IV Norwegian-Russian Business Forum - 10-11 December 2014, Moscow
Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce (NRCC) and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCI RF) organized the IV Norwegian-Russian Business Forum (IV NRBF) in Moscow on the 10th and 11th of December 2014 at the Hotel Metropol.
Norway and Russia have within various disciplines a close relationship in the cross-border area of Norway and Russia, especially within bilateral business activity. During the last decade, the cooperation has doubled. The member organisation, NRCC, works daily to networking initiatives that contribute to increased interaction in the business sector between Norway and Russia. A central meeting place for the industry in this work is the Norwegian-Russian Business Forum (NRBF) that is being held biannually in Oslo and Moscow. NRBF is organised in close cooperation with Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, and was organised last time in Oslo 2012.
In anticipation of the IV NRBF, President of the CCI RF Sergey Katyrin met with President of the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce Liv Monica Stubholt. Vice President CCI RF Alexander Rybakov, Vice President CCI RF Georgi Petrov, Managing Director of the NRCC Jarle Forbord, Head of the NRCC in Russia Vladimir Bagreev, Trade representative of RF in Norway Tamara Chernysheva and Regional Director in International Cooperation Department of CCI RF Dmitry Bystrov also attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the state and prospects of further cooperation between CCI of Russia and NRCC, the general climate of Russian-Norwegian trade and economic cooperation.
IV NRBF officially opened with a reception for all the 200 participants at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Moscow on the 10th of December. On 11th of December the forum took place at the Hotel Meeropol.
The event attended: Vice President of CCI RF Alexander Rybak, President of NRCC Liv Monica Stubholt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway in Russia Leidulv Namtvedt, Director of the Department for Macroeconomic Forecasting Ministry of Economic Development of RF Kirill Trimasov, Head of section for international interaction, Integration Development department of the Eurasian Economic Commission Anton Azarov, President of Russian branch of company Statoil Torgeir Kydland, Vice President of concern Kvaerner in Russia Dmitry Akimov, Vice President of concern Telenor Thor Halvorsen, CEO of LUKOIL Overseas North Shelf AS Leonid Surguchev, executive director of Rosneft - RN Nordic Oil AS Hans van Lamoen, director of the International Cooperation Department of the Russian direct Investment Fund Victor Lysechko, president of Fiskerstrand Holding Rolf Fiskerstrand and other representatives from leading Russian and Norwegian companies and corporations, public organizations, media.In his opening speech, Vice President of CCI RF Alexander Rybak said that the Forum is an opportunity for businesses in both countries to establish closer relations in sectors that are not affected by the sanctions and in which Russia and Norway have great potential for cooperation.
Alexander Rybak called the imposition of sanctions against Russia counterproductive measure as government support of business and free trade is always the key to economic security and gives opportunities for comprehensive development. He noted that during past years the following areas have become traditional for Russian-Norwegian cooperation - oil and gas sector, fisheries, telecommunications, non-ferrous metallurgy, shipbuilding, construction, hospitality and cooperation in the Arctic, which has great prospects. However, there is a need for further diversification of business relations - both in sectorial and geographical terms. “One of the most important tasks now - not to lose the current level of collaboration, not to stop partnership in the areas that are touched by sanctions”, - said Vice President of the association. Presence of more than 200 Norwegian companies on Russian market shows high interest of Norwegian business in Russia. However, there is a need for further diversification of business relations between Russian and Norway - both in sectorial and geographical terms.
President of the NRCC Liv Monica Stubholt thanked Alexander Rybakov for the speech and supported his position, noting that temporary difficulties should not affect cooperation. Despite the sanctions, it is necessary to look for ways to maintain and develop bilateral relations. She also expressed gratitude to CCI RF for active contribution and work that the Chamber carries on in Russia in order to maintain trade and economic partnership between the two countries. “Relations between Russia and Norway have always been strong and friendly, and the temporary difficulties should not affect them”, assured the head of the NRCC. The business community has to respect the legislation in their countries as well as international law, however, despite the sanctions we need to look for ways to maintain and develop bilateral relations. Moreover, Liv Monica Stubholt acknowledged the need to attract more Russian companies to the Norwegian market.
Kirill Tremasov spoke about the development of the Russian economy in current difficult period. He cited recent data on key indicators of the Russian economy, reported an improvement of the country’s position in the world’s annual report Doing Business rating and talked about the possibilities of investment projects in Russia in public and private sector.wegian and Russian sides noted the temporary nature of the restrictive measures and expressed readiness to make every effort to preserve and increase the positive experience and realize the potential of bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
The main subject of Anton Azarov’s speech was prospect of economic integration after the Treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union from enters into force from 1 January 2015. In his view, this union opens up new possibilities for increased international cooperation, including Norway as one of the bordering countries, as well as becoming another step towards creating a single trade zone “from Lisbon to Vladivostok”.
After the plenary session, the Forum continued with two panel sessions “Entering the Norwegian Market” and “Entering the Russian market”. Among discussed topics were development of the Arctic shelf and other oil and gas projects, attractive areas for investments in the current situation, improving logistics and infrastructure development, legal aspects of entering Norwegian and Russian markets, and others.