Stofnfundur Rússnesk-íslenska viðskiptaráðsins
Rússneska sendiráðinu
1. nóvember 2019

Ambassador, dear friends of Iceland and Russia,

It is truly a good occasion that brings us together here at the Russian Embassy today: the formal creation of the Russian-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce. I want to thank you Anton for your hospitality and thank all of you who have worked on creating the chamber.

The idea of creating a forum where Russian and Icelandic businesses can work together was pursued by the Icelandic Ambassador in Moscow, Berglind Ásgeirsdóttir, in connection to the 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations that we celebrated last year. It is indeed cause for a celebration that this idea has now come to fruition. I am certain that the Chamber will be very useful for Russians and Icelanders doing business, for the benefit of both our countries, to have the chamber where they can work together, share ideas and cooperate.

Russia and Iceland are old friends and we have been doing business for decades. As you know we have been faced with grave challenges in the bilateral trade in the last few years that have significantly reduced the trade between us. But we have also seen new opportunities arise and cooperation starting in other areas.

I will be travelling to Moscow later this month for an official visit and I look forward to meeting my good counterpart, Mr. Lavrov. This will be the first trip of an Icelandic foreign minister to Moscow for 8 years.

As it is my hope is that this trip will help us to find ways to do more business together it gives me great pleasure to invite you, the members of the newly created Russian-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce, to join me in Moscow as I will bring a business delegation with me. The business delegation will visit the Skolkova Innovation Center, which is a vast business area in Moscow where close to 2.000 Russian high tech companies are working on innovation in areas such as IT, energy and biomedicine.

Our Ambassador in Russia, Berglind Ásgeirsdóttir, will host a special event at the Icelandic Residence in Moscow, where we will present opportunities that Icelandic businesses bring. This will be the first event of the newly established chamber, so I think it is safe to say that the Russian-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce is off to a very good start.

The Russian Icelandic Chamber of Commerce and Promote Iceland will send an email later today and I am told it is necessary to register quickly, so please keep that in mind.

I hope to see you all in Moscow and look forward to seeing business relations between Iceland and Russia deepen and grow in the future and the chamber playing an important role in bringing us closer.

Thank you.