NBAS President Hilde M. Nafstad welcomes readers to the Norway-Asia Business Summit 2016 in Singapore
Dear readers, as the president of the Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS), I am very happy for the opportunity to write in this first issue of the all-Asian Norway-Asia Business Review. Let me first extend my sincere thanks to Axel Blom who with his seemingly infinite energy has made this excellent initiative a reality. It is obvious that a joint effort from the many Norwegian communities will make a much stronger impact in the vast Asian markets than everyone going it alone. We have developed several pan-Asian initiatives over the years, such as the excellent Norwegian Seafood Dinner that takes place in many Asian capitals, providing us all with a great and unique event where Norwegian businesses can connect with customers and other stakeholders across Asia.
Such joint lifting is also what the Norway-Asia Business Summit is about. The various Norwegian Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce in Asia take turns hosting this yearly event, and this year Singapore has been chosen as the host country. Planning this event has been at the top of the agenda for NBAS for almost a year now. I feel many things have gone our way – from securing the beautiful, historic Fullerton hotel as a venue, to getting a great variety of knowledgeable and important speakers to commit. Our speaker list includes Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, and Indonesia’s Minister of Energy Sudirman Said.
We also have a long list of executives, organisational leaders, and representatives from academia who I believe will provide deep insights and interesting discussions around our chosen topics: the maritime, offshore and energy sectors, and what it takes to succeed in Asia. These themes may be more important than ever in the current business environment, where we see most markets are rather depressed and many businesses are struggling. But as I see it, this is the time when we not only need to trim our organisations in terms of cost-cutting and improved efficiency, but also build our strength for the future so we can take out the maximum potential of stronger markets when they return. Crucial to these efforts is network-building and strengthening our knowledge of our business environments.
My sincere belief is the summit will provide all participants with valuable take-aways – in terms of new insights on Asian business, markets and political developments, as well as new or fortified connections. I wish all readers a very warm welcome to Singapore 12-14 April!
Hilde Merete Nafstad
President Norwegian Business Association (Singapore)