The Royal Couple to open doors in Chile

Heyerdahl Easter Island Skull ChileThor Heyerdahl Jr. (80) with a skull from Easter Island which his famous father brought with him in 1956. Now his son will return them. In March, Heyerdahl jr. to Chile together with both the Royal Couple and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. On behalf of the Kon-Tiki Museum, where he himself was chairman for many years, he will sign the agreement to return the skeletons, skulls and objects to the Museum of Easter Island. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

The Royal Couple to open business doors in Chile

Chile is Norway’s hardest competitor in the salmon market, but still the 100-year-old friendship between the countries flourishes. The Norwegian Royal Couple lands in Santiago de Chile on Tuesday.

”To quote industrial builder Idar Ulstein: « We work together when we can and compete when we must»,” Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Harald T. Nesvik (Frp), tells NTB.

He is a member of the state visit to Chile alongside the Royal Couple and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (H). The visit marks 100 years of diplomatic relations between the countries. A relationship that flourishes like never before – despite the fierce competition in the salmon market.

“Chile is now the world’s second-largest salmon exporter after Norway, and breathe down our necks. This, however, opens up opportunities for cooperation in the industry,” the Minister of Fisheries emphasises.

“Norway is the largest foreign player in Chile in aquaculture and fisheries, and the opportunities for the Norwegian supplier industry are large,” explains Nesvik.

Business delegation

More than 60 Norwegian companies have already been established in the long-distance country. With the royal couple in the lead, Innovation Norway hopes to open even more doors through the state visit.

70 representatives from Norwegian business and industry participate in the trip.

“We have companies with us from a number of sectors, and several of them have never previously participated in business delegations. We have representatives with us from large Norwegian companies to small entrepreneurs, who look at Chile as an exciting market,” head of the business delegation to Chile, Cathrine Pia Lund, tells NTB.

Lund believes that Norway can get a lot out of the visit.

“The goal is to make Norway a preferred partner for Chile in the business sector and policy areas of common interest for both countries, through, among other things, creating awareness of Norwegian companies’ products and solutions. We also want to ensure support for the international work on a sustainable marine economy,” she explains.

Return human skulls

But it’s not just business and the fishing that is on the program. Among other things, the Kon Tiki Museum and Thor Heyerdahl Jr. participate in a ceremony where they will mark that items from Easter Island will be returned.

These include skulls, skeletons, hollow stones and rock axes. Items which the adventurer and anthropologist, Thor Heyerdahl, took with him after excavations on the isolated island community in Polynesia during 1955-1956.

“The ring is closed in many ways. The promise at the time was to bring them back when they had been researched. We will now fulfil that pledge,” Thor Heyerdahl Jr. tells NTB.


For Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, the visit offers, among other events, a bilateral meeting with Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero. She will, together with the Royal Couple, also meet President Sebastián Piñera and First Lady, Cecilia Morel, as well as a number of other representatives from the Chilean authorities.

The world’s southernmost city

The last state visit to Chile was made by King Olav in 1967.  Crown Prince Haakon also visited the country, in 2008.

“Our two countries have a lot in common – like beautiful, contrasting nature, with fjords, high mountains and a long coastline. At the same time, Chile has a climate that many Norwegians would prefer over our own,” Haakon said at the time.

It can, however, be quite cold south of Chile.  The Royal Couple will travel all the way to the world’s southernmost city – Puerto Williams – during the trip.

In addition, they will spend a few days in Punta Arenas, where they will open a seminar on Antarctica, among other things.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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