25.07.2006 · The Government

The PM's Speech at SIEC/ISBE International Conference

On behalf of the people of the Faroes, it is my great honour to welcome such a prestigious assembly and an honour to open this international conference.

The Prime Minister's Welcoming Speech at 78th SIEC/ISBE International Conference 24 July 2006

Honoured members of the International Society for Business Education;

Esteemed Assembly!

On behalf of the people of the Faroes, it is my great honour to welcome such a prestigious assembly and an honour to open this international conference. We in the Faroes are very pleased that you have chosen to hold your conference here. As an island people, we especially welcome this opportunity to meet your representatives from around the world and to share with all of you our cultural perspective and our current and future plans for business education in our community.

At first glance, our island home may appear a bit storm-tossed and barren. One might surmise that the folk who inhabit such a place may well bare some of the same traits. We do indeed enjoy a brisk wind now and again. We do indeed suffer from a dearth of trees. Yet I hasten to add that after each storm comes a tranquillity like no other place on earth, and a closer look at our barren mountainsides will reveal a multitude of the most splendid wild flowers. We trust you will discover that the people of the Faroes likewise are a multi-faceted people, who welcome challenge and welcome new ideas, who work hard for their families and their country, but who always have time for cup of tea when a neighbour or stranger passes by or when those near and far need a helping hand.

These traits may shed some light on how the Faroese people have been able to carve out this remarkable society. Here, most everyone has enough, a few a little too much, even fewer too little.

Even though we are a relatively small country, all things considered, our country must shoulder the same functions and responsibilities as much larger nations. The difference, of course, is that we have far fewer people to accomplish these tasks and we have a limited number of specialists. Historically, we are generalists. Life upon these islands has forced us to be adept at many tasks and to strive to continually deepen our understanding, often in many areas at the same time. This requires unstinting courage, good opportunities for education, and access to knowledge. Visiting your countries helps us to develop and nurture these necessary traits. Your presence here enables us to share more easily our learnings in these and other areas with you. Each of us can learn from each other, regardless of culture, size or a country's unique circumstances. This joint collaboration is the key to success.

In this connection, it pleases me greatly that the conference – aside from having a multitude of stimulating workshops, seminars and presentations – also will feature lectures on the host country, which I understand is customary at your international conferences. As I understand, these lectures will describe the Faroes from many different perspectives: oil exploration, monetary issues, politics, education, and the business community as a whole.

The Faroese Government places great emphasis on developing our relations with the world at large. Beyond broadening our horizons and enhancing civil society at all levels, such interchange is extremely beneficial for business here in the Faroes.

The holding of conferences such as yours in the Faroes meshes well with our work on Vision 2015, which is the government's framework for developing the strategies and establishing the goals within all aspects of our society that we hope will guide us to become one of the foremost nations. Education is ultimately the principle cornerstone of this vision. You are welcome to come visit us again in 2015 to see what we have achieved!

I want to especially recognize and thank at this time the leadership and staff at our business school, “Føroya Handilsskúli”, which I hasten to add is one of our most progressive schools, who have exerted great effort in helping to organize this conference.


I now hereby declare the 78th SIEC/ISBE International Conference open.

May you have a most productive and engaging conference.

Thank you.