Bringing the maritime industry closer together

One of the main objectives of the Federation of Norwegian Industries’ (FNI) Maritime Department is to function as a central coordinator in bringing the maritime industry closer together. The goal of greater understanding, cooperation, communication and healthy competition are keys to the ongoing success of this highly specialized, professional and technology-driven industry, and the Maritime Department has created a dynamic environment dedicated to providing support on many levels, including staging of the annual “Verftskonferanse”.

Minister of Trade and Industry Sylvia Brustad addressed the 2008 “Verftskonferanse”.
© Federation of Norwegian Industries

The annual “Verftskonferanse” is the most important meeting place for the maritime industry each year in Norway. Attended by hundreds of industry representatives all over the country, the event focuses on the both short and long-term issues that are facing the maritime industry. According to Egil Holland, responsible for the INS Maritime Department and the Verftskonferanse, “Since 2002, when the Maritime Department took over responsibility for the organization of this event, the Verftskonferanse has grown in both size and importance as the primary forum for communication within the industry.”

National & Global Focus
The topics each year are varied, focusing on such areas as the international market situation, global financing, contractual issues, strategic acquisitions and mergers, the employment status within the industry, and of course the ongoing development of technology. The topic of strategic acquisitions, mergers and corporate establishment is a major topic at the 2008 conference as the Norwegian maritime industry closely examines the trends leading in the direction of a single global market.

The highest level of Norwegian expertise and leadership is on hand at each year’s “Verftkonferanse”. For the 2008 event, the subject of global expansion was covered and discussed in detail, both from an academic viewpoint by Professor Randi Lunnan of the Norwegian School of Management (BI), as well as from a CEO industry perspective with presentations from Johannes D. Neteland of TTS Technology, Torstein Dale Sjøveit of Aker Yards/STX Europe and other key thought-leaders and decisions-makers. These are just some of the many key personnel involved in the 2008 event.

Cooperation & Communication
The Federation of Norwegian Industry’s Maritime Department and the Ministry of Trade and Industry cooperate closely on many levels, and the Ministry’s presence on the highest levels is found each year at the event. This presence is especially important given the Maritime Strategy introduced by the Ministry in 2007, a strategy that lays the groundwork for Norway’s continued maritime success as part of the ongoing process of globalization of the maritime sector.

The elements of the national Maritime Strategy are very much reflected in the yearly event. As summed up by Holland, “An ongoing dialogue and communication process is necessary for success within Norwegian maritime and the national Maritime Strategy, and topics presented and discussed at the event are nationally recognized as important in bringing the industry closer together.”

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