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Statsministerens taler 1995 - Address at the Inauguration of the Norway-Indonesia Business Council
Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland
Address at the Inauguration of the Norway-Indonesia Business Council
Jakarta, 18 September 1995
It is a great pleasure for me to be present here at the inauguration of the Norway-Indonesia Business Council and to speak to such a distinguished gathering of Indonesian Government representatives, senior officials and business leaders.
It is a particular pleasure to do so in the presence of Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, an astute statesman I have known for many years, and State Minister Habibie who has made such remarkable efforts in promoting industrial and technlogical modernisation in Indonesia. I take his presence here today as a recognition of what Norwegian industry may have to contribute to this process in the years ahead.
Today, we have reached a milestone in the development of bilateral relations between Norway and Indonesia. We are gathered to formalize the growing interest for trade and economic relations between our two countries. We hope that combining the resources and efforts of the Norwegian Trade Council and Kadin will boost our economic relations.
There is indeed a great potential for expansion.
The first Norwegian whose interest for Asia is mentioned in our history books was a young sailor who arrived in Jakarta as long ago as 1669. Ever since, the sea has continued to be Norway's path to Asia. Today, a Norwegian ship calls on an Indonesian port every three days, representing the best in maritime transportation, safety and management.
A hundred years ago, Norway was still a poor country, we were not yet a fully independent country, and we had little or no industry. The 20th century has been a time of industrialization and democratization, two processes which have gone hand in hand. Democracy and the rule of law have been built from below, by extending political, economic and social rights to everyone.
As our industry has matured, Europe has remained Norway's main marketplace, and still receives more than 80% of our exports. Norway is fully integrated into the European internal market. The agreement on the European Economic Area provides the same rights and obligations for all economic operators in an area covering 18 Western European countries.
Norway's economy is in sound shape. Unlike most member states of the European Union, we fulfill by a wide margin the economic stability criteria set out by the Treaty on the European Union.
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