Tuesday AM February 9th, 2010
by: Ed Mayberry, February 9, 2010 10:02:00 am
The Royal Norwegian Consulate General hosted a luncheon at the new location to discuss modern Scandinavia, also inviting representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden. The new building houses Innovation Norway, the trade and investment arm of Norway. It offers support for Norwegian companies trying to establish in Houston, as Consul General Lasse Seim explains.
"Innovation Norway is the official trade council of Norway. It's the government's arm to help businesses to export, to go abroad. There are ten incubator offices for companies that come here all to establish themselves, know what it takes to establish a company in Houston, what are the problems--regulations and challenges. So it's, I think it's a good concept for its mission who is here because of the Norwegian oil and gas industry, basically."
Ray Daugbjerg, the honorary consul for Denmark, says trade between Sandinavia and the United States is greatly enhanced because of the Port of Houston.
"We have the third-largest number of consuls in the United States in Houston. The Port of Houston is what drives that. They say one out of every three dollars in the Houston economy is generated through the Port of Houston."
Ulf Brynjestad with the Swedish Consulate says the United States is Sweden's biggest trading partner.
"For Sweden, yes it is, as it turns out. There are a lot of Swedes (who) don't think that's true, because they are dealing with China, they are dealing with India and with the Baltic states, and all that. But in the aggregate, the United States is the biggest trading partner they have."
The Scandinavian countries plan to have a large presence at the upcoming Offshore Technology Conference in May.