State Visit to Poland: Speech at partnership conference
Relations between Poland and Norway have developed dynamically during the last few years. We are partners in Europe, we are allies in NATO, and we both strive to make a constructive contribution to the international community. Political dialogue takes place in a number of important areas. Cooperation between our two countries in the social, economic and cultural fields has also expanded in scope and depth. This is reflected by the fact that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs are accompanying the Queen and me on this visit.
Today’s seminar – with all its facets – gives us a picture of our good cooperation.
Our relations in the maritime area can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The newly opened Polish Maritime Museum in Gdansk contains important historical evidence of our close trade ties from the Hanseatic period. Today, many of the LNG-fuelled passenger ferries that sail the Norwegian fjords have been built at shipyards in Gdansk. Norwegian vessels can often be seen in Polish ports while undergoing maintenance and repairs. Norwegian seafood has long featured on Polish breakfast and dinner tables. Many Polish seamen and officers work on board Norwegian vessels and are well known for their professional skills and efficiency. Also in the oil and gas sector we see the cooperation developing, as well as opportunities for cooperation in the green growth area.
I also welcome our collaboration as regards the modernisation of our national defence forces, where industrial partnerships have been established. There is great potential for further developing cooperation in this area.
Mr President, Excellencies, distinguished guests,
We can be proud of the cooperation our countries have enjoyed so far, and look forward to new dynamic developments in the future. The EEA and Norway Grants are an important element of our bilateral relations. These grants have provided – and will continue to provide – numerous opportunities to further strengthen our ties.
There is a high level of personal mobility between our two countries. Poles are now the biggest group of labour migrants in Norway. They make a considerable contribution to Norway’s social and economic development. In terms of numbers, Norwegian students rank fourth among foreign students in Poland!
I hope that all of us present here today, from both Poland and Norway, share a commitment to further deepening and strengthening the ties between our two countries.