Tale/innlegg | Dato: 15.10.2018 | Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Av: Næringsminister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Statsbesøk til Kina)
Tale holdt under næringsminister Torbjørn Røe Isaksens besøk til møbelkjeden Qumeis flagship store i Beijing, 15. oktober.
Check against delivery
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to visit this Qumei flagship store today and have the opportunity to learn more about the new Chinese owners of Norway's biggest producer of furniture, Ekornes.
First of all, let me underline that Ekornes is so much more than just a furniture producer located in the small community Sykkylven on the northwest coast of Norway. Ekornes is an icon in Norwegian furniture production, and a symbol of traditional Norwegian design and comfort.
I dare to claim that nearly all Norwegians know what a Stressless is. And I guess near half the population rests in a Svane bed after a long day at work.
Ekornes is part of the Norwegian industry history. And I hope it will continue to be so. Ekornes is an important cornerstone for the 7000 inhabitants of Sykkylven.
I am therefore pleased to learn that Ekornes' main activities, such as production and administration, will continue to be based in Sykkylven and that the new Board Chair, Mr. Ruihai Zhao is getting ready to commute between Beijing and Sykkylven.
One of my main messages during this visit is that the business cooperation between Norway and China is developing and moving on to a new level. Traditionally we have sold raw material to China and bought cheap consumer goods from you.
Now we acknowledge that the rapid technology development of the future mobile network 5G, Internet of things and artificial intelligence changes the prerequisites for all industries and business activities, not only between Norway and China, but globally.
The partnership between Ekornes and Qumei – where Ekornes represents high-tech furniture production and Qumei offers advanced digital sales platforms for Norwegian products and design – is one concrete example of how businesses contribute to mutual beneficial innovation and more trade between the countries.
I look forward to following your partnership in the years to come and to see Norwegian furniture and design spread all over China.
Now it will be my great pleasure to have a look at and maybe a short rest in one of the Stresslesses here at Qumei flagship store!