Oslo: Opening Remarks At Seminar: Norwegian-Armenian Cooperation In


Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Nov 9 2011

Dear Minister, Rector, representatives of civil society and business,
dear friends,

It is an honour for me to visit Armenia and it is a pleasure for me
to address you here today. We are launching an important cooperation
project between our two countries. Energy supply, energy security,
is on our agenda.

My country knows well the importance and potential of hydropower.

Hydropower lies at the foundation of Norway’s industrial development,
and accounts for almost all of our electricity production.

Hydropower plays an important role in our energy supply, with about
60% of Norway’s total energy consumption covered by renewable energy.

Over a time span of generations, Norway has acquired considerable
experience in many areas of hydropower development: ~Upredictable
and transparent rules, ~Uan open market system ~Uan appropriate tax
regime, ~Utogether with the essential human factor, such as highly
competent engineers and managers.

All these areas play a crucial role in facilitating successful growth.

Armenia has created a favourable regulatory framework for
the development of small-scale hydropower. I hope that this
Norwegian-Armenian cooperation will contribute to environmentally
friendly and efficient natural resources management in the further
development of the hydropower sector in this country.

Economic growth must always be based on sustainable use of resources.

I also welcome the emphasis in this project on transparency and
public participation. I am very pleased that Armenia has ratified
the Aarhus Convention. Through this cooperation, Armenia is taking
further steps towards full public access to environmental information
and participation in decision making.

Transparency is also important for both local and foreign investors.

The bilateral relations between Norway and Armenia are good, and there
is scope for more cooperation between our countries. Later today,
I will visit Yerevan State University, which cooperates with the
University of Bergen on a programme on environmental microbiology.

I hope that cooperation between Norwegian and Armenian academic
and technical milieus will contribute to further strengthening our

I thank you all for your contributions to this promising endeavour. I
look forward to seeing future results, and wish you every success in
turning this project into practical results on the ground. Thank you.