Many ways to boost cooperation
Activities involving trade and industry were the main focus on the second day of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess’s visit to Malaysia. Norway and Malaysia have well-established cooperation within the petroleum sector, but there is potential for collaboration in other areas as well.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon started the day by formally opening a seminar on collaboration in trade and industry.
Opened business seminar
The Norwegian business presence in Malaysia is growing steadily, particularly within the oil and gas sector. At present, 63 companies with connections to Norway have been established in Malaysia, and most were represented at the seminar “Malaysian-Norwegian Forum of Competence”, which was held in Kuala Lumpur today, 9 March 2010.
In his opening speech the Crown Prince drew attention to the fruitful cooperation between Norway and Malaysia on petroleum-related activities and expressed his wish to expand cooperation to encompass other areas.
Company visit to Petronas
After the seminar, Crown Prince Haakon visited Petronas, the national petroleum company of Malaysia. Since its establishment in 1974, Petronas has grown into a major multinational corporation and accounts for a large portion of Malaysia’s revenues.
The Crown Prince met with President & CEO Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas at company headquarters in Petronas Towers, where he was given a presentation of the company. The towers are 452 metres high and were the world’s tallest buildings when construction was completed in 1998.
Spoke at a seminar on gender equality
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit took part in a seminar on the current status of gender equality, whose aim was to highlight the importance of women’s participation in high-level decision-making in the private as well as the public sectors. The seminar provided a forum for sharing experience and examining factors that facilitate women’s participation and factors that pose obstacles.
The Crown Princess emphasised that good family policy is fundamental to women’s participation, which is of benefit to the individual, to national economic development and to society as a whole. She said:
“Family friendly policies are a prerequisite for women and men to combine work and family. If we are to meet today’s challenges, women and men must be able to take part in family and working life on an equal footing. Family-friendly policy is vital, both for production and for reproduction.”
Competition to develop energy-saving solutions
New ICT ideas and products may have a vital role to play in developing various forms of green technology. Norwegian telecom provider Telenor is the largest shareholder in DiGi, a leading mobile communications company in Malaysia. DiGi organised the “Deep Green Challenge for Change” competition, which asked teams of Malaysian students to develop solutions for energy-efficient mobile communications and renewable energy for underserved communities in Malaysia.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were in attendance at the conference hall where the finalists presented their projects, and they awarded prizes to the winners in the ceremony that followed.
In his speech, Crown Prince Haakon pointed out that the effort to achieve a sustainable world is also part of the struggle to eradicate poverty and inequality. As for combating climate change, he said:
“Preserving the environment on our planet can be regarded as the greatest teambuilding session the world has ever seen. Everybody has a role to play. We must all pull together at the national and international level, governments and businesses, cities and small communities alike. Then we can hope for a greener future.”
Norwegian salmon Malay style
In the afternoon, the Crown Prince attended a cooking competition where students at the Berjaya University College of Hospitality sought to create the best dish featuring Norwegian salmon.
Malaysia is still a small market for Norwegian seafood exports. By hosting the competition, the Norwegian Seafood Export Council hopes to give Malaysian chefs greater awareness of Norwegian seafood and to cultivate new Norwegian Seafood Ambassadors.