Norway Asia Business Summit 2019 Co-Chairs Ms Dilek Ayhan and Mr Dan Bjørke had their work cut out for them when it came to organising the event.
range of people with high-level delegates and leaders in business, academia, diplomacy and politics all choosing to take part.
“We had the honour of welcoming business and industry leaders; government representatives; technology innovators; business support organisations; experts and academia; international organisations; and media,” they stated. “By inviting businesses and organisations with deep industry experience and knowledge to join us as co-hosts of the Summit, we provided all delegates with valuable encounters and relevant discussions.”
There were 21 sessions and seminars during NABS 2019 along with many other meetings and talks as well as the opening reception. H.E. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ma Jun, Chairman of Green Finance Committee (GFC) of China Society of Finance and Banking, and Madame Li Yalan, Chairperson of Beijing Gas Group, were just a few of the many memorable speakers.
Embracing the topic
NABS 2019 centred around the theme of OceanTech. In their opening remarks, Ms Ayhan and Mr Bjørke noted that maritime, energy and other oceanbased industries will be vital in meeting many of today’s global challenges. And with the oceans already under significant pressure as a result of climate change, overfishing, and pollution, developing sustainable solutions will be necessary.
“(NABS 2019) is to provide a meeting arena for decision makers to deliver a sustainable ocean economy.
Maintaining a clean ocean environment is a pre-condition for business. This event can strengthen trade between Norway and Asia and we appreciate the support we received from China,” Mr Morten Sten Johansen, Chairman, Norwegian Business Association China, declared during his speech at the Summit.
China and Norway are in a unique position when it comes to OceanTech and this, in part, made Shanghai the perfect host for NABS 2019. The knowledge and information exchanged and partnerships formed during the event could have a major impact moving forward.
“China’s efforts to cut emissions, its big market, industrial value chain and manufacturing capabilities combined with Norway’s technology position in the global maritime industry could pave the way for fruitful cooperation and joint development to transform the maritime sector to a zero–emission future,” the CoChairs explained.
Mr Vidar Helgesen, Norwegian Special Envoy for Ocean, explained the potential of the ocean and just how OceanTech could help bring industries and countries closer together.
“We know that the ocean holds a lot of benefits when it comes to renewable energy, fishing and a host of other sectors. What we need to do is maximise these benefits. It is possible to combat climate change if we follow best practices using ocean-centric solutions. Industries across a wide variety of economic sectors can contribute to this as long as they collaborate and work together,” Mr Helgesen told the audience at NABS 2019. “Offshore wind farms can be combined with coral reef creation where fishing zones can be incubated. These separate fields can be interconnected. Norway and China can use our expertise in the individual fields and bring them together.”
The Co-Chairs are not only happy with how the event turned out, but also believe the impact of NABS 2019 could be significant if everyone works together.
“The key takeaway for the conference attendees was that innovation and the diffusion of new technologies are indispensable for sustainable economic growth. The business sector; research and education; employees; and authorities have to join forces to deliver tangible results,” Ms Ayhan and Mr Bjørke said.
The big picture
Providing context for all this information was also important for attendees. The organisers ensured there were other connected topics being discussed, such as the US-China trade war and the country’s role in the global economy. Ms Mary Boyd, Director and The Economist Corporate Network in Shanghai offered insights on these issues during the Summit.
Another key topic was the importance of women’s leadership during the digital age. A special seminar hosted by BI Norwegian Business School provided Asian and Norwegian female leaders a platform to share their own stories and offer ideas on what more needs to be done.
Another thing the NABS organisers needed to do was ensure guests could take part in different experiences, including food and entertainment, they wouldn’t be able to enjoy otherwise. The 2019 Summit had several Chinese music and cultural performances throughout the event while Norwegian pop-band Marcus & Martinus performed as well. All of these added a different element to NABS 2019 and provided attendees with a glimpse beyond business.
Above left: Co-Chairs Ms Dilek Ayhan and Mr Dan Bjørke speak to the crowd at NABS 2019. It took 18 months to plan the event. Above: The NABS 2019 Co-Chairs together with Jotun CEO Morten Fon and Norwegian Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr Rikard Gaarder Knutsen.