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Official visit to USA: Business conference in Seattle

Speech given by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at the opening of a business conference at the National Nordic Museum in Seattle 17 April 2024.

Good morning, everyone!

We have very much been looking forward to coming to Seattle and to highlight the many possibilities for cooperation between companies and institutions here and counterparts in Norway. And I would also like to say a few words about this wonderful museum. We have been on a tour here, and it's really beautiful the way the building's architecture is communicating.

And when we were walking around, I was also told the story of Thea Foss. And I was wondering what Thea Foss might have felt when she arrived here in the US and in Seattle. Maybe she was excited? Optimistic? A bit scared? Probably all these emotions at the same time.

You know that she moved from a small town, and when Eric Nelson was showing me around, he drew my attention to the story of this extraordinary Norwegian-American woman. 

Thea Foss was one of the first women to start a business in the maritime sector on the west coast. And maybe in the world, for all I know. She became the founder of Foss Maritime – a company that has evolved into the largest tugboat company in the area, and which is now a respected shipping company based here in Seattle.

To me, her story illustrates and exemplifies at least two things:

First – how millions of people through the centuries have brought their hopes and dreams to the United States. Some have come for adventure, others for survival, or to improve life for themselves and their loved ones.

And second: What we, the US and Norway, can achieve when we work together. 

This museum is a great location for today’s discussions.

The National Nordic Museum combines past, present and future in quite a unique way. It embodies the strong ties between the US and Norway. Our relationship builds on deep historical roots, and we are working together today – for the future.

Washington and Norway are both coastal regions, and our populations have been dependent on the ocean for work, exports, food, transport and more for much of our history. This gives us unique insights as we move towards the greener world we all need. 

Today’s conference is focused on the green transition and the ocean industries. Norwegians have been shipbuilders and seafarers since the Viking Age. We have maintained our expertise not just by staying true to tradition, but also by constantly thinking along new lines, adapting to change and seeking broad cooperation.

The spirit of innovation is alive and well and is more crucial than ever as the maritime industries take steps to achieve the green transition.

The offshore wind industry is an excellent example of how we can take the experience and know-how from an existing industry, such as oil and gas, and build on it to develop technology for the future. 

With all the expertise from both sides of the Atlantic gathered here today, I am sure the discussions will lead to new ideas and strengthened cooperation.

I wish you a successful and inspiring day – in the spirit of Thea Foss. 
Thank you for your attention.  



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