All posts by Tyler Barrott

UN FAO: Google and FAO launch new Big Data tool for all

Anyone anywhere can access multidimensional maps and statistics showing key climate and environmental trends wherever they are, thanks to a new tool developed by Google and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Earth Map is an innovative and free-to-use Web-based tool to provide efficient, rapid, inexpensive and analytically cogent insights, drawn from satellites as well as FAO’s considerable wealth of agriculturally relevant data, with a few clicks on a computer. Earth Map has also been designed to empower and provide integrative synergies with the federated FAO’s Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform, a more comprehensive tool to provide Members, their partners and donors with the means to identify and execute highly-targeted rural development initiatives with multiple goals ranging from climate adaptation and mitigation to socio-economic resilience.

Its development follows the successful Collect Earth platform jointly developed with Google under FAO’s OpenForis suite of tools, which has already proven useful for forest assessments; land cover assessments and project design and implementation.

Read entire article here

Mentorship Midway Meeting 2020

Mentorship Midway Meeting 2020

“When working with competent colleagues, be prepared that their solutions will be different than what yours would have been. If it is done with ambition and inspiration within the frameworks, that is leadership.”

So declared guest leadership presenter Thomas Vogth-Eriksen, DNV GL’s Global Director of Certifications, during AmCham’s latest Mentorship Program gathering at Hotel Bristol. For the mid-point of the 2020 program, participants met in person – and in socially distanced fashion – to absorb leadership tips from Vogth-Eriksen, AbbVie Norway Country Lead Kirsti Nyhus, and one another.


Thomas Vogth-Eriksen – Global Director of Certifications

Kirsti Nyhus – Norway Country Lead

Focusing strongly on the importance of both career planning and communication with colleagues at varying levels, he highlighted the need for flexibility and personal challenges. As is unique to someone in Vogth-Eriksen’s position, he was able to provide insights into topics applicable to both program mentors and mentees as they navigate their careers.

The baton of career development was swiftly picked up by Nyhus, who is at the helm of a company regularly top-ranked as a Great Place to Work in Norway. 

“Of primary importance to our employees, and to us as employers, is pride in what we are doing, and where we are working,” she noted.

Contributing to that pride are AbbVie’s five elements of talent philosophy: Performance, Behaviors, Differentiation, Accountability and Transparency. Nyhus illustrated the importance and implementation of each element, demonstrating how such a strong focus on company culture and personal growth has yielded such positive results.

After both presentations, mentors and mentees discussed a range of related issues including family onboarding for overseas postings, volunteering for new and challenging tasks, and how to sort out communication challenges amongst team members. The discussions represented the very best of the AmCham Mentorship Program – a cross-industry arena in which enthusiastic professionals hone leadership skills through collaboration!

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation and global approach, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally-minded arena for leadership development. The program, now in its fifth year, 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.

“Expect the Unexpected” – C-SPAN Journalist and Presidential Debate Moderator Steve Scully Joins Nordic AmChams for a Special Election Update

“Expect the Unexpected” – C-SPAN Journalist and Presidential Debate Moderator Steve Scully Joins Nordic AmChams for a Special Election Update

In a dynamic US Election Series session, AmCham Norway and fellow Nordic AmChams hosted one of Washington’s most seasoned political journalists, C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, for an inside look at the upcoming presidential election.

Scully led off by letting attendees know that they should simply “expect the unexpected,” something the highly experienced newsman noted was informing his preparations for moderating the October 15 town hall format Biden-Trump debate.

Click here to watch a full video recording of the session

Throughout the AmCham session, Scully drew upon his three decades of experience covering US presidential elections, juxtaposing these insights with anecdotes from his own personal exchanges with President Trump and Vice President Biden. Chief among them was relying too much on polling, which Scully noted are snapshots of the race at an exact moment, often failing to capture the fluidity and dynamism of presidential elections in the 21st century.

A part of that dynamism is the “October surprise,” a topic Scully also touched upon. While there will no doubt be revelations within the next several weeks, Scully noted that “heightened levels of political polarization in the US – unlike anything witnessed in my three decades as political journalist – make it difficult to predict the effect such an event would have on the election.”

Scully rounded out the session by taking questions from attendees, providing unique, highly-informed takes on common election narratives found in the Nordic news media.

