Trond Giske about partnershipsTrade Minister Giske: "Germany is our most important trade partner"
Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske turned on the lights of the traditional Norwegian Christmas tree of the German capital at Pariser Platz in Berlin on the first Sunday of Advent. In a festive ceremony set against the backdrop of the Brandenburg Gate, the minister spoke about the significance of this 20-year-old tradition for the partnership between Germany and Norway, but also praised the excellent relations between the two countries in the field of energy. The Christmas tree – initially a symbol of Norway’s solidarity with Germany’s reunification – is the traditional Christmas gift from the municipality of Frogn to Berlin. For the second year now, Wintershall is sponsoring the Christmas tree decorations, which were designed by the two young designers Eva Marit Tøftum and Silje Søfting from "She Design" in the town of Ski.
"The Norwegian fish you enjoy eating so much in Germany is often cooked with Norwegian gas."
Giske began his speech, which he held in German much to the surprise of his audience, by summarizing Germany’s economic importance for Norway: "Germany is our most important trade partner." Last year the trade volume between the two countries was already 20 billion euros – and this continues to grow. Regarding the bilateral energy relations with Germany Giske said: "The contribution from Wintershall also symbolizes the special relationship and the good cooperation between our two countries in the energy supply." Norway had long since been one of the main energy suppliers for the German market, he said.
With the signing of the energy agreements between Statoil and Wintershall this November, the German company has become one of the important partners on the Norwegian energy market in recent months. "Wintershall is now one of the largest concession holders on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In November Wintershall and Statoil signed an important energy agreement which will enable more than two million German households to be supplied with Norwegian natural gas in future," Giske emphasized. But it shouldn’t stop there in Giske‘s opinion: "Even if the relations between our two countries are extremely good, they can become even closer. I believe we should deepen the bilateral cooperation – both economic and cultural – even further." This is a clear signal for Wintershall to further deepen its commitment in Norway and continue expanding existing partnerships.
The event was accompanied by music from the band Katzenjammer.