Brende is to Be New Foreign Minister of Norway

It has been clear for a long time that Conservative leader Erna Solberg is to be Prime Minister, while Progress Party leader Siv Jensen will be the country’s next finance minister. 

This weekend both VG and NRK wrote that the former Minister of Bondevik II government, Børge Brende will be the new foreign minister.

Solberg invited Brende to the cabinet with the hope that present tense relations with China can be dissolved, according to several experts. After the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, the relationship between Norway and China has frozen.

– Brende has long been in a unique position where he has had a direct contact with the Chinese Prime Minister. So Brende is well positioned to address the issue, says former Social Minister Erik Solheim to VG.

Børge Brende (born 25 September 1965) held the government posts of Cabinet minister of the Environment, 2001 to 2004, and Cabinet minister of Trade and Industry, 2004 to 2005. He has also been a member of the Norwegian parliament for more than 10 years. Brende served as Chairman of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development 2003-2004. In 2005 he took up the appointment of International Vice Chairman of the China Council for the International Cooperation on Environment and Development (advisory board to the State Council).

In January 2008, Brende joined the World Economic Forum as Managing Director, particularly in charge of relations with governments and civil society. In 2009, Børge Brende joined the Norwegian Red Cross as Secretary General. He re-joined the World Economic Forum in 2011 as Managing Director with responsibility for policy initiatives and engagement of the Forum’s non-business constituents.

Erna Solberg wil officially announce the ministerial positions on Wednesday.

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