You can watch or re-watch the webinar with Steve Scully on a video recording (available soon!)

About the US Election Series

With the 2020 US elections only weeks away, AmCham Norway, in collaboration with our fellow Nordic AmChams and the US Embassy in Norway, continues our 2020 US Election Series. Featuring experts and commentators from diverse organizations such as Fox News, TV 2, Pew Research Center, C-SPAN, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the fact-based series is developed to enlighten and engage business and government leaders on a political process that impacts us all.

Other US Election Series Events

Mapping the US Political Landscape Ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election with Pew Research Center’s Brad Stokes

AmCham Norway, in partnership with AmChams across the Nordics, hosted a highly engaging, data-driven session on the US presidential election with Pew Research Center’s Brad Jones.
With under 70 days left until Americans choose their next administration, the US is facing a menagerie of political, economic, and health issues – all culminating in a highly polarized political climate around what many commentators are calling the most important election in more than 50 years.

Read More »

Reuters: Norway may have to tighten COVID-19 restrictions, PM says

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway is going to stop easing coronavirus curbs for the moment and could be forced to bring back tougher measures following a recent rise in the number of cases, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Thursday.

Norway went into lockdown in mid-March and quickly saw a sharp fall in new cases, then began a gradual easing of restrictions in May.

“The government is considering tighter measures,” Solberg told a news conference.

Read entire article here

Bloomberg: Citi Names Fraser as First Female CEO of Wall Street Bank

Citigroup Inc. picked Jane Fraser as its next chief executive officer, placing the first woman atop a major Wall Street bank.

Fraser will succeed Mike Corbat, who is retiring in February after more than eight years in the top job. Fraser, who was named the company’s president last year in a move that marked her as the heir apparent, has run the bank’s consumer unit, private bank and Latin American operations in her 16-year tenure.

Corbat helped Citigroup shrink and return to consistent profitability after the behemoth almost collapsed in the 2008 financial crisis. Now, Fraser will be tasked with improving returns that trail industry leader JPMorgan Chase & Co. and using the bank’s global network in a world that’s seeing more nationalism and trade barriers.

Read entire article here

European Commission: Commission adopts proposals to make EU-US agreement on tariffs effective

The European Commission today published a proposal for a Council and European Parliament regulation to scrap duties on certain imports to the EU. In return, the United States will reduce its duties on certain EU exports to the U.S. market. This will put into effect the agreement announced by the EU and the U.S. on 21 August 2020. These tariff reductions between the EU and the U.S. will increase access to both EU and U.S. markets by around €200 million per year.

Read entire article here

Press Release: Equinor partners with BP in US offshore wind to capture value and create platform for growth

Equinor (OSE: EQNR, NYSE: EQNR) has entered into an agreement with BP (LSE: BP, NYSE: BP) to sell 50% non-operated interests in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets on the US east coast for a total consideration before adjustments of USD 1.1 billion. Through this transaction, the two companies are also establishing a strategic partnership for further growth within offshore wind in the US.

Currently Equinor holds a 100% interest in both the Empire Wind lease, located off the coast of New York State, and the Beacon Wind lease, located off the Massachusetts coast. The transaction is in line with Equinor’s renewable strategy to access attractive acreage early and at scale, mature projects, and capture value by de-risking high equity ownership positions.

Read entire press release here

DN: Tine Austvoll Jensen blir ny norgessjef i Google

For én uke siden kunngjorde Discovery Norge at Tine Austvoll Jensen slutter som administrerende direktør for å bli toppsjef i et annet, hemmelig selskap. I en pressemelding torsdag morgen kommer det frem at Jensen tar over etter Jan Grønbech som ny norgessjef i Google.

– Som et digitalt foregangsland er Norge et spesielt marked, og det er med stor entusiasme jeg tar på meg denne nye rollen. Vi er inne i en helt spesiell tid, men jeg er optimist og tror sterkt at Google og selskapets teknologi kan spille en viktig rolle i å akselerere den økonomiske gjenoppbyggingen i Norge. Min første prioritet vil være å støtte Google Norges ansatte og kunder på alle måter jeg kan, og å hjelpe våre partnere i Norge med å få mest mulig ut av de digitale mulighetene. Jeg gleder meg veldig til å bruke tid på å bli kjent med alle mine nye kolleger og teammedlemmer i og utenfor Norge, sier Tine Austvoll Jensen i meldingen.

