Hamburg: Senatsfrüstück - Speech
First Mayor Scholz, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Ich wünsche Ihnen einen herzlichen guten Morgen! Es ist nun schon bald ein Jahr her, dass die Kronprinzessin und ich zum letzten Mal hier in Deutschland waren. Es ist also an der Zeit , dass ich wiederkomme.
I am impressed by Hamburg’s grand, traditional celebration of its HAFENGEBURTSTAG. It is truly a great birthday party and Volksfest. Norway is proud to be this year’s partner country.
Norway’s participation this year is a symbol of the very close ties between our two countries. Hamburg has, through the centuries, played an important role in German-Norwegian relations, and continues to do so, not least due to trade and shipping.
Germany is one of Norway’s most important partners in Europe. Trade between our countries is increasing, energy being the most significant sector. Norway supplies almost 30% of the gas consumed by Germany, and German companies are engaged in the petroleum sector in Norway.
As likeminded countries, we work together on a whole range of international issues. We stand side by side in the UN and in NATO. We are both part of the EU’s internal market- Germany as an EU member and Norway through the EEA agreement. Cultural ties between our countries are very strong.
We see a constant flow of people – both tourists and representatives of business and industry – from Norway to Hamburg.
Today, many Norwegian companies are established in the city. And vice versa: Germans are travelling to Norway, by plane, by car or by ferry. A proof of our strong connections is the fact that we re-established a Norwegian consulate in Hamburg four years ago.
Germany’s main gateway to Norway is Oslo and the surrounding region. This region is presenting itself here today at the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG as the main Norwegian regional partner.
However, for many Germans, the Oslo region remains an undiscovered part of Norway, somewhat in the shadow of the famous fjords and mountains in the west and north of our country. But the region offers a great variety of attractions and activities, from modern city life to stunning nature.
I am honoured to be part of the celebration in Hamburg, and would like to thank you, First Mayor Scholz, and all the members of your team, for inviting Norway to be this year’s partner country and for hosting us in such an excellent way.