New Technologies and Innovation

Næringsministeren holdt åpningstalen på delsesjonen New Technology and Innovation under et næringslivsseminar på China World Summit Wing i Beijing, 16. oktober.

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure being here and taking part in this session on new technologies and innovation. I would like to express my thanks to Abelia and Innovation Norway for hosting this event.

I am delighted to visit to Beijing. This city has such a rich and deep history, with different people throughout the centuries all vying for control of what was once known as the City of Ji. Interestingly, Beijing literally translates as "Northern Capital."

 

Beijing is not just the capital of China. Within 15 years, according to officials, Beijing will be a leading light in technological modernization and a global hub for tech innovation. This is important not only to China, but also to other nations seeking out foreign markets for value creation. To me, as Norwegian minister for Trade and Industry, I find the discussions here today very valuable. I am positive, and I am happy to say – I am not the only one.

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During the panel debate we explored some interesting aspects of how new technologies and digitital solutions are transforming our societies.

Today, a life without technology is unthinkable.

I was born in 1978 and I have lived a great part of my life without the technology we take for granted today. I can no longer imagine living a life without technology.

Telenor's CEO Sigve Brekke, who is present here today, once described technology development as "the perfect storm". I think this a good description. Technology has revolutionised modern life, and used in the right way it will benefit us all.

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Norwegian companies come a long way with good technology, but often lack a home market. We have several examples of great Norwegian technology, for instance within the finance and health sectors, which are outstanding. In this regard, I would like to mention our "technology success" in the public sector in Norway, Altinn – the so-called digital government dialogue, a technology in which Norway is world leading. Just like China is with its digital aids.

As discussed in the panel debate during today's plenary opening, technology and digitisation comprise all parts of society and contribute to value creation. In Norway as in China.

Norway is one of the countries with the highest degree of digitisation in the world.  The rapid development with regards to the future mobile network – 5G - , Internet of things and artificial intelligence, changes the prerequisites for value creation across all industries. It also creates completely new solutions that can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Norway has world-leading knowledge and technology communities that are drivers for this development. So does China. I see this as a very good starting point for a closer and stronger cooperation with China in this field.

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Within key sectors for both Norway and China – for instance within energy and environment and the maritime sector, smart cities, transport and health – our two countries experience strong mutual interest in cooperation.  

Today China is far more than an export market for Norwegian raw materials. And much more than a provider of cheap consumer goods.

In our cooperation with China, we now experience that  Norwegian companies are operating higher up in the value chain than they did before, when it comes to technology and innovative solutions.

In the future, business cooperation with China will continue to be knowledge- and technology based.

I look forward to seeing how technology cooperation will develop in the years to come. We have a lot to learn from each other.

I wish you the best of luck with today's session.

 

Thank you for your attention.

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