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Norwegian PM pledges sustainable growth for a smarter shipping industry

Norwegian PM pledges sustainable growth for a smarter shipping industry
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg pledged to create sustainable knowledge-based growth for the country’s maritime industries, at the opening of Nor-Shipping 2015.

A grim view of the current state of the maritime and offshore industries was presented at the opening conference after a performance by violinist Charlie Siem.

“The beautiful music we have just heard contrasts sharply with the roaring noise of the business environment,” noted Sturla Henriksen, ceo of the Norwegian Shipowners Association. His assessment of the state of the industry included laid-up vessels, laid off staff and political realities of security and the migrant issue.

PM Solberg also commented on the tough conditions the industry faces. “The current economic situation in the shipping industry is challenging, since the onset of the global economic crisis most sectors of the shipping industry have experienced tough conditions.

“The offshore market up till 12 months ago performed relatively well now faces the same conditions.”

With the world’s 10th largest merchant fleet and 2nd largest offshore fleet maritime and offshore are of key importance to Norway and last week the government launched a national maritime strategy.

“As we now look for adapting and adjusting our ocean based industries there can be no doubt our maritime knowledge and know how will play an important role for years to come,” PM Solberg said.

“The government’s main goals for the maritime industry are sustainable growth and value creation for the society as whole.”

The focus of development will be on knowledge and research and a smarter shipping industry.

“We will stimulate increased research, development and innovation in order to strengthen value creation and competitiveness of the maritime industry,” she said.

“The future for Norway relies on bring smarter not cheaper.”

This will involve adapting existing technologies for the maritime sphere and the development of Arctic shipping in Norway’s Far North.

“By developing new and applying known technology across the ocean space we can utilise the potential for further growth in the maritime industry,” Solberg said.

“Increased economic activity and potential new sea routes offer opportunities for growth and valuation creation in the high North especially for the maritime industries. But it also creates new challenges for the environment and safety.”