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Innlegg på konferanse med norske og kinesiske bedrifter

Under statsbesøket til Kina talte næringsminister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen  på en rundebordskonferanse med norske og kinesiske bedrifter. NHO og China Enterprise Condfederation sto bak arrangementet som fant sted 16. oktober.

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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!

It is a pleasure for me to join you at this high-level roundtable this morning on what I would say is the most important day in the program for the State Visit so far.


We have an interesting day of constructive and good discussions ahead of us. Discussions that hopefully will bring about concrete results and more practical cooperation between Norway and China.


There is probably no need for me to say that China is an important trading partner for Norway. But even though China is our largest trading partner in Asia, it is my clear impression that there is potential for more cooperation.


This is why concluding a free trade agreement is important, and I am confident that you agree with me on this. A free trade agreement will give our companies a solid and predictable foundation for doing business. I am pleased that important progress was made during the last round of negotiations here in Beijing in September.


The interest for the Chinese market in Norwegian business circles is obvious and is increasing day by day. The fact that more than 300 business representatives are accompanying their Majesties on this visit, is a clear testament of this.


As Minister of Trade and Industry I see three main objectives with this visit. I will speak more about this in my opening remarks at the plenary afterwards. Key words are the rapid technology development and new solutions for our societies in the future, and Norway's role in the world as a leading maritime and ocean nation.


The third element is to promote Norwegian seafood. I may not be Minister of Fisheries, but I do represent the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. The Chinese market demands high-quality seafood and we work actively to secure the best possible market access for our seafood products to Chinese consumers.


Norway and China have a lot in common and a lot to gain from eachother through practical cooperation in these fields. I discussed these issues with China's International Trade Representative and Vice Minster, Mr. Fu in the Ministry of Commerce yesterday.


I am pleased to see that relations and partnerships between Norwegian and Chinese companies and institutions are now moving on to another level, which is a natural development after nearly two years of active cooperation and exchange. I hope to hear your experiences on how cooperation in your sectors has moved forward the last years, and how you assess the future potential for trade and economic activities between our countries.


Before giving the floor back to you, I would like to thank today's hosts for providing us with an opportunity to meet and share our perspectives on the future relations between Norway and China.


Thank you for your attention!


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