Wegger Strommen – Ambassador of Norway
Honorable Wegger Strommen, Ambassador from Norway (Lifetime Honorary NB Rotary Club Member) He began his presentation by announcing that it was his left eye that works and that he is blind in his right eye which wanders!
He was in NYC from 2000-2005 and has been in DC since 2007. He returns to Norway later this year.
Some of the changes he has witnessed: the Iraq War is over, troops are coming home from Afghanistan and there is no easy solution for Syria. The biggest change has been the financial crisis— close to a fundamental breakdown in the fall of 2008. Since then health care has gone up as has the number of students seeking a college education and its cost. He feels the DC area has changed a lot— it is “privileged”. The Midwest and other areas are possibly not so fortunate. He says the US won’t need to import oil in a few years and mentioned the North Dakota production as contributing to cheap energy as well as our natural gas supply. He said we export coal to China. He speculated about the possibility of an international oil pipeline. He said Norway’s economy has improved. They export Natural Gas, oil, and fish.
He says everybody wants to come to the United States! “A hundred million Chinese would be here tomorrow morning if they could get visas!” It takes so long to get a visa that it affects visitors’ interest in investing in the US. Our demographics are changing rapidly with increase in Mexican and Asian immigrants. Europe is changing very slowly. He said English is a hard language to learn. The Dutch speak most languages.