Thanks to Singapore for a Well-Executed 2016 Summit
Dear readers, This April marked the resounding success of the sixth Norway-Asia Business Summit in Singapore. Since the inception of NorwayAsia Business Summit, it has become increasingly better with more high-level participants from both Norway and Asia. This year was certinaly no exception.
As the first Prime Minister ever to participate in the Norway-Asia Business Summit, H. E. Erna Solberg graciously opened the summit and gave her valuable insights on Norway’s Place in the Asian Century.
The venue for next year’s summit has yet to be decided, but representatives from Thailand will certainly be there, wherever it is. And we will be happy to help, support and nurture next year’s event, the most important meeting place in terms of Norwegian-Asian business relations.
A common denominator for many of this year’s speakers was the state of the Norwegian economy and what Norway can learn from Asia. An inspiring Kristin Skogen Lund from NHO talked about lessons we can take home, but also highlited the underlying problems with education and job opportunities in Norway. The fact that there are almost 100,000 people in Norway under 30 that are outside work or training is mindboggling, considering Norway’s wealth.
From Thailand, we pushed for an increased SME content at this year’s summit. Several entrepreneurs, both Norwegian and Asian, shared their experiences, challenges and successes with the audience. This magazine contains several examples.
Thailand has lots to learn from Norway in terms of support to the SME sector. While large foreign companies are welcome to Thailand, the SME sector, both local and foreign, struggle with challenges similar to Norway, but without much government support. Access to credit is almost nonexisting and potential difficulties facing start-ups are scaring entrepreneurs from starting businesses built on new ideas.
It is therefore highly commendable that private sector initiatives are starting to appear; dtac accelerate, widely regarded, as the nation’s leading incubator is a shining example. You can read more on the programme on pages 38-39 in the magazine.
Summer is just around the corner and many are going home to enjoy the summer holidays back home so let me end by wishing you all a happy summer!
Vibeke Lyssand Leirvåg
President Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce