All posts by Margrethe Harboe

Short-haul low-carbon aluminium from Hydro in Vestre’s new furniture factory

 

 

Furniture manufacturer Vestre is now opening the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory, The Plus, at Magnor in Norway. Over 23 tonnes of Hydro CIRCAL low-carbon aluminium have been delivered for the project. Hydro CIRCAL consists of at least 75% recycled aluminium, from products that have already lived a long life as a soda can, car part or other material.

“The glass facades are specially developed for The Plus to ensure maximum transparency and the lowest possible energy consumption. The WICONA profiles that frame the glass are delivered using Hydro CIRCAL alloys,” says Frank Føleide, sales engineer at Hydro Building Systems.

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A Message from the Managing Director – June 2022

A Message from the Managing Director

Dear Members & Partners –

For as beautiful as it is, Washington D.C. is an especially testy place these days. Perhaps it’s a function of arriving in from a Norwegian hygge environment, or maybe the pandemic has been especially tough on folks who spend a good portion of their careers in face-to-face settings. Many of the US Chamber, business, and Congressional representatives we recently met with there expressed that “this administration’s lacking trade agenda” continues to be a problem.

Of course, our friends at Department of Commerce and Department of State had different perspectives on Biden administration benchmarks. “Restoring US alliances, climate change action, and a manufacturing renaissance” were reported to be well under way – and currently at the core of this administration’s international economic directives.

NATO succession, support for Ukraine, Russia sanctions, and transatlantic data flows were also high on our agenda. A strong case for removing Norway from a peculiar US list of steel and aluminum tariff national security threat nations (including China, India, Russia, Switzerland, and Turkey) was also repeatedly made on Capitol Hill.

Jason Turflinger

(counterclockwise) Nordic AmCham roundtable with Congressmen Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Fred Upton (R-MI), Ambassadors Anniken Ramberg Krutnes (NO) and Lone Dencker Wisborg (DK) ; Nordic issues in focus with US Chamber President & CEO Suzanne Clark (photo: Ian Wagreich, US Chamber of Commerce); 2022 AGM & Transatlantic Business Assembly

Alas, back in Oslo, the annual US-Norway trade (ICE) talks are now upon us – bringing with them the hope of real progress being made on these tariffs, as well as Norway healthcare industry procurement and patient access delays, climate technology collaboration, bilateral investments, and a host of additional prospective trade wins.

With AmCham’s Board and staff recently renewed and reinvigorated by a return to in-person member engagements, advancing transatlantic business abounds on multiple AmCham fronts. Our new and reformatted 2022-23 Membership Guide will soon be released – keep an eye out in the coming weeks to learn more about all we do with and for you.

After a busy run up to the close of Q2 and summer break, our August member meeting schedule will be brisk. In Arendal (Aug. 18th), our focus will be on how we can best work together to accelerate healthcare innovation and research in Norway together with AbbVie, Cisco, and Microsoft. At Hauger Golf Club (Aug. 25th), we’ll host our 22nd annual AmCham Golf Tournament together with Oracle and PwC. At ONS in Stavanger (Aug. 29th), energy technology advancements will be front and center together with ABS, City of Houston, and our US Embassy partners.

With the impending arrival of US Ambassador-Designate Marc Nathanson, our important US government partnership in Norway is happily on the cusp of expanding. After being nominated in November, providing Committee on Foreign Relations testimony in April, and finally confirmed by the Senate in early May, we eagerly anticipate Mr. Nathanson’s energy, environment, trade and investment cooperation action and engagement. We fully expect HM King Harald to warmly accept his formal presentation for accreditation to Norway. AmCham will follow suit!

AmCham Mentorship Program Kickoff: Harnessing a Growth Mindset

AmCham Mentorship Program Kickoff 2022-2023 - Harnessing a 'Growth Mindset'

The 2022-2023 edition of the AmCham Mentorship Program kicked off at BI Norwegian Business School’s Oslo campus, representing 62 program participants from 26 companies across 10 industries and cementing the unique, cross-industry design of the program. The group spanned from those who have no prior experience with a mentoring relationship to continuing participants of the program.

