26.01.2013 - Russia is a market for Norwegian companies
The newly-appointed Norway’s consul on commercial affairs, Ms. Kristin Høiby, contemplates on life-after-Shtokman situation in Murmansk, Barentsnova informs.
Looking back at frustrated investors who had laid their hopes on Shtokman, Høiby says that focusing on big projects is probably not the wise thing to do. Instead, she comes to describe opportunities of the local Murmansk market.
- Many of us visited Murmansk 20 years ago, and we saw huge potential, many opportunities; and none of them have disappeared. Of course there is a market for Norwegian companies here in Murmansk. If we saw the market decades ago, so what has happened that should change this situation? What has actually happened is that things are now even better.
Even the fact the authorities acknowledge there are bottlenecks for businesses starting up in Murmansk is itself a mark of the changing times, Høiby underlines.
- What I fail to see is the interest from Norwegian side, she continues with her speech at the session of Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce. There are not so many Norwegian companies interested in the region, so the problem is not on the Russian sides, as I see it.
According to the Consul on Commercial Affairs, Murmansk is not an easy market, but this market can give work and income for Norwegian companies in the years to come “if we manage to settle in and do it in the right way”. Among other promising areas for commercial activities, Kristin Høiby draws attention to Norwegian seafood, construction, building materials, and consumer commodities.
- Now we are in a lucky situation that we are quite alone in this market place, and it’s an advantage that you should take a better care of. Look at how Kirkenes is thriving on Russian consumers. They demand quality and diversity of products, but it is really possible to set up that kind of business here in Murmansk.
However, Høiby stresses that Norwegian entrepreneurs should make the right planning first and “have enough endurance to settle down in the right way”.
- Russia is not Shtokman. Russia is a continent with millions of inhabitants. And Murmansk and the North-Western Russia is a very good starting point for Norwegian companies together with the Russians to set up joint ventures and activities.
06.08.2012 - Norwegian investors on the Russian hotel market
In the tiny village of Måndalen at the end of a Norwegian fjord lays the headquarters of a highly active hotel investor on the Russian market, Jonas Karlsbakk from Barents Observer reports. Among the hotels under the groups ownership is the Park Inn Polyarny Zori hotel in Murmansk, the Radisson Royal in St Petersburg and the Park Inn Sheremetyevo in Moscow.
All together the Wenaas group owns eight recently renovated hotels in Russia with a total of 3500 rooms. The Poliarnie Zori hotel in Murmansk has 266 rooms with 418 beds.
Due to financial crisis the results are below the expectations, but still the company continued their growth in 2011. The annual turnover is now approximately € 250 million, according to Norwegian newspaper Sunnmørsposten. The company invests both in ski resorts and sports equipment, but their main activity is investments in hotel properties.
The company is among the largest hotel owners in Scandinavia. Their strategy is to own, maintain and hiring out the hotel properties. In addition to hotels in Norway and Russia, they own hotels in Denmark, Germany, Poland and Sweden. It is especially in the Danish market that they have had a good development, while the Russian market has had a steady growth. In their annual report, the company believe they will have a continued growth in 2012.
20.07.2012 - Russia joins WTO
President Vladimir Putin signed the bill approving accession to the World Trade Organization on Friday, Evgeniya Chaykovskaya from The Moscow News reports. The bill was passed by the State Duma on July 10 and ratified by the Federation Council on July 18.
Russia has therefore ratified the protocol on joining the Marrakesh agreement that was signed in Geneva on Dec. 16, 2011.
Russia will become a full WTO member from Aug. 23, a month after the signed document is delivered to WTO headquarters, Vesti.ru reported. From that date, Russia will have to lower a number of import taxes, including on new cars that were raised during the 2009 crisis.