State visit to Croatia: Opening of iNavis Maritime Centre
Mayor of Šibenik
Ladies and gentlemen
I would like to start by thanking you both, Mr President and Mayor Zupanovic, for your kind words and warm welcome. The Queen and I are very pleased to be here in Šibenik and for having the opportunity to visit this vibrant town on the shore of the Adriatic.
Norway and Croatia both have a strong maritime heritage. Maritime affairs have always played a key role in the relations between our countries. Many Norwegian ships have been built at Croatian shipyards. And Croatian officers have served in the Norwegian merchant marine, and still do.
Both countries have long-established experience in the shipping industries and shipbuilding. This represents a good basis for cooperation. Our countries’ relationship with the sea is continually evolving, and its resources hold vast potential for future opportunities.
Norway has cooperated closely with Croatia since its independence. Our aim has been to contribute to social and economic development and to support Croatia’s integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
In recent years, Croatia has developed at an amazing pace. With the establishment of the Šibenik Maritime Innovation Centre as a joint Croatian-Norwegian enterprise, Croatia has become a partner country with which Norway cooperates on equal terms.
The aim of iNavis is to physically gather companies in order to stimulate business networking and develop a pool of expertise that is conducive to the creation of new products and services in the maritime sector.
I believe that iNavis will provide a good basis for further development and promotion of our shared and long-established expertise in the maritime sector and shipping industries.
I hope our visit here, together with the President of the republic of Croatia, will contribute to highlighting the interesting opportunities for expanding maritime cooperation between our countries, and I wish both the Croatian and Norwegian companies involved the best of luck in creating an attractive working environment here in Šibenik.