The program, entering its seventh year, welcomed coveted guest presenter Whitney Johnson, who presented Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company live from the US East Coast. Ranked in eighth place on the 50 leading business thinkers in the world as named by Thinkers50, Whitney is an expert on smart growth leadership and is an award-winning author, world-class keynote speaker and frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School’s Corporate Learning.

Whitney Johnson

Addressing program participants, Whitney illustrated the concept of smart growth and the s-curve of learning, a process commencing with a launching point and concluding with mastery – a process that can prove challenging at times. However, “the slant is less steep when we are climbing the mountain together” Johnson noted, referencing the mutual support that is provided in a mentoring relationship.

“You’re not who you were, but you’re not quite who you’re going to be.”

Whitney Johnson

In the pursuit of growth, Johnson eloquently described the dichotomy of existing in a process where “You’re not who you were, but you’re not quite who you’re going to be,” as each participant will present and discuss their own sets of goals to be addressed over the next nine months.

The presentation was followed by the long-awaited announcement of mentor and mentee pairings, where many partook in a one-on-one introductory meeting – the first milestone in their respective mentoring relationships.

Participating Companies 2022-23:

IMG-3659
Participants at the 2022-23 Kickoff

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally minded arena for leadership development.

The program pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

The Mentorship program is available to Patron-level members of AmCham Norway. For further information and interest in the program, please contact Margrethe.Harboe@amcham.no.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program Wrap-up & Next Edition!

The 2021-2022 edition of the AmCham Mentorship Program convened for its final meeting in February. Presenting were Hydro’s Vice President of People, Communications and Sustainability, Erika Ahlqvist and Hudson Nordic’s CEO and Managing Director, Ola Lenes.

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Norwegian Air orders 50 Boeing aircraft, options for 30 more

OSLO, May 30 (Reuters) – Norwegian Air (NAS.OL) has agreed to buy 50 Boeing (BA.N) 737 MAX aircraft and has secured options to acquire a further 30 planes, the budget carrier said on Monday.

The deal marks a return to aircraft ownership for Norwegian after the company was forced to resort to leasing deals following bankruptcy proceedings that rescued the company last year.

“The 50 aircraft are due to be delivered between 2025 and 2028, at a schedule closely corresponding to current aircraft lease expirations. This entails a limited net increase of the company’s current fleet,” Norwegian said in a statement.

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Hydro Commerce first plant in the US certified by DNV to produce Hydro CIRCAL

The aluminium plant in Commerce, Texas is Hydro’s first plant in the US certified to produce Hydro CIRCAL, a low-carbon recycled aluminium product containing at least 75% post-consumer, end of life scrap.

“With auto manufacturers switching to electric vehicles, combined with the growing need for aluminium, we see this as an opportunity to bring large-scale production of Hydro CIRCAL. We help forward-leaning customers reach their climate ambitions by delivering products with a lower carbon footprint that promote a more circular economy,” says Trond Gjellesvik, President of Hydro Aluminium Metal, North America.

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Norway Set For Cruise Travel Record In 2022

Four million cruise passengers are expected to visit Norway during 2022 on more cruise ships than ever before.

Fears that the pandemic would put people off traveling by cruise ship seem to have disappeared, at least in Scandinavia. The figures from Cruise Norway show that 500 more port calls are registered this year than in 2019, the last full year with no pandemic-related travel restrictions.

A ban on cruise calls was one of the first travel restrictions to be introduced by the Norwegian government in March 2020. But with all travel restrictions removed earlier this year, the cruise season is already well underway in Norway.

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Empire Wind selects Edison Chouest Offshore to provide plug-in hybrid service operations vessel

Empire Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Equinor and bp, has awarded a long-term service operations vessel charter agreement to US marine transportation provider, Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO).

The plug-in hybrid service operations vessel (SOV) will be the first in the US offshore wind sector capable of sailing partly on battery power.

The vessel will accommodate up to 60 wind turbine technicians and will be utilized for the safe and efficient operations and maintenance of the Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 offshore wind farms. The charter agreement has a fixed period of 10 years, with commencement in the mid-2020s.

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Defigo strengthens foothold in the United States with new distribution agreement

Defigo, leader in digital access control solutions for residential and commercial buildings, has announced a new distribution agreement with Brooklyn Low Voltage Supply (BLVS), wholesaler of security solutions for buildings in the greater New York area.

