Mon 22-05-2017 18:58 PM
DUBAI, 22nd May, 2017 (WAM) -- A UAE delegation has met with leading government and industry figures in Norway to strengthen business and development ties.
A team of government, business and Expo 2020 Dubai officials led by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, met Norway’s State Minister for Trade and Industry, Dilek Ayhan, as well as a group of Norwegian business to discuss bilateral opportunities and Norway’s potential participation in Expo 2020, the first World Expo to be held in the Arab World and the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region.
Dr. Al Jaber and his Norwegian counterparts also discussed the potential for the UAE and Norway to strengthen their collaboration in the context of international cooperation and development. The UAE views Norway as a key, strategic partner in the delivery of their wider and shared commitments to the global agenda. Expo 2020 Dubai sees the 2020 horizon as a unique opportunity around which to build on strengthened bilateral relations but also as a platform to collaborate together with, and in, third countries.
Dr. Al Jaber said, "The UAE has already fostered strong business links with Norway, a country which shares many of our values and vision, not least working towards a more sustainable future for the world."
"We believe the UAE offers further opportunities for Norway to build business overseas, especially at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will offer all participating nations a unique platform to showcase their commercial and tourism potential, among many other areas. Norway certainly has a lot to offer the world in this respect."
According to a press statement by Expo 2020, the World Expo will be the ideal stage for Norway to connect with the world. Expo 2020 Dubai expects to bring together more than 200 participants, including nations, corporations, NGOs, academic institutions and multilateral organisations. Countries can demonstrate their achievements, share knowledge, win investment, forge trade agreements, attract tourism, build new partnerships and promote international cooperation.
Norwegian businesses can also take advantage of a procurement process that is based on three principles, simplicity, transparency and inclusivity. Anyone from around the world can participate in the tendering process with some 15,000 companies from 123 countries already registered on the procurement site. This year alone, Expo will award contracts totalling in excess of US$3 billion.
Dr. Al Jaber was joined in Norway by, among others, Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, DCCI, Hassan Al Hashemi of DCCI and senior members of the Expo 2020 Dubai team.
Their agenda included a meeting with the Executive Vice President of International Development and Production at Statoil, Lars Christian Bacher. Statoil is the world’s 11th largest oil and gas company and according to Forbes, the 26th most profitable company regardless of industry. Statoil shares a focus with Expo 2020 Dubai’s key subtheme of Sustainability and last year was recognised by the Carbon Disclosure Project as the most sustainable oil and gas producer in the world.
The UAE party then met leading Norwegian industry figures at Innovation Norway in a meeting held by Kristin Skogen Lund, President of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, NHO. The NHO is a major organisation for employers and the leading voice for business and industry in the country. It has a membership of more than 24,000 enterprises from family-owned firms to multinational companies.
The government-backed Innovation Norway, which also has substantial private industry representation, is the country’s most important vehicle for innovation and development of Norwegian businesses. It also markets Norway as a tourist destination and is the Norwegian government’s official trade representative abroad.
Norway government chiefs and private enterprises have a strong track record of collaboration with the UAE. For example, Norway has opened a Nordic business incubator at Masdar Institute with Innovation Norway in 2015 as a ‘soft landing zone’ for its cleantech companies seeking new business in the UAE and Gulf region.
Dubai is the 10th largest importer of Norwegian seafood and additionally Norwegian shipping and maritime service companies are well represented in UAE.
Norway’s residents have the sixth highest per capital income in the world, according to the latest IMF list, and currently ranks No. 1 in the World Happiness Report based on a wide list of financial, social and health criteria.
The UAE party travels onwards to two more Nordic countries, Finland on 23rd May, and Denmark on 24th May, for further meetings with top industry and governmental business figures in those countries.