Norwegian Foreign Minister to Visit the Philippines
06 January 2014 – Foreign Minister Børge Brende of Norway will undertake an official visit to the Philippines from January 7 to 9 and will be welcomed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario. This will be Minister Brende’s first official visit to the country.
The two officials will meet in Manila to take stock of bilateral relations and find new ways of expanding areas for cooperation in the fields of trade, investments and maritime cooperation. They will also discuss Norway’s participation in the country’s recovery from Typhoon Yolanda. Minister Brende will visit Tacloban and Basey in Samar province to see first-hand the Norwegian humanitarian operations and assistance to victims in calamity stricken areas.
Minister Brende will also meet Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita Deles to discuss Norway’s current role as third country facilitator for peace talks with the communist groups and its participation in the International Monitoring Team in Mindanao.
Minister Brende has also been a member of the Norwegian Parliament for the Conservative Party for more than 10 years. In the period 2003-2004, he was Chairman of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. In 2009, Brende became Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross until 2011 when he was appointed Managing Director of the World Economic Forum in Davos with responsibility for the Forum’s policy initiatives and engagement in non-business constituents.
In the first Philippines-Norway bilateral consultations, improvement in trade and investments flows between the Philippines and Norway will also be discussed aside from the reconstruction program and the peace processes. The Philippines’ good economic performance has been noted as positive factor for trade and investments opportunities. Norway is the Philippines’ 61st export market in 2012 and Norwegian investments are mostly in maritime and power sectors.
Norwegian ship owners employ more than 20,000 Filipino seafarers. Norway actively supports and provides technical assistance to the Philippines’ compliance with international maritime standards.
Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Norway were established in 1948. There are an estimated 17,400 Filipinos in Norway as of June 2013, working as nurses, nursing aides, caregivers, engineers and housekeepers. END