Official visit to Mexico: Official Luncheon in Mexico City
Your Excellencies Mr President and the First Lady,
Mr President of the Senate,
Mr President of the Deputy Chamber,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for the Crown Princess and myself to be in Mexico, a country known for its rich history and culture, cuisine and beautiful coastline. Over the last three days we have learned more about the past and the present Mexico – and appreciated very much meeting your people.
One of the Norwegian explorers, scientist and photographer Carl Lumholtz, made several expeditions to Northern Mexico between 1875 and 1910. There he lived for longer periods with indigenous groups documenting their daily lives through photographs, drawings and writings. Lumholtz’ expedition to Mexico was one of the first encounters between the two countries that we know of. Today the encounters between the two nations are frequent; Mexico is a popular tourist destination for Norwegians, and the interchange of students between our two countries is growing steadily.
Our nations are multi-cultural. One ambition for this visit is for our diverse cultures to meet, discuss and interchange experiences and common challenges. Norway and Mexico have been close allies in the UN working to ensure the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. Also bilaterally we have had excellent relations between your indigenous peoples and our Sami people. We hope that this visit will further strengthen these bonds.
Both Mexico and Norway have a strong commitment to the UN, where we work together on a number of issues. UN-reform, disarmament, indigenous peoples, human rights and humanitarian issues are some of the areas where we have joined forces. Last year we celebrated the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo. Mexico’s proactive role in the core group was pivotal to the successful and timely completion of the Oslo-process. This process is a good example of our excellent collaboration in international matters.
Mexico is a major economic power in Latin- America and in the world, and it is one of Norway’s largest trading partners in the region. We see a positive upward trend; investment and trade is growing both ways, however, there is much scope for expanding commercial cooperation in many sectors in both countries. The large business delegation accompanying us on this visit is a demonstration of the growing interest in the Mexican market. We hope that this visit will open new business opportunities.
Mexico and Norway both have long coastlines and vast territories at sea, which have shaped our economies. While shipping is still important, currently it is the petroleum sector that dominates our bilateral relations.
Our governments and oil companies cooperate closely to take care of our common interests as major oil and gas-producing nations. One area where we see increased engagement over the last years is from the Norwegian supply industry; their collaboration with the Mexican oil company, Pemex has grown steadily year by year. We should pursue further cooperation in this sector. For instance, both countries face technology and development challenges at deep sea.
As two major petroleum-producing countries we also have common obligations; to promote the energy sector in a global context and to ensure sustainability.
Today the climate change agenda has become everybody’s agenda. Governments and citizens alike worry about the consequences of global warming. Global and local action is called for. Both our countries firmly believe in international instruments to combat global warning. We are both actively engaged in the on-going negotiations with the aim of reaching a global consensus on a Post 2012 Climate Regime in Copenhagen at the end of the year.
We have seen a boost in the interest and demand for alternative energies over the last few years. This is an area where we see a great potential for closer collaboration.
Cultural interchange projects between our countries have increased over the years. Mexico has been hosting Norwegian exhibitions of architecture, design and various concerts. In Norway, there is increased interest in Mexican film and literature. It has been a great pleasure to inaugurate three Norwegian cultural events this week: the Kristin Jarmund Selected Works exhibition, the Norwegian film week, and the great outdoor photo exhibition at Reforma.
The Crown Princess and I feel very fortunate to have been able to pay your magnificant country a visit. Over these last couple of days we have been struck by the degree of interest from representatives from both countries when it comes to further cooperation on political issues as well as in the commercial and cultural fields. We believe it would be most fruitful if representatives from Mexico were to have the same opportunity to visit Norway, and to see for themselves what Norway has to offer. It is therefore with great pleasure and on behalf of my father King Harald that I extend to you Mr President an invitation to visit Norway.
Your Excellencies, honourable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen,
Your Excellencies, honourable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to join me in a toast to the President and the First Lady of Mexico, to the Mexican people and to lasting friendship and strengthened collaboration between our nations.