The Norwegian Business Association (India) was officially registered on 28th January 2013. The launch of the association was facilitated and formed by Norwegian companies in India with help from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in India and Innovation Norway’s branch in New Delhi.
The basic aim and objective of NBAI is to promote bilateral relationships and business in general between India and Norway, to facilitate the exchange of views and information between Norwegian companies and other companies or firms in India in which there is a direct or indirect Norwegian interest.
The NBAI will host several events throughout the year including breakfast meetings, seafood dinner, information sharing meetings and generally serve as a platform where businesses can share experiences and establish contacts and networks.
There is an increasing amount of Norwegian companies getting established in India, by April 2013, more than 130 companies were present. The current growth in Indo – Norwegian economic and commercial ties is fuelled not only by India’s growth, potential and overall attractiveness to foreign investors, but also by complementarities of interest in sectors such as deep off-shore, shipping, hydro-electricity, information technology, bio-technology and light consumer goods.
NBAI encourages all newcomers, as well as already established Norwegian companies and firms in India, to become members. The strength of our association, and the added value for our members, is all about having a broad range of businesses represented and a variety of experiences to be shared.
By statutory decision and in most practical matters, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Innovation Norway in New Delhi stand as the principal partners of NBAI, forming Team Norway in India. The collaboration takes place in a number of ways, and is coordinated by weekly meetings. The Norwegian Indian Culinary Experience was the first major Team Norway event. In general, Team Norway is a joint effort with the aim of promoting bilateral economic cooperation.
Ambassador Homme’s Introduction
“Whenever a membership forum is created, its potential members are entitled to ask the fundamental questions: What’s in it for me? What is the added value? In my mind the answer here today lays in what we together make out of it, the private sector in cooperation with the Embassy and Indian authorities. There is clearly a need to join hands in creating knowledge and sharing how to succeed in the Indian market.”
Distinguished Business Representatives, Partners and Friends, an excellent afternoon to all of you.
I am delighted to see you all, to be here together with our Consul General, our Commercial Counsellor and other Colleagues from the Embassy, to be attending the very first Annual General Assembly of the Norwegian Business Association (India). Today we have truly reached a milestone, and I pay tribute to all of you that in different ways have contributed to making this possible.
The Norwegian companies that you represent already have made an important strategic decision — to be part of the exciting, promising, but also challenging Indian market. I believe that this is a wise decision today. I believe this will be a wise decision for the years to come. As the Norwegian Minister of Trade said in an interview this week: Norwegian companies must learn to surf the Asian wave. You have already demonstrated a great ability to stand tall on that surfboard, to be willing to wait for the right wave in the Indian Ocean, for years if necessary, because you know that ride is or is going to be more exciting and rewarding, than anywhere else.
Whenever a membership forum is created, its potential members are entitled to ask the fundamental questions: What’s in it for me? What is the added value? In my mind the answer here today lays in what we together make out of it, the private sector in cooperation with the Embassy and Indian authorities. There is clearly a need to join hands in creating knowledge and sharing how to succeed in the Indian market. Find out how we can support each other in tacking a complex political situation, difficult regulatory frameworks and stringent tax regimes, red tape and different business cultures, corporate social requirements as discussed earlier today, as well as relevant topics such as successful recruitment of the right people, and keeping them.
I have experienced in other countries in Asia and North America how useful a Norwegian Business Association can be; for bringing companies together and learning from each other; for creating a common, strong voice towards both governments.
I trust that NBAI will become such an arena for sharing experiences, information, contacts and networks. In this way, the Association may contribute to improved risk management and sharing of best practices. Together you are also an inspiration to Norwegian newcomers who want to start up operations in India.
I hope also the Board will look into how the Nordic Business Associations may work together and have some joint events, be it in Delhi, Mumbai or Pune.
During today’s meeting the Provisional Board will present its Annual Report and propose an Annual Activity Program. We will also elect the Governing Board members for the next term. I am very
happy to see that we have as many as 14 candidates willing to be nominated for election. This proves to me that there is already a strong support for this organization.
The Provisional Board has made a great effort in establishing NBAI and I would hereby like to thank them all for a job very well done. Out of 85 Norwegian companies in India they have already been able to recruit 46 members, which is a great achievement! Let us give the Chairman and the other Board members a big hand of applause!
As the Norwegian Ambassador to India, it is my task together with Harald to establish a “Team Norway” in this country. This team will also have an Advisory Board, and I would like to use this organization’s Governing body as the core element of my advisory board for Team Norway.
I might include additional representatives as appropriate, on a case by case basis. In order to limit the burden of meetings and travel for the Association’s Board Members, my intention is to organize these meetings as a direct continuation of the Board meetings, back to back, be it in Delhi or Mumbai.
In general the Embassy wants to work more closely also with the state level – be it on politics, business, research and innovation or culture. We have decided to aim at establishing a more visible footprint of Norway in the South, and here by choosing Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as pilot states for such an approach.
I want to pledge to you that the Embassy and Innovation Norway will do our utmost in assisting and facilitating the Association’s operations. It is my wish that it will prove to be our key contact point towards the Indo-Norwegian business community
For the first time, the Embassy, Innovation Norway in cooperation with Business Association intend to arrange a joint Norwegian Annual Seafood Dinner in Mumbai on October 7, the day before the opening of the Maritime exhibition INMEX. This will be both a large business networking event and a social event, aiming at positioning Norway in the best possible light in India, developing relations between yourselves and your customers, and hopefully also establish a good source of income for NBAI.
Norwegian Business Associations have been established in a number of Asian countries. These Associations and their members have a common annual meeting place called the Norway Asia Business Summit. This year, the Norway Asia Business Summit is hosted in Jakarta on April 26-27. An excellent networking event and arena for any Norwegian company established in Asia. I hope many of you may join me in taking part in the Summit. Let me also propose for the incoming Boards consideration that we work together to host the next Norway Asia Business Summit in India.
Let me close by thanking all of you for appointing our Commercial Counsellor and myself as honorary members of the Governing body, and for your continued support. I want once more to assure you that the whole Embassy Team, including Innovation Norway, we are here to support you in any way we can.
Finally, after the election of a new Governing Body, I have the great pleasure to invite you all to high tea — where we can get to know each other even better, have an enjoyable time and talk about how we can make more, much more business between Norway and India. Thank you so much for your kind attention.