Official visit to Germany: State banquet in Munich
Sehr geehrter Herr Staatsminister,
Grüss Gott – alle mitanand!
Ich freue mich sehr hier zu sein.
I think it is probably best for all of us if I continue in English…
Thank you so much for the warm welcome here in München.
Germany and Norway are close friends and partners in Europe. In fact, the last three Norwegian Prime Ministers all made their first foreign visits to Germany.
That has been the case for good reason:
We share common values; we cooperate closely in a European context and we are allies in NATO. Our relationship is built on trust, respect, and openness.
When Norwegians think of Germany, what we actually tend to think of, is related to Bayern: precise engineering, great cars, alpine landscapes, fairytale castles, world class football, Oktoberfest.
There are many bonds between us. Some are cultural, like the fact that the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen lived with his family in Munich in the 1870s and 80s. One of his most famous plays, ‘Hedda Gabler’ had its world premiere at Königliches Residenz-Theater in 1891.
Still today, there are many Norwegians living in Bayern – for studies and for work.
We also have close ties in the economic sphere:
Bayern and Norway have joined forces under the slogan ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’:
The Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro is supplying sustainable aluminium for Audi’s e-tron range. Just a few weeks ago, I visited their production site in Høyanger, on the beautiful Norwegian west coast. It was really impressive!
From 2024, the Norwegian company REEtec will be helping Schaeffler to diversify their supply chains for raw materials, thereby reducing their dependency on single countries and markets.
And there is close cooperation on hydrogen and green ammonia.
Last year, the Hydrogen Center Bavaria and the Norwegian Hydrogen Forum signed a joint declaration on strategic cooperation. Bavarian Allianz is providing Norwegian companies like Fuella with investments and expertise to develop machinery for green ammonia production and power-to-gas-projects.
The program for our visit here in Bayern is diverse – and reflects the time we live in: We need military defence for the protection of our freedom, values and borders – and we need culture for our protection and development as human beings.
Tomorrow’s conference on defence industry reflects the strong ties between Germany and Norway as close allies and industrial partners. We will explore concrete ways to strengthen our defence cooperation even further.
In Literaturhaus München, we will discuss the state of nature and the effects of climate change – both from a fictional and scientific point of view.
Staatsminister, meine Damen und Herren,
Herzlichen Dank für einen sehr schönen Anfang für unsere Reise nach Deutschland.
I would like to invite you all in a toast to the friendship between Bayern and Norway - Prost!