Les hele saken her

Minister of Agriculture & Food Olaug Bollestad on the Export of Organic Norwegian Agricultural Products to the US

Minister of Agriculture & Food Olaug Bollestad (KrF) recently replied to a written question (no. 2461) from Bård Hoksrud (FrP) regarding if she will work to land an agreement that will make it possible for Norwegian producers to export organic products to the US.

Bollestad noted that in the absence of an equivalence agreement (the EU and US have such an agreement, but the agreement is not, however, a part of the EEA agreement), a product must be certified organic by US authorities.

She further added, on the other hand, that the the regime for organic food production in the EU and EEA countries is a part of the EEA agreement, meaning that all products in Norway are produced and labelled based on the same requirements for EU countries.

You can read the original reply, in Norwegian, below or at

Landbruks- og matminister Olaug Bollestad har svart på skriftlig spørsmål fra stortingsrepresentant Bård Hoksrud (FrP) om statsråden vil jobbe for at vi får på plass en avtale med USA som gjør det mulig for norske bedrifter å eksportere økologiske produkter til USA.

Spm. nr. 2461 til skriftlig besvarelse fra stortingsrepresentant Bård Hoksrud

Stortingsrepresentant Bård Hoksrud har stilt følgende spørsmål til skriftlig besvarelse:

“Jeg skjønner at det har vært utfordrende å jobbe for å få på plass en avtale med USA om dette når vi nå har hatt en pandemi som har gjort at en del aktivitet er satt på vent.
Men nå er det viktig å bidra til å hjelpe norske bedrifter som ser muligheter for å sikre de arbeidsplassene man allerede har men også se potensiale for å skape nye og flere, så vil statsråden nå jobbe for at vi får på plass en avtale med USA som gjør det mulig for norske bedrifter å eksportere økologiske produkter til USA?”

Jeg er enig med representanten Hoksrud at det er viktig å bidra til at norske (mat)bedrifter får rammebetingelser som åpner for at bedriftene kan utnytte sitt markedspotensiale og dermed skape flere arbeidsplasser.

Når det gjelder salg av norske økologiske produkter til det amerikanske markedet, er det riktig som representanten påpeker, at det kreves en ekvivalensavtale, eller alternativt at produktet må sertifiseres eller anerkjennes av amerikanske kontrollmyndigheter som økologisk produkt.

Det foreligger ingen avtale mellom Norge og USA som omhandler økologiske produkter i dag. Det innebærer at norskprodusert økologisk knekkebrød som skal selges i USA må sertifiseres eller anerkjennes som økologisk av amerikanske myndigheter.

I fravær av en avtale mellom våre to land, må Bakeverket AS søke om sertifisering av sitt økologiske produkt for det amerikanske markedet. EU og USA har inngått en ekvivalensavtale, som gjør at økologisk merkede produkter fra EU anerkjennes som økologiske produkter i USA. Slike ekvivalensavtaler er ikke en del av EØS-avtalen. Det vil likevel være hensiktsmessig å vise til at regelverket for økologisk produksjon er en del av EØS-avtalen, og at produkter fra Norge derfor er produsert og merket etter de samme kravene som i EU-land.

Mitt departement kan bidra med mer informasjon om prosessen, og jeg vil samtidig vise til Innovasjon Norge sitt apparat som kan hjelpe norske bedrifter med sine produkter ut på markedet internasjonalt.

Med hilsen

Olaug Vervik Bollestad


MAREX: IN THE KNOW Podcast 20 – DNV GL on Class in the COVID-19 Era

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things about the way that shipping does business, but safety of life at sea is still paramount. DNV GL, the world’s leading class society, has been working to keep the shipping industry safe since 1864; its core activities remain the same, but it has adapted its working methods to the new reality of lockdowns, limited travel and social distancing. DNV GL was an early adopter of remote survey services and remote advisory centers, and these established systems allow its technical experts to support vessels and offshore assets around the world – without the challenges of travel in the coronavirus era. 

To learn more about these developments and the state of the industry, MAREX editor-in-chief Tony Munoz recently spoke with Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL Maritime. For the details, listen to their conversation here.