Opnunarávarp ráðstefnunnar Future of Food:
I welcome all of you attending here in Harpa and over the web in both in Iceland and in Singapore.
Everything is unusual these days. To many of you – in Iceland and Singapore- your first reaction may be to think that you are linking up with the other side of the moon. The Arctic meets the Equator…
But then, looking beyond geography and studying the Singapore goal of tripling its local food production by 2030, you see the beneficials of linking up with Iceland - a traditional provider of food and food-tech.
We have a clear purpose that of working together, of connecting people, of learning from each other, for mutual benefits.
We see the two ambassadors on the same stage, pulling together their resources. We see the key business promotion actors in a dialogue.
And let me be clear when it comes to sustainability: Nothing happens unless we act. And we must act. It has been predicted that by 2050, the need for food in the world will have doubled. We all know that the present level of food production is causing danger, so imagine the result for the environment if double the current level.
We need a strong rules-based international system. We need all relevant actors to work together, be it private or public sector. We must use are diplomatic channels and our business connection. If we exclude the private sector for political reasons, as some politicians tend to advocate, we will never reach our goals.
We both ask, how small foreign services can maximize their impact in a rapidly changing world? What role to play within the international system for the common good? How to use global governance to achieve national objectives?
Innovation, reinventing parts and processes of our food production, is extremely important, combining sustainability and economic progress.
We must intensify our trade, our cooperation among first-rate scientists and our mutual technological transfer.
In my mind the government is never the solution, but diplomatic relations and international relations on state level can pave the way for individuals and companies of different nations to connect and work together for mutual benefits. And this has never been more important.
Thank you all.