State Visit of Norway to Croatia 12-13 May 2011

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At the invitation of Prof. Dr. Ivo Josipović, President of the Republic of Croatia, Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway visited the Republic of Croatia on 12 – 13 May 2011.

On the first day of the State visit, after the official welcome, His Majesty King Harald V met Croatian President Ivo Josipović, Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and President of the Croatian Parliament Luka Bebić for bilateral talks and discussions.

In the afternoon, King Harald and President Josipović joined the „Croatian Norwegian Forum of Competence” that gathered representatives of the Croatian and Norwegian business sectors and that was organized as part of the Norwegian business delegation visit to Croatia. In their address to the participants of the Forum, King Harald and President Josipović emphasized that Croatia and Norway have excellent bilateral cooperation which can be further strengthened through more intensive business relations. The Forum was an opportunity for both sides to exchange knowledge and experience in the four selected areas of interest:

• Renewable energy
• Tunnelling technology
• Defence industry
• Geographic information for development

These areas have been identified as areas of common interest between Croatia and Norway and are expected to develop further through academic cooperation, scientific and technological research, and business projects. Halvard Ingebrigtsen, Norwegian Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, pointed out that the 65 million EUR exchange of goods between Norway in Croatia in 2010 shows that the two countries are not fully exploiting their potentials for cooperation.

Forum organized by Innovation Norway, Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Croatia and Croatian Chamber of Economy was attended by over 200 participants, representatives of distinguished Norwegian and Croatian companies, and the overall conclusion of the Forum was that the potential for cooperation between the two countries exists in different areas, among which the four selected areas have the highest potential.

On the second day of the State Visit, 13 May, Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja visited Šibenik where His Majesty King Harald opened the iNAVIS maritime innovation centre emphasising that maritime sector, especially shipping and marine-based activities, is another area with huge potential for cooperation between Norway and Croatia. An example of cooperation was demonstrated later on, in the Nautical Centre Prgin where Queen Sonja christened boats “Hedda” and “Hælge” that were built in Šibenik for a Norwegian company.

In the afternoon, as part of the “Maritime Day” program, the roundtable conference on Competitiveness of Croatian maritime industry took place. The first part of the round table reflected bilateral cooperation and presented several examples of successful joint projects. The round table was attended by over 80 representatives of Croatian and Norwegian companies and institutions.