Norwegian State Secretary Daniel Bjarmann-Simonsen of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries was recently in Moscow, attending the Norwegian – Russian Business Forum, where he a.o. discussed Norwegian participation in an extensive Russian fishing fleet renewal project.
- We are talking about a high number of vessels of various sizes, and vas sums, Bjarmann-Simonsen says to High North News.
- We are working to develop and expand the bilateral contact with all countries, Russia included, within the leeway available to us. We want increased and diversified trade with Russia.
Bjarmann-Simonsen says vast sums are involved in the Russian renewal programme, as about 80 percent of her current fishing fleet was built in the 1970s and 1980s. The renewal of the fishing fleet is expected to accelerate in relation to the implementation of a new Russian quota regime from 1 January 2019.
- The modernization program covers some 300 to 400 vessels, from small fishing boats to large trawlers. This is an interesting market for Norwegian shipyards, and Norwegian maritime clusters can contribute significantly with state-of-the-art technology, Bjarmann-Simonsen argues.
He also met with his Russian counterpart, deputy minister Oleg Ryazantsev of the Ministr of Industry and Trade, during a meeting of a Norwegian-Russian working group for ship construction.
- There are significant Russian economic incentives here, though I can at present not indicate any amounts, Bjarmann-Simonsen says.
He points out that maritime equipment like components and design are not covered by the restrictive measures introduced against Russia; however, there may be other restrictions in the form of Russian demands and requests for local content, or what he refers to as Russia’s “line of own supply”.
- This kind of deliveries faces quite strict requirements for local or national content, so from the Norwegian side we can only talk about partial deliveries, components, technological innovations and design – not total enteprises, Daniel Bjarmann-Simonsen points out.
This article originally appeared in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.