Tale/innlegg | Dato: 02.07.2019
Av: Tidligere utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Søreide (27. juni, Oslo)
Utenriksministerens innlegg ved dåpen av Wallenius Wilhelmsens M/V Traviata
Dear captain and crew, dear representatives of Wallenius Wilhelmsen,
Ladies and gentlemen.
Congratulations to Wallenius Wilhelmsen and all its partners and suppliers.
Norway is a maritime nation. Throughout history shipping and the maritime industry has been a defining feature of our foreign policy.
In 1905, Buenos Aires and Yokohama were among the first diplomatic missions we established as an independent country.
And those missions were established to assist you: Norwegian seamen and ship-owners.
In the 114 years that have passed shipping and maritime industries remain a significant part of the Norwegian international footprint.
Norway is big actor at sea, and a responsible actor. Ships like the M/V Traviata is an example of Norwegian companies leading the way towards a sustainable and green ocean economy.
Along with its sister ship, M/V Titus, M/V Traviata is setting new standards in terms of energy efficiency. Improved energy consumption of almost 15 % will result in considerably lower emission levels than similar vessels in the global fleet.
Norway is a small and open economy, and changes in the international playing field, especially when it comes to trade, will have a direct effect.
When talking about multilateralism and rules-based international cooperation there is one example I often use. It is actually the example of RoRo-ships, where Norway has the second largest fleet in the world.
The M/V Traviata can carry 8000 cars alone. As a logical consequence uncertainty in global trade, increased tax and tariffs on steel and car parts can affect Wallenius Wilhelmsen, the Norwegian shipping industry and in turn the Norwegian economy. So we aim to work for predictability and consistency. In maritime terms: Calm waters.
Shipping is the backbone of global trade and the world economy. The substantial improvements in shipping over the last decades has played an essential role in the growth of world trade.
The development of crucial new technology and environmental standards depend on predictability and consistency. We will do our part, and through innovative vessels like the M/V Traviata – you are certainly doing yours.
In Verdi’s La Traviata, or “the misguided”, the leading character Violetta does her best to navigate the dangerous and challenging Paris of the 1840s.
Through her personal storms and turmoil, she is lost, in bad company – and, I think; in desperate need of a godmother. A godmother to take care of her, guide her and be a safe haven when the waves wash over her.
Sadly there is no happy ending in La Traviata, but I promise to be a good godmother to the M/V Traviata.
She will be an excellent addition to the gang floating of godchildren I already have: the coastal corvette KNM Storm, the bulk ship M/V Baru and Odin, the self-sailing mine clearance vessel.
And as the responsible godmother I am, I have told them to be both nice and welcoming to their new sister.
It is an honor to be the godmother of M/V Traviata. A ship of the future. A symbol of the sustainable ocean economy we all depend on.