Nor­way-Asia Busi­ness Sum­mit 2014, the next big event on the Cham­ber agenda

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - By An­ton Ben­zon

Started in 2003 and or­gan­ised by the Nor­we­gian Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion Sin­ga­pore in co-oper­a­tion with the Nor­we­gian Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, the Nor­way Asia Busi­ness Sum­mit has evolved into a meet­ing place for Nor­we­gian in­dus­try in the re­gion, the sup­port ap­pa­ra­tus of the Nor­we­gian govern­ment and the diplo­matic mis­sions in the re­gion. As such it truly rep­re­sents the re­cently re­vi­talised “Team Nor­way” con­cept. Started in 2003 and or­gan­ised by the Nor­we­gian Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion Sin­ga­pore in co- oper­a­tion with the Nor­we­gian Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, the Nor­way Asia Busi­ness Sum­mit has evolved into a meet­ing place for Nor­we­gian in­dus­try in the re­gion, the sup­port ap­pa­ra­tus of the Nor­we­gian govern­ment and the diplo­matic mis­sions in the re­gion. As such it truly rep­re­sents the re­cently re­vi­talised “Team Nor­way” con­cept. Other economies in the world are fac­ing chal­lenges while the cen­tre of eco­nomic growth in the world is in a con­tin­u­ous shift in an easterly di­rec­tion. Asia is and will con­tinue to be one of the most im­por­tant fu­ture ex­port mar­kets for Nor­way and Nor­we­gian in­dus­try. Since 2010, the Nor­way-Asia Busi­ness Sum­mit has be­come an an­nual event. The two first sum­mits were held in Shang­hai (2010) and Sin­ga­pore (2011) re­flect­ing the two largest Nor­we­gian busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties in the re­gion. Last year’s event in In­done­sia fo­cused on one of Asia most vi­brant economies with the high­est po­ten­tial, but also chal­lenges, for Nor­we­gian in­dus­try. The 2014 sum­mit will take place in Bangkok from 25 to 27 April 2014 with an op­tional ex­ten­sion to Myan­mar 27 to 29 April 2014. Cham­ber Pres­i­dent Vibeke Leirvåg Con­sel­van re­veals that the Cham­ber is cur­rently in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the two best river­side ho­tels in Bangkok as well as ho­tels in Yan­gon con­cern­ing the con­fer­ence. She states that “the aim is to cre­ate a top-notch sum­mit fo­cus­ing on op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies in the re­gion when ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity be­comes a re­al­ity in 2015 with spe­cial em­pha­sis on Myan­mar. We will also look at Asia in 2050 and how Nor­way can play a role in such a sce­nario. In ad­di­tion the sum­mit will fo­cus on Nor­we­gian In­dus­try’s com­petive­ness in

the re­gion.” The aim is to bring in­ter­est­ing busi­ness lead­ers as well as po­lit­i­cal lead­ers from Nor­way in ad­di­tion to lo­cal busi­ness lead­ers to speak and in­spire the au­di­ence. It is ex­pected that the new Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try from Nor­way will par­tic­i­pate in the event. Speak­ers at the sum­mit may be in­dus­try lead­ers and de­ci­sion mak­ers who in­spire the au­di­ence through their ex­pe­ri­ence and knowhow. Other speak­ers hail from aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions and help the par­tic­i­pants un­der­stand global trends and the ef­fects of these. Some speak­ers rep­re­sent re­gional or­gan­i­sa­tions in Asia or host coun­try gov­ern­ments. Fi­nally some speak­ers are govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Nor­way who are keen to reach out to Asia and who help up­date the au­di­ence on the lat­est de­vel­op­ments back in Nor­way. In ad­di­tion, sev­eral highly pro­filed busi­ness lead­ers are con­sid­er­ing the in­vi­ta­tion to speak at next year’s sum­mit; among them, Mr. Jør­gen Ole Haslestad CEO of Yara In­ter­na­tional, Ms. Kristin Sko­gen Lund, CEO of The Con­fed­er­a­tion of Nor­we­gian En­ter­prise (NHO); Ms. Gunn Ovesen, CEO of In­no­va­tion Nor­way; Pro­fes­sor Torger Reve from Nor­we­gian Busi­ness School BI; Dr. Surin Pit­suwan, for­mer Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of ASEAN; Mr. Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Nor­we­gian Air Shut­tle, Europe’s third largest low cost air­line, to men­tion a few. Vibeke says “It’s still early days and the pro­gramme will be firmed up in the com­ing months and posted at the newly cre­ated web­site www.nor­way-asia.com which is ex­pected up and run­ning in Oc­to­ber.” A mix be­tween in­ter­ac­tive work­shops for the par­tic­i­pants and busi­ness pre­sen­ta­tions is en­vi­sioned. Con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion for the Bangkok pro­gramme is en­vi­sioned as fol­lows:

“The aim is to cre­ate a top-notch sum­mit fo­cus­ing on op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies in the re­gion when ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity be­comes a re­al­ity in 2015 with spe­cial em­pha­sis on Myan­mar.”

A spouse pro­gramme is also in the works, both in Bangkok and in Yan­gon. The tar­get au­di­ence are mainly Nor­we­gian-re­lated businesses in Asia and their lead­ers and Nor­we­gian govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives look­ing to how Asia can in­flu­ence Nor­we­gian in­dus­try in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion and how they can as­sist Nor­we­gian in­dus­try abroad be­come more com­pet­i­tive in a global econ­omy. In ad­di­tion Asian govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives as stake­hold­ers to Nor­we­gian in­dus­try forms an im­por­tant part of the au­di­ence. Lead­ers within Nor­we­gian busi­ness sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tions, am­bas­sadors and diplo­matic staff from the re­gion are also an im­por­tant key to a suc­cess­ful event. Fi­nally Nor­we­gian aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions with a keen in­ter­est in Asia and who can deliver fu­ture busi­ness lead­ers to Nor­we­gian in­dus­try as well as Nor­we­gian busi­ness re­lated me­dia are also tar­geted It is en­vi­sioned that the sum­mit shall in­spire and strengthen Nor­we­gian in­dus­try in the re­gion through shar­ing ideas and ex­pe­ri­ences. In ad­di­tion the sum­mit shall help build net­works, both in Nor­way and through­out the re­gion. The sum­mit shall also be a fo­rum to show­case how Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies con­trib­ute to in­no­va­tion, ca­pac­ity build­ing and sus­tain­abil­ity. Fi­nally, it is de­sir­able that the sum­mit de­liv­ers key rec­om­men­da­tions on de­vel­op­ment and ac­tions needed to make Nor­we­gian in­dus­try more com­pet­i­tive in Asia. “For now, please block the dates 25-29 April 2014 in your cal­en­dars. We are con­fi­dent that the 2014 sum­mit will be top-notch with in­ter­est­ing sub­jects and speak­ers in ad­di­tion to net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties with the lead­ers and shak­ers of Nor­we­gian in­dus­try, both in Nor­way and in the re­gion.” Vibeke says with a big smile on her lips.

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