“My impression is that Kristiansand is an important Norwegian city, with a robust economy and focus on technology and innovation. Your Mayor is also very innovative and open for investments in the US, which is my job to help facilitate,” said Kenneth J. Braithwaite, who has served as Ambassador to Norway since December 2017.
“Kristiansand’s business sector has strong connections to the US. Several of our large companies have American owners, and others have a large customer base in the US. We are pleased to connect with the US Ambassador and appreciate his visit,” said Harald Furre, Mayor of Kristiansand.
In Kristiansand City Hall, the Ambassador got to meet 13 business sector representatives, including GCE NODE, Kristiansand Chamber of Commerce, National Oilwell Varco, Voss Water and several other established and start-up companies.
Some made no efforts to hide the fact that they would like to see the Ambassador help open doors to the US market.
“That’s why I am here! You have my business card, now let us get to know each other,” replied Braithwaite.
The American Embassy in Norway has its own US Commercial Section, established for the purpose of identifying and promoting business relations between Norway and the US.
Ann Marchioro, Project Manager at GCE NODE, informed the Ambassador of the strong ties between Kristiansand and Houston, as two global hubs for offshore drilling. She invited him to join the cluster, its participating companies and the Agder political delegation to oil and gas expo OTC in Houston next year.
Marchioro also stressed the close cooperation between GCE NODE, Rice University and University of Texas in Austin, a relationship initiated by the Norwegian Consulate General in Houston.
On his way to Kristiansand, Ambassador Braithwaite stopped by Mechatronics Innovation Lab, a national pilot testing facility in Grimstad. He also attended an outreach for American citizens in Kristiansand, hosted by Kristiansand International School.