The Nordic countries and China agree on cooperation in new areas after a meeting between Secretary General Dagfinn Høybråten in the Nordic Council of Ministers and China’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In February last year, the Nordic Co-operation Ministers decided that the possibilities for new areas of cooperation with China should be explored.
During Thursday’s meeting in Beijing, it was agreed that the areas of greatest interest are innovation, sustainable development, tourism, welfare and culture.
“Both sides are very pleased with the progress of Nordic-Chinese cooperation. They believe such cooperation is important and has a great growth potential.
China and the Nordic region have a unique opportunity to improve relations, according to a joint press release from China and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
In addition to the former KrF party leader Høybråten, who has been Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers since 2013, Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland are also in China this week, among other things, to lead a Norwegian sports and cultural delegation.
In April, Prime Minister Erna Solberg traveled to China on the first Norwegian state visit for ten years. Nearly 240 persons from the Norwegian business and industry represented the record-wide delegation.
China’s President Xi Jinping, in connection with the state visit, expressed a wish for more cooperation with Norway and bragged in the Chinese media about the Norwegian efforts to normalize relations between the countries. China cut all political contact with Norway after the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.
Nordic Council of Ministers is a forum for representatives of the Nordic governments where topics of common Nordic interest are discussed.
By unanimity, the Council of Ministers may submit proposals to the Nordic Council, in some cases also make decisions that are binding to the individual governments.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today