8th Norway-Asia Conference a big success
More than 90 Norwegian businessmen and embassy officials attended the 8th Norway-Asia Conference 2005 November 10-11, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore prompting the organizers to qualify the meet as “a great success’. A total of 10 eminent guest speakers addressed the conference. “A full evaluation of the event has still to be conducted and analyzed,” said Erik Borgen, President of the Norwegian Business Association of Singapore (NBAS), but he added that the event “was very impressive for the attendees.” Borgen said that his association received very good feedback from participants who came from many types of businesses, including from shipping companies from across the region. After formal registration on the morning of November 10, Borgen gave the welcome remarks and this was followed by a discussion headed: ‘Some Recent Trends in the Asia-Pacific Region’ from Professor Tommy Koh, an address which was a highlight of the event. Among the other guest speakers, Mr. Vikram Khanna, Associate Editor of The Business Times in Singapore gave a talk on ‘Challenges Facing the Singapore Economy’. Mr. Jeff Ang, Head of DnB NOR Markets in Singapore spoke on the topic: ‘Economic Overview of the Asia-Pacific Region’. In the afternoon, the seminar focused on the maritime sector and Mr. Herbjørn Hansson, Chairman & CEO of Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd spoke on ‘Survival of the Fittest -Norwegian Shipping on the International Maritime Scene’. Then Mr. Peter M. Anker, Managing Partner of R.S. Platou Group spoke on ‘Where To from Dizzying Heights – Where Are the Shipping Markets Going?’. The seminar then turned to the oil and gas industry and Mr. Peter Melbye, Executive Vice-President of Statoil spoke on ‘The Great Reserves Race - What Does it Take to Be a Winner in the Global Competition to Access New Petroleum Reserves?’ Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki,
President of FACTS Inc. then gave a speech about ‘the US$100 Barrel of Oil – When Will It Be a Reality?’ The first day of the conference then ended with Q&A at 5.15 PM and that evening the organizers provided a cocktail reception and dinner for the participants. November 11, the first session of the seminar focused on developments in Norway. Liv Stubholp, State Secretary for the Foreign Minister gave a speech on the policy of the new Norwegian government to support Norwegian companies investing in Asia. Then Mr. Svein Aaser, President and CEO of DnB NOR spoke on ‘Can Norway Compete? How Will Norwegian Business and Industry Develop in the Years To Come?’ Mr. Kjell Roland, Partner ECON Management spoke on ‘When Will the Last Well Run Dry? How Will Norway Create Value After the Depletion of Hydrocarbons?’ In the afternoon session, the seminar continued with a focus on the regional perspective in Asia. Øivind Høidalen, Director of Indocement spoke on ‘Sukarno – Suharto, Now Susilo – Doing Business in Indonesia’ while Professor D.R. Zhou, Fudan University, Shanghai spoke on ‘Cooperate or Conquer? – What Strategy Does China Take in Business?’ Mr. Prasenjit K. Basu, Managing Director of Robust Economic Analysis Pte. Ltd. spoke on ‘India's Stealth Miracle Economy’ and Mr. Vijay Iyengar, Managing Director of Agrocorp gave a talk entitled ‘A Road Map for Successful Business in India.’ The 8th Norway-Asia Conference ended with a closing speech from the Norwegian Ambassador to Singapore H.E. Enok Nygaard at 4.30 PM.