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Ministry of economic development of the Russian Federation

Iceland's Foreign Minister hopes to strengthen trade relations with Russia


Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson expects that trade relations between Iceland and Russia will develop more actively.

"Our countries have a very long and successful history of bilateral trade. Even in difficult times, we have always maintained trade relations at a friendly level, but the restrictions that Russia introduced in 2015 on imports of various products have affected our trade relations. We are constantly expressing concern about this fact," he said at a joint press conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

At the same time, he continued, there are positive trends: for example, the Icelandic-Russian Chamber of Commerce was created. "I hope that our relations in the field of trade will be strengthened and grow even more," he noted.

The minister also noted that many Icelandic companies operate in Russia, especially in the sector of innovative technologies. "Representatives of 30 companies are in my delegation, this indicates a great interest in Russia. We welcome this in every way," he added.

In turn, Lavrov said that Icelandic entrepreneurs show growing interest in the Russian market, despite sanctions. "We noted the growing interest of the Icelandic business in the presence on the Russian market," Lavrov said. "This, in particular, manifested itself in the creation of the Russian-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce last month, which includes more than 30 companies from Iceland," he added.

"According to last year’s results, despite the continued sanctions restrictions, we were able to reverse the negative trend in trade," the minister emphasized. "Commodity turnover has grown by more than 20%. Although the absolute numbers are still modest - about $50 bln - the trends are clear," he added.

Lavrov said that the parties agreed to strengthen trade growth and make it sustainable. "In this regard, we assign a special role to the mechanism of regular Russian-Icelandic trade and economic consultations, the next round of which is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020," he said.

Source: TASS

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