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October 4, 2017

Delegation from Norway exploring business development in Portland

Photo / Lori Valigra
Photo / Lori Valigra
Dana Eidsness, director of the Maine North Atlantic Development Office, which is one of three new members of the Arctic Economic Council and the first AEC member coming from the lower 48 states of the United States, is welcoming a delegation from Norway arriving today in Portland for three days of meetings and networking events.

About MENADO, Ramboll and the Arctic Circle Assembly

The Maine North Atlantic Development Office facilitates the development of North Atlantic/Arctic networks connecting Maine businesses, educators and innovation leaders with regional opportunities for trade in goods, services, and innovation exchanges. MENADO is an initiative of the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development and is housed within the Maine International Trade Center in Portland. www.mitc.com

Ramboll is a leading engineering, design and consultancy company founded in Denmark in 1945. The company employs 13,000 globally and has especially strong representation in the Nordics, United Kingdom, North America, continental Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Ramboll works across numerous markets, including buildings, transport, planning and urban design, water, environment and health, energy, oil and Gas and management consulting. Its operations in the United States encompass a network of over 50 offices. The Portland office collaborates regularly with the company's Arctic Group, headquartered in Tromsų, Norway. www.ramboll.com

The Arctic Circle Assembly — a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that hosts an annual assembly in its home city, Reykjavik, Iceland — oversees the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. It is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe.

A delegation of 12 Norwegian businesses, joined by officials from the Norwegian city of Tromsų, is scheduled to arrive in Portland today for three days of meetings and networking events.

Maine North Atlantic Development Office at Maine International Trade Center and Ramboll, a global engineering and management consulting firm with offices in Portland and Tromsų, will be hosting the visiting delegation during its time in Portland.

Often called the "Paris of the North" and situated 217 miles above the Arctic Circle, Tromsų is home to the secretariats of the Arctic Council and Arctic Economic Council, as well as host to the annual, globally attended Arctic Frontiers conference.

Buyers, sellers and potential partners with interests in biotech innovation, marine sciences, aquaculture, and food and beverage industries — including the northernmost brewery in the world — will visit and meet companies in southern Maine in an effort to boost trade between the ports of Portland and Tromsų.

Why this visit matters

"Maine has strategically focused on North Atlantic and Arctic business development and international collaboration over the last four years through the efforts of MENADO and its partners, and this effort has raised global awareness of Maine as an important part of the Arctic-Atlantic economy," Dana Eidsness, director of MENADO at MITC, said in a news release. "Being intentional about developing business networks with Tromsų is delivering opportunities to our door. There is a realization that increased throughput in our ports is mutually beneficial to our respective economies."

The City of Tromsų will be represented by Jarle Heitmann, chairman of the Port of Tromsų, who is heading the delegation to develop relationships with the Maine Port Authority and the City of Portland.

"The progress and economic development of Portland during the past several years, along with the positive collaboration between Ramboll's Tromsų and Portland offices, encouraged Ramboll to help organize this trade delegation in partnership with MENADO," said Miranda Henning, managing principal of Ramboll's Portland office. "We have experienced firsthand the similarities in culture, appetites, and recognition of quality shared by Mainers and Norwegians. The business, research, and public sectors in Tromsų are interested in learning more and establishing partnerships with Maine."

The delegation visit comes out of Ramboll's collaboration with MENADO and partners to establish an initiative that organizes port cities in Maine, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Norway for joint business development.

The delegation's visit concludes on Friday.

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