Shipping world descends on Oslo

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The Norwegian capital was due to sport even more of a maritime atmosphere than normal next week, when thousands of shipping industry officials and employees arrive for the international Nor-Shipping conference and exhibition held every other year.

Hotels are fully booked as Oslo and the nearby city of Lillestrøm host Nor-Shipping. It will involve numerous seminars, speakers and other events both at the main Norges Varemesse exhibition hall in Lillestrøm and at hotels like The Grand Hotel in Oslo. Among those participating will be several government ministers and top shipping executives like Tor Olav Trøim of John Fredriksen’s Frontline tanker-owning group, Peter Evensen, the president and CEO of Teekay Corp, and Thomas Wilhelmsen, the heir to the Wilh Wilhelmsen shipping group of Norway.

A “maritime campus” will also be set up on the outdoor plaza in front of City Hall in Oslo, featuring booths and events aimed at boosting recruiting efforts for the shipping industry. Politicians and community leaders have also been invited to discuss maritime issues, while family members of those working in the shipping industry can learn more about it.

Nor-Shipping is traditionally opened by the king or crown prince, and Trond Giske, Norway’s government minister in charge of business and trade, will host his counterparts from other major shipping nations like Greece, South Korea, Japan and India to discuss current issues. No minister from China will attend, however. Chinese authorities have been angry with Norway since the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Giske will then escort several of his fellow minister on a trip north to Svalbard, noting to newspaper Aftenposten that the Arctic areas will become increasingly important if the Northeast passage opens to commercial navigation.

Views and News staff