries.
I am hopeful that today’s seminars and networking events will bring our business communities closer together.
I would like to wish you all the best of luck.