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Erling Øverland new NHO president

June 10, 2004, 16:25 CEST

Erling Øverland, Statoil’s acting chief executive, was elected the new president of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) yesterday, 9 June.

"We must put industrial value creation higher up on our agenda," said Mr Øverland. "We must be aware that the value has to be created before it can be distributed. Natural resources must be given a higher focus in general, and that applies to natural gas in particular.

"It is also important that an improved dialogue is achieved between the players in our society. Politicians, employers and employees must join forces in building the welfare state. The succession of strikes we have witnessed over the last few months must be avoided. I will strive continuously to achieve a better dialogue."

He adds: "For me personally, it will also be important to work to ensure that young people find business and industry interesting. Business and industry must ensure that it appears attractive to able, well-educated young people. In general, we must concentrate our efforts more on education and knowledge, and promote interest in technology and the sciences in particular."

The newly-appointed president will help ensure that NHO becomes a strong, effective organisation for its member companies.

"We must secure internationally competitive frame conditions, and a low subscription for our members," stresses Mr Øverland.

He succeeds Jens Ulltveit-Moe and will hold the presidency for two years.