Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy and Ministry of Trade and Industry of Norway Monica Maeland are going to meet in Oslo in November to discuss the possibility of resuming meetings of the Intergovernmental Russian-Norwegian Commission on Economic, Industrial and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Lars Jacob Hiim told TASS.
“A meeting between Head of the Norwegian and Russian sides of the Commission Maeland and Donskoy is expected to be held next month. They are going to discuss the question of holding a full meeting of the Commission next spring,” Hiim said. According to him, the meeting might be held in Moscow. Working groups, which should define its agenda, have already been established.
“At the meetings of the Intergovernmental Commission the parties fix the list of joint projects to be supported by public institutions. This is its main goal,” Vice-President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Padalko told TASS.
According to both officials, there is a potential for the development of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries after bilateral trade fell by three fourths due to Norway’s accession to the anti-Russian sanctions and Russian introducing retaliatory sanctions. “Of course, in connection with the sanctions the interest of Norwegian business in Russia has decreased, however, today’s event attended by over 200 business representatives clearly demonstrates that entrepreneurs retain a keen interest in conducting business in Russia and cross-border cooperation,” Hiim told TASS. “There are a number of industries that are attractive for business cooperation between the two countries. Thus, in my opinion, the interest is obvious,” he added.
“The current goal now is to begin projects that can be implemented outside sanctions. We hope that there will be changes in the field of scientific and technical cooperation, education. We do not expect that contracts in the fishing industry will be sharply reanimated, but we must not forget this topic – it will definitely come into play,” Padalko told TASS.