Address by Valgerdur Sverrisdottir, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Iceland
at the Awards Ceremony for the European Awards in Brussels, Nov. 15, 2001
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for the privilege of being invited to this Awards Ceremony.
For the last few days I have been attending the WTO - Ministerial Meeting in Quatar - where we have been seeking joint solutions for the promotion of global trade.
I must say, that after the turmoil at that meeting - Brussels seems like a peaceful resting place - but we who are here tonight - share a common vision with the rest of the world - a vision of prosperous life and a sustainable economic growth.
Iceland is now participating in the contest for the European Awards for the first time. We have, however, been conducting a similar national contest for a few years - at home.
Our national contest has been very successful - with participation far beyond expectations. The positive influence of the competitions became
immediately evident. Forgotten business ideas were brought into daylight - and young entrepreneurs were encouraged to take advantage of their creativity.
Now the Icelanders are here for the first time. The young entrepreneurs are here because they want to be noticed as dynamic and vibrant players in the international arena. And we, the politicians, support them as we realise that innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving forces of the economic development. The contest for the European Awards has created interest and awareness which is of great importance in facilitating entrepreneurship and the creation of new well-paid jobs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with these few words, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.