The ASEAN Secretariat had the rare honour of hosting the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway.
Reflecting the warm and substantial ties between Norway and ASEAN, HRH Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and HRH Princess Mette-Maritwere accompanied by the Norwegian Minister for Trade and Industry; Minister for Environment; the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs; the Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Coastal Affairs; and the Deputy Minister for Oil and Energy.
In his welcoming remarks to the Royal Couple, ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, said Norway’s interest in the region will pay off, as the country’s expertise are good fits for many ASEAN countries.
“ASEAN is a dynamic region which is undergoing rapid development. At the same time, there is also a growing awareness for sustainable development, one which will ensure that our future generations will not have to bear the environmental and social costs of development,” said Dr Surin.
“Norway has accumulated a lot of experience, and enjoys an exemplary track record in green development. Investing your expertise in this region is more than just a business venture. It is also investing in our future.”
The Royal Couple is also on an official visit to Indonesia. They will officially open the new office of Innovation Norway in Jakarta. This office will be an integrated part of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta.
Norway is one of the important partners for ASEAN.
In 2008, The Royal Norwegian Government contributed US$1 million to support ASEAN humanitarian efforts in Myanmar in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.
Norway officially became a member of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process at the 9th ASEM Summit on 5-6 November 2012 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The ASEM SOM on 1-2 March 2012 in Copenhagen reached an agreement of accepting the application of Norway, along with Switzerland, and Bangladesh for becoming full members of ASEM. Before the Summit, the country participated in any ASEM activities as an observer.