Minot delegation says connections made on Norway trade trip

Farm Forum

MINOT, N.D. (AP) – Members of a Minot trade delegation who visited Norway in August say they made significant business connections with major agricultural and energy firms.

They met with representatives of fertilizer and polyethylene production industries in Oslo and Telemark, and presented Minot as a possible location for new plants, the Minot Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1L166J3 ).

The group, which was invited by the mayor of Telemark, also visited research teams and manufacturers of inland fish farms and met prominent leaders from the Norwegian Parliament, U.S. Embassy and Skien, Minot’s sister city. The Telemark Trade Office helped establish key business meetings with Yara, OPD Group, INEOS, Green Business Norway, and other firms.

Stephanie Hoffart, president and chief executive of the Minot Area Development Corp., said she’s amazed at ODP Group’s diversity of services, which include pipelines for water use, fish farming, onshore systems, water systems, water barriers, manholes and road barriers.

“There’s so much synergy with what they do and what North Dakota needs,” she said.

Minot Mayor Chuck Barney said he was particularly encouraged after meeting with Yara, a company focused on increasing crop nutrition and technologies, improving product quality and delivering sustainable solutions for environmental and agriculture practices. Minot leaders encouraged Yara to locate in Minot, highlighting the low construction costs due to the oil boom slow down, water availability for a cooling system, feedstock convenience, transportation accessibility and North Dakota’s top production ranking in 12 commodities.

Bjorn Forsdal, director of the Telemark Trade Office, said he believes there are exciting opportunities between Minot and Telemark.

“We will continue to do as much as we can to facilitate for more business taking place and that both our regions can continue to prosper in a positive and sustainable way,” Forsdal said.

The Minot Area Development Corp. sent delegates from its own organization, the city of Minot, the Minot Chamber of Commerce, Visit Minot and Norsk Hstfest. Ninety percent of the trip was funded by a North Dakota Department of Commerce Partners in Marketing grant.