Official visit to the US: Business Policy Seminar
Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning! It is great to be back in the US and here in Washington DC. I have so many good memories of my trips to the United States, and I have many friends in this country as well.
And I spent one of the most transforming experiences when I went to school here, at the University of Berkeley. So, I am really glad to be back in the United States.
Over the last year and a half, the pandemic has turned our lives upside down.
Hopefully, we will soon see the pandemic more in the review mirror than ahead of us. We need to safeguard people's quality of life, build on what we have and create new and better jobs.
The US and Norway have both set ambitious climate goals, and we are on our way towards a greener future. One month ago, world leaders gathered in Glasgow at COP26 to sound the alarm, find a path forward and raise ambitions.
It will not be possible to achieve our joint climate goals without innovation, investment, and new technologies. Our industries generate emissions, but they also hold some of the solutions that we need for the future.
The US is widely known for its forward-thinking and technology-driven approach. The innovations that have emerged from the US have had a profound impact on the world.
Norway, too, is a test bed for innovation, and has shown that markets can be created, and new business areas developed to support the green transition.
Norwegian companies are investing in the green transition in the US, and creating jobs, developing technology, and promoting value creation.
Take offshore wind, for example. Energy is an important component of the longstanding business relationship between the US and Norway.
In both countries, there is great potential to use offshore wind energy to address climate change, while fostering inclusive economic growth and creating well-paid jobs.
Norwegian businesses have extensive offshore experience and are ideal partners for offshore wind projects in the US. Zero-emission shipping is another area where we are already working together. We all depend on the maritime sector – to transport goods and people, and to connect communities, economies, and countries.
But the maritime sector needs to become more sustainable. Norway is at the forefront in green shipping and is a natural partner to the US in the collective effort to reduce emissions from the maritime sector.
Our cooperation ranges from joint efforts in the International Maritime Organization to cluster partnerships across the Atlantic. It has provided a solid foundation for continued close collaboration in the years to come. These and other sectors and new technologies will play a crucial role in the transition to more sustainable societies. All these sectors thrive on international cooperation and competition.
International trade is vital to the Norwegian economy. Our wealth and welfare are based on a long tradition of trade with other countries.
After oil was discovered on the Norwegian continental shelf in 1969, Norway invited other countries to provide capital and technical know-how to help us exploit these resources in the best way possible. US companies played a key role.
A similar approach involving international collaboration and cross-border innovation is what is needed now to develop green energy solutions.
International trade allows the best ideas, technologies, and solutions to be shared across the world. We must encourage international business cooperation and work to reduce trade barriers. Today, we will be hearing about what our companies are doing to build sustainable, global supply chains and about the opportunities the energy transition is opening.
Hopefully, we will have the chance to explore the many ways the US and Norway can join forces and learn from each other, so that we can create value and a more sustainable, low-emission future.
Thank you for your attention!