Barents Business, Trade and Investment Development
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006
Objective of the project
The project was based on cooperation between the chambers of commerce in the Euro-Arctic area of the Barents Sea. This project was to define and list business opportunities and factors that would hinder business opportunities and operations from the point of view of both existing enterprises and those planning on establishing activities in the region.
• Dividing of the factors influencing the business environment of enterprises in the region into three parts: business, taxation and investment legislation; customs and border crossing; and logistics and traffic, • Analysing issues regarding trade with Russia using three work groups, • Creating initiatives for authorities and potential sources of funding, • Arranging internal meetings and joint seminars with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Karelia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Petrozavodsk, • Assisting in creating a network related to trade with Russia.
Issues regarding trade with Russia were analysed and worked on using three teams. The customs and border work group focused on problems related to defining customs valuations, handling customs declarations, opening hours of customs facilities and other practical issues that affect, for example, queuing at customs. The business, taxation and investment work group focused on starting investment and production activities in Russia. Issues that rise up were seeking and building commercial facilities, the infrastructure necessary for investments, the availability of labour, and contract procedures in the investment process. Attention was also paid to difficulties in receiving information regarding changes in legislation and regulations. The logistics and traffic team listed the following issues for monitoring: the opening of the Lietmajärvi–Kotskoma connection to commercial traffic; developing traffic and informational signs in the Republic of Karelia; developing the rest areas for traffic in Russia; developing the Oulu–Rovaniemi–Murmansk flight connections; and developing direct optical cable connections across the border to Kostomuksha. The teams created initiatives for authorities and potential sources of funding regarding, for example, defining customs valuation, customs handling of spare parts, developing methods for acquiring information, and implementing transport solutions. Using work groups and seminars, the project brought together entrepreneurs from different industries and assisted in creating a network related to trade with Russia. In addition to the teams’ internal meetings, the project arranged four joint seminars with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Karelia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Petrozavodsk: two in Kajaani, one in Joensuu and one in Petrozavodsk. The seminars were good forums for the exchange of opinions, discussion and for developing new ideas. The project improved the cooperation between the chambers of commerce and companies through regular contact and information exchange. In addition, it increased the level of contact between Finnish and Russian chambers of commerce and the officials of both countries. The project relayed information to the chamber of commerce network in the Euro-Arctic area of the Barents Sea, presented companies’ issues regarding business with Russia in Finnish chambers of commerce and discussed the companies’ questions and problems with the political decision-makers, authorities and in public forums.
AcronymBarents Business, Trade and Investment Development
Duration2001-07-06 - 2004-10-31
Total Budget / Programme funding522 748 € / 334 505 €
Lead partnerOulu Chamber of Commerce
Lead partner web-site
PartnersNorth Karelia Chamber of Commerce
North Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Arkhangelsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Republic of Karelia
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in St.Petersburg