State visit to Australia: Defence Industry Seminar
ladies and gentlemen,
The Queen and I greatly appreciate the warm welcome we have received in Australia. Australia and Norway have enjoyed good bilateral relations for many years. We hope this visit will further strengthen the ties between our countries. We have common interests in many areas, including defence technology. I am therefore grateful to have the opportunity to give the closing remarks at this seminar.
We live in a time of complex and multidimensional security challenges. International developments over the last year have made this clear. International cooperation to safeguard and defend our fundamental values of freedom, democracy, respect for international law and human rights has become more important than ever.
Today, when I visited your impressive War Memorial, I was reminded that although our two countries are located on opposite sides of the globe, we have some historical experiences in common. We have both lived through two World Wars, and we have participated together in numerous international operations, the most notable recent example being ISAF in Afghanistan. Australia is a valued partner for NATO, where Norway is one of the founding members.
Through our shared experiences, Australia and Norway have developed close defence cooperation, which includes defence technology. The Norwegian defence industry has expanded its international activities in recent years and Australia has become its second most important market. The high-tech defence industry uses cutting-edge science, which is also essential for many civilian purposes.
I am therefore pleased to be accompanied on this visit by a large business delegation from Norway, which includes several defence companies.
I trust that you have spent an interesting and rewarding day together here in Canberra, and I am confident that the ties between our two countries, in this area too, will continue to grow stronger in the time ahead.