Argentina – Norway, a new partnership for value creation

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Your Majesties,

Excellences,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As newly appointed Norwegian Minister for Trade and Industry it is a great pleasure being here in Buenos Aires. Argentina is my first destination abroad as Minister for Trade and Industry. I cannot think of a more exotic venue and I am very glad to be here.

Norway and Argentina go way back. More than a hundred years ago – in 1906- Norway opened one of our first embassies here in Buenos Aires. In 1967 King Olav visited Argentina. Since then, there have been strong ties between our countries and today our royal family is back again. This proves that our relations are long- lasting.

 

As the doors between Norway and Argentina re-opening after some time of less contact, I can assure you that Norway will do its part in reaching out to Argentina.

We hope that the time has now come to renew our bilateral relationship and to promote activity in new sectors. This will be beneficial to both countries, both economically and culturally. As her Majesty the queen said, our countries share many of the same values. We consider modernisation and innovation as keys to economic growth and welfare.

We therefore highly appreciate that the Macri Government has implemented important policy changes to provide a more business-friendly environment here in Argentina.

Furthermore, Argentina has regained access to international capital markets after resolving the long-standing conflict with the holdout funds.

Many countries, including Norway, welcome the recent changes in Argentina.

One of my reasons for visiting Argentina is to discuss how we can increase the cooperation between our two countries, both politically and economically.

Given the reform processes, I think there is great potential for more Norwegian investments in Argentina – and I hope that this can happen soon.

Stable and predictable framework conditions for investment are crucial to Norwegian businesses. We are optimistic that this will increasingly be the case.

The Argentine Government has announced that it will work to promote international trade, both within the WTO and in Mercosur.

It is positive that Mercosur and EFTA have started negotiations for a free trade agreement. We enter into trade agreements and bind ourselves to common sets of rules because all parties benefit from doing so. We are pleased to see these recent developments in Argentine trade policy. Trade agreements and common sets of rules will benefit both Norway and Argentina.

In 1967, when King Olav visited Buenos Aires, modernisation was one of the topics. This is apparently an everlasting relevant topic!  Modernisation and transformation are [still] crucial in order to maintain our welfare society. Norway has gone through a tough time and one of the reasons for our success is that Norwegian companies have been willing to take part in this modernisation.

As her Majesty the queen said earlier – it takes two to tango. The time has therefore come to renew – and to modernise- the bilateral relationship between Norway and Argentina. If we succeed in increasing the trade this could lead to both economic growth and more jobs. This again will stimulate the value creation we are all aiming for.

 

Thank you for your attention.