Dear Deputy Director General Luan!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Firstly, please let me give my deepest condolences to your late President Quang that unfortunately passed away recently.
It is a great pleasure and honour for me to be present here today at this Vietnam – Norway Fisheries seminar. Today I’ve been one month in Vietnam and this is my first official speech in your country.
I will start by referring to my Prime Minister Madame Erna Solberg who is a champion of the Ocean Initiative – Sustainable Blue Economy. She says: Healthy Oceans are Wealthy Oceans. This is what this seminar is all about!
Vietnam and Norway have several similarities. Our countries have similar size and our coastlines have similar lengths. We have both been fishing nations for several centuries and are still among the 10 largest fisheries nations in the world. Likewise, Vietnam and Norway are now the 3rd and 2nd largest exporters of fish and fish products worldwide.
Our bilateral cooperation on fisheries and marine matters have been going on for more than 30 years. As Vietnam strengthens its position as a middle-income country, the content of the relationship between Vietnam and Norway is also changing. The traditional relationship based on development cooperation is evolving to one based on joint business interests. We see great opportunities for extending our marine cooperation in a more commercial and technical direction during the years to come.
The Norwegian government has a strong focus on developing a safer, greener and more sustainable marine industry during the years to come. We call it our Blue Ocean Strategy. Our government also see the need for addressing the severe plastic pollution in the world oceans to keep healthy oceans for our children and generations to come. All stakeholders must be involved, - from governments and industry to researchers and environmental civil societies.
During the last 70 years Norway has developed our fisheries from being old- fashioned, dangerous and non-sustainable with low paying jobs into being one of the leading fisheries nations in the world. At the same time, we have significantly reduced the number of Norwegian fishing vessels and fishermen by developing more efficient vessels, fish finding equipment, fishing gear and cooling/freezing systems. Our fisheries are therefore a very modern and well-paying industry today.
A major contribution to this change has been made through the development of a sustainable Ecosystem based Fisheries Management system. A sound knowledge base is the foundation for all our work.
We have established controlled fishing of our shared fish stocks through close cooperation between all affected states. Norway currently has co-operative agreements with Russia, EU, Iceland, Faeroe Islands and Canada to determine and share annual fishing quotas, and our fisheries regulations are enforced both at sea, when the fish is landed and when it is exported. We have also established Fisheries Monitoring Centre for monitoring Norwegian and foreign fishing vessels' activities 24/7.
Today all our fishing vessels are provided with licenses giving them the right to fish, and they are also provided with annual and sustainable fishing quotas. These are based on the annual conclusions from our international cooperation. In addition, Norway and its fisheries industry strive for utilizing 100% of the fish raw material, both through proper cooling and handling of the catch on board the vessels and at ports, as well as in our processing plants for fish filets and rest raw materials.
In 2017, Vice Minister Vu Van Tam met our Deputy Minister of Fisheries Angelvik in Oslo. During this meeting Vice Minister Tam stated that he wished to continue cooperation on fisheries, related to sustainable fisheries, fishery management, fisheries surveillance and how to develop more advanced fishing vessels.
Deputy Minister Angelvik responded that Norway would be positive to share its experiences with Vietnam. As a direct response to Vice Minister Tam’s request I am very happy to see that we today arrange this bilateral seminar.
From Norway we have been so lucky to have speakers from our Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries, Directorate of Fisheries, Kongsberg Satellite Services and MMC First Process. During these two days, they will share Norway’s and their own experience with the Vietnamese guests assembled here today.
I hope this bilateral seminar shall contribute to maintain close relations between our two countries within the Fisheries sector, both related to Fisheries management, regulations and surveillance according to the global fisheries framework.
I also hope Norway and Vietnam can identify ways for cooperation related to modernization of the Vietnamese fishing fleet to establish sustainable fisheries in Vietnam during the years to come.
Finally, it is all about ocean protection and production or again quoting my Prime Minister: Ocean health means ocean wealth!
I wish you all a successful seminar.
Thank you! Xin Come on!