On the 23rd of May, a new chapter of the Norwegian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) was launched in Aberdeen.
Almost 150 people attended the Launch, which was organised by NBCC, Innovation Norway and the two diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom, - in co-operation with Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and a number of sponsors.
Norwegian Consul General Arne Sivertsen held a welcome speech, followed by an opening speech by Mr Bill Cattanach (Head of PILOT Secretariat, Department of Trade and Industry). Afterwards, industry presentations were given by Mr Harald Gulaker (Managing Director, Aker Kværner Offshore Partner), Mr Les Thomas (Group Director, Wood Group), Mr Helge Hatlestad (Managing Director, Statoil) and Mr Tim Sheehan (Deputy Vice President Northern Europe and Canada, Acergy UK Ltd). Innovation Norway's Technology & Energy Counsellor, Mr Knud Nørve introduced the speakers. Before the Consul General cut the ribbon, President of NBCC held a short speech.
The participating companies gave the following quotes after the launch:
"Statoil was pleased to sponsor the event held to mark the opening of the Aberdeen chapter of the NBCC. In addition to hearing some very interesting talks, the evening provided an excellent opportunity for people to expand their networks within the industry. It was great that so many people were able to attend and this not only reflects the importance of the energy industry in Aberdeen, but also the recognition of strong Norwegian / British ties. Now that the Aberdeen chapter has been established, I am sure that the NBCC will find the energy industry to be one of its fastest growing sectors. I look forward to future events".
Hatlestad Helge (Statoil)
"Cross Border cooperation between Norway and the UK strengthens both countries position when looking at export markets. This is particularly true in applied technology and harsh environment working experience in the Oil and Gas sector. Both Stavanger and Aberdeen are considered by most people as centres of excellence and expertise in these areas. National Oil Companies, Super Majors and other oil and gas companies world wide look to both regions to provide the recourses of expertise and experience to successfully develop, engineer and complete projects World wide. New frontiers in the Arctic regions, the Barents sea and the Baltic will require cross border collaboration, new technology and resource pools to enable both Norway and the UK to benefit from the opening up of these new markets. Demand world wide for oilfield products and services will continue to grow and will only be restricted by experienced manpower shortages. Collaboration between Norway and the UK, facilitated by NBCC is and will continue to be a very important tool which allows us all to address the opportunities and challenges that the new markets and world demands place on us".
Gary Gray (Acergy)
"Much has been achieved since the UK / Norway co-operation initiative was started back in 2002. The arrival of the Norwegian British Chamber of Commerce in Aberdeen is truly another milestone in the process and will provide a useful and much needed platform for networking and relationship building. One of the main aims of the co-operation work is to increase opportunities for the supply chain on both sides of the North Sea and the chamber concept sits well with both the mentoring scheme and also the share fair concept".
Bill Cattanach (DTI)
"As the North Sea matures there is no good reason for there to be artificial barriers to business between the UK and Norway. The need for efficiency across the whole of the North Sea is driving more companies to take a pan-European approach to their business. This allows cross pollination of best practice, makes the best use of scarce resources and benefits everyone. Formal barriers between the UK and Norway have to a great degree been dismantled. Barriers which remain tend to be informal, cultural, derived from custom and practice and can only be overcome through interaction and trust building. Cross border business development must be two way in order to be successful and sustainable. Wood Group is proactively pursuing increased business in Norway through investing in relationships with Norwegian companies, bringing particular value propositions to clients and commiting to a local sustainable future."
Les Thomas (Wood group)