OSLO: The business of Norway is committed to expand economic ties with Russia, in both bilateral and international projects. Too much politics around these relations is mutually harmful, believe representatives of the two countries’ business communities.
A special attention at the plenary and panel sessions of the Forum was paid to the results and prospects in the sector of exploration and development of oil and gas deposits on the shelves of Russia and Norway in the Barents Sea, and also to the collaboration in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, as well as in the Far East and the Sea of Okhotsk.
The accumulated volume of the Norwegian direct investment in Russia exceeds $ 600 million. At that, the total losses from Norway’s joining the anti-Russian sanctions and from the reciprocal sanctions of the Russian Federation are estimated by the Norwegian business in the sum not less that $ 700 million a year. But it is characteristic that the volume of bilateral trade after these restrictions did not reduce.
The 4th Russian-Norwegian business forum organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (RCCI) and the Norwegian Russian Chamber of Commerce (NRCC) completed its work in Moscow. The participants discussed the issues of cooperation in shipbuilding, transport infrastructure, resource and energy saving, telecommunication, power generation, agriculture, fisheries, and tourism, which were identified as the main areas of interest for the Norwegian business in Russia.
Opening the event in question, the Vice President of RCCI Alexandr Rybak said that the Forum was an opportunity for businessmen of both countries to establish closer relations in sectors that were not affected by the sanctions. The Chairman of NRCC Liv Monica Bargem Stubholt supported the position of her Russian colleague noting that the temporary difficulties should not affect the cooperation, and that despite the sanctions it is necessary to look for ways to maintain and develop the long standing relations between the countries, reports Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
In addition, Norway along with other countries of the European Free Trade Association is interested to resume the negotiations with the Customs Union on the issue of a free trade zone. “This project is mutually beneficial, and negotiations on it were successful,” explained Ms. Stubholt, “but the present political climate affects their continuation and the timing of creating such a zone. There must be taken certain governmental and intergovernmental political decisions.”