The High North Strategy 2017. Between geopolitics and social development.

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The High North Strategy has been presented in Bødo in North Norway, 21th of April 2017.

Today the Artic is Norway's most importnant foreign policy priority and according to the government.no above Strategy gives ‘an integrated approach to Arctic policy and focus more on knowledge-based business development and infrastructure in the North’. 

Also, in accordance with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg ‘today growth in North Norway is higher than in the rest of the country and benefits Norway as a whole, and the Government will step up its overall efforts in the north, to make North Norway one of our most innovative and sustainable regions’. Mr. Brende pointed that ‘Norway will continue to play a leading role in the development and management of the Arctic. Despite the unrest in many parts of the world, we have managed to maintain the Arctic as a peaceful region, where cooperation is the norm. As Norway develops its Arctic areas, it will be vital for us to find ways of cooperating with our neighbours to deal with common challenges in the region. This is why we are investing heavily in international cooperation in the Arctic’. 

The High North Strategy 2017 gives a detailed overview of such topics as international cooperation, business development, Infrastructure, environmental protection, safety and emergency preparedness. Finally, the Strategy gives an overview over results of work of the Norwegian Government at the High North Region. 

Please download the full version ot the Strategy here (in Norwegian). 

 

 

Russia Macro Monthly report for May 2017: Spring optimism fighting a lingering winter

Please find Russia Macro Monthly report for May 2017, prepared by Macro-Advisory Ltd from Moscow. Short summary of the report:

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Economy continues to show weak recovery. Sentiment indicators are finally showing improvement to pre-sanctions levels. The outlook is that this recovery will be slow and shallow, with the hope that it will get a boost from a new reform program next year. Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin submitted his plan – the question is how much the government will water it down?
Politics and inflation change the CBR’s policy stance. The CBR cut its repo rate by 50 basis points to 9.25% in late April. This is a big change to its previous hawkish policy and reflects pressure from the Administration to take actions to weaken the ruble. A big drop in inflation, to 4.1% as at end-April, provided the excuse. The weak ruble is the key element in sustaining competitive conditions in the economy and in attracting inward investment. The CBR is now expected to cut earlier and deeper than previously indicated.
OPEC agreement is both good politics & good economics for Moscow. Russia and OPEC are set to extend the oil production deal into early 2018. This should keep the price of Brent in the low to mid-US$50s p/bbl range … a target Saudi Arabia needs to justify its very ambitious valuation for the Aramco IPO, which is expected in spring 2018. For Russia, this deal represents both good politics (aligning with Saudi Arabia) and good economics (will keep the budget deficit low).
Public protests. The Kremlin’s worst nightmare is ordinary people protesting over a real issue and that is again happening because of Moscow city’s ham-fisted policy to demolish obsolete housing stock. When protests are fueled by a legitimate economic grievance, Putin’s administration tends to concede in a very un-autocratic fashion. When the protests are mainly political, they crackdown.
Pragmatism in US-Russia relations … The Syrian crisis was a poor backdrop to the first official visit to Moscow by a senior Trump administration official. Nonetheless, Tillerson and Lavrov seem to have built a working relationship, and there was enough progress to warrant Tillerson’s meeting with Putin and Lavrov’s with Trump.
… may be derailed by Congress. Back in Washington, the backers of the bills to tighten sanctions pressure on Russia are not giving any ground. Their determination to punish Russia is unwavering, and this remains a very significant threat.
Investors are waiting. Russian equity indices have at least stopped falling, but are stuck in a rut and in need of a new catalyst. That may come from a positive dividend season or a sustained economic recovery. Investors are also waiting to see what message is delivered at this year’s SPIEF event (1-3 June) and the G7 meeting (26-27 May).
Novorossiysk privatization. The Deputy Finance Minister said that a 20% stake in the port operator, NCSP, will be sold via the stock market this year, with a target valuation of RUB30 bln, or some 10% higher than the current valuation.

Download here the full report in PDF format

NRCC Networking Meeting in St.Petersburg - 11 May 2017

 AwElgUyWiUWe have the pleasure to invite NRCC members and partners to the NRCC Networking Meeting in Saint-Petersburg.  

Place: Radisson Royal Hotel, Nevsky pr. 49/2, Saint-Petersburg
Date: Thursday, 11 May 2017
Time: 14:00 – 18:00

To register for the meeting, please follow the link for online registration.
Deadline for registration is Wednesday, 10 May 2017.

 

PROGRAM  (download)

Debate on Norwegian TV: Do we want to have oil money OR save the North Pole?

DebattOn 27 April 2017 Norwegian TV channel NRK had a debate program where participants discussed following topics: There is more oil in the Barents Sea than we believed, and the ice around the North Pole melts faster than we believed. Do we want to have oil money OR save the North Pole? 

Among the debate participants were Arild Moe, Senior Research Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, and Liv Monica Stubholt, Chair of the Board of the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce. You can watch the debate between them by following the link https://tv.nrk.no/serie/debatten/NNFA51042717/27-4-2017. The debate starts from minute 52 (in Norwegian language).

Response of the State Secretary Marit Berger Røsland regarding Norway's policy on economical restrictions

7Chair of the Board of the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce Liv Monica Stubholt discussed practical aspects of the sanctions in her article published in Aftenposten on 18 April 2017. Marit Berger Røsland, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has replied to Liv Monica in her comment published on the Government's website on 25 April 2017.

"Russia holds the key to a solution to the conflict in the Ukraine and to a reduction of the restrictive measures", writes State Secretary Marit Berger Røsland in her response to the Chairwoman of the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce. "Norway has sanctions and restrictive measures against 25 different countries today. Targeted economic sanctions and measures have become a more common instrument when the international community is to deal with threats to peace, security and justice. For a small country with an open economy, this is very important", explains State Secretary. 

The full comment of Marit Berger Røsland (in Norwegian language) can be downloaded by clicking on the link here.

Russia Macro monthly report for April 2017 prepared by Macro-Advisory Ltd in Moscow

weaferPlease find Russia Macro Monthly report for April 201, prepared by Macro-Advisory Ltd from Moscow. The report discusses how political optimism ignores growth limitations. 

Summary

- Economy returned to growth in 4Q16. 

- .1% budget deficit in February.

- Minimal investment growth in 2016. 

- Retail sales far from recovery. 

- Agriculture growth slow. 

- Ruble stays stubbornly strong in March. 

 

Energy Networking Event at TechnipFMC - 16 May 2017

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We have the pleasure to invite NRCC members to the Energy Networking Event organized by TechnipFMC in cooperation with the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce (NRCC) and the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce (FNCC). The event is hosted by TechnipFMC at company’s premises in Lysaker.

Date  : Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Time : 10hrs00-12hrs30

Place:  TechnipFMC, Philip Pedersens vei 7, 1366 Lysaker, Norway

Please download program for more details and follow the link to register for the meeting on-line

Number of seats is limited.

Registration deadline: Friday, 12 May 2017.

We hope to see you all at the event!

NRCC administration. 

 

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