‍The deal will see BLVS act as Defigo’s logistics and distribution partner in the states of New York and California. This move strengthens Defigo’s foothold in one of the largest and most important markets in the PropTech world, and allows them to provide their solutions to even more commercial and residential real estate companies. Thanks to this agreement, more tenants in the greater New York area will be able to take advantage of Defigo’s all-in-one access control solution.

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Norway Raises Wealth Tax, Scraps EV Sales Tax Exemption

Norway’s coalition government is raising the wealth tax and cutting a sales tax exemption on electric vehicles as it seeks to stem spending from its wealth fund and prevent the economy from overheating.

The government proposes raising the wealth tax rate for joint stock companies, mutual funds and banks to 0.25% from 0.15% from the current year and will phase out the value added tax exemption for electric cars from 2023, according to a website statement on the revised budget on Thursday. The exemption will be replaced by a subsidy for EV purchases of as much as 500,000 kroner ($50,700).

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AmCham 2022 AGM & Transatlantic Business Assembly

AmCham Annual General Meeting & Transatlantic Business Assembly

Joined by valued members and key government stakeholders, AmCham board members and staff hosted another successful Annual General Meeting and Transatlantic Business Assembly. Simultaneously serving as, what one speaker dubbed, the ‘unofficial housewarming party’ as well as host, Simula welcomed guests to their newly opened downtown Oslo campus for an evening of financial disclosures, political debate, and American wine – supported by 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged wines. 

With only one departure, AmCham’s board of directors was reconfirmed for another term, with 3M’s Ketil Nordengen again taking the position of chair. Ketil shared his thoughts on the solid work AmCham has done throughout 2021 and 2022 in supporting the transatlantic relationship and business ties between the US and Norway, and expressed his appreciation for the strong political ties between the two countries as Europe faces war so close to home.

Speaking to the many initiatives taken on by the chamber in the past year, as well as upcoming issues of advocacy and member engagement, each of AmCham’s four staff members discussed their particular area of focus and considerations for the coming months.

Following this summary of AmCham’s work was the annual Transatlantic Business Assembly, this year with key note speeches from US Embassy Charges d’Affaires Sharon Hudson-Dean as well as Member of Parliament and Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Ine Eriksen Søreide. After two deeply thoughtful addresses on the importance of transatlantic allyship and trade-partnership, accompanied by disavowal of the current aggressions against Ukraine, Hudson-Dean and Søreide were joined by Norse Atlantic Airways CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen, 3M Country Lead and Director Global ECO Sales Effectiveness, Ketil Nordengen, and DNV’s Director of Certification Thomas Vogth-Eriksen for a panel discussion on the state of transatlantic business relationships.

Reflecting on the current ‘perfect storm’ of conflict, food shortages and energy crises, panelists discussed the role of the transatlantic relationship. Each expressed optimism in their views on the EU-US partnership moving forward – whether represented through the Supplementary Defence Cooperation Agreement, the upcoming Trade and Technology Council, or collaborations coming out of COP26.

AmCham was thrilled to have been able to host such a thoughtful and provocative discussion amongst these business and political stalwarts and looks forward to the year ahead. It will surely be filled with creative collaborations, acute political involvement, and strong member-relationships.

AmCham Board of Directors

Ketil

Chair

Ketil Nordengen

3M – Director Global ECO Sales Effectiveness

Kristine-Beitland

First Vice Chair

Kristine Beitland

Microsoft Norge – Corporate Affairs Director

Charlie-Lea-167x209

Second Vice Chair

Charlie Lea

KPMG – Partner

Treasurer

Michael Klem

SR-Bank Forretningspartner – Associate

 

Liaison

Vidar Keyn

US Embassy – Head of Commercial Section

Director

Muhammed Ali

MSD Norway – Managing Director

Director

Andreas Berg

Tailormade Consulting – Managing Director

Director

Per Hynne

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Norway – Head of Public Affairs, Communication & Sustainability

Director

Elisabeth Hellemose

AIG Europe Limited – Branch Manager Norway

Director

Pål Rokke

Citi Norway – Country Officer

Director

Stanley Stewart

Partner – DLA Piper

Director

Trine Strømsnes

Cisco Norge – Managing Director

Director

Thomas Vogth-Eriksen

DNV – Director of Certification