Economic Cooperation

Working Group on Economic Cooperation (WGEC)


The Barents Region holds remarkable economic potential. It is an important producer of natural resources and an important supplier of raw materials and Northern know-how. The Region offers great possibilities for economic activities for example in the fields of extractive industry, tourism, and oil and gas production. In long term, the opening of the Northern Sea Route has been indicated to bring the Region new economic prospects.

The Working Group on Economic Cooperation (WGEC) seeks to promote economic development of the Barents Region through enhanced cooperation between the BEAC member states. WGEC works closely together with the regional business-life, the Chambers of Commerce and the Barents Business Advisory Group (BBAG). The biennial Barents Industrial Partnership meetings are the highlights of each WGEC Presidency.    

There is a separate forum for forest sector cooperation in the Barents Region – the Barents Forest Sector Network (BFSN) which reports to the Working Group on Economic Cooperation.

Russia holds the WGEC chairmanship 2015-2017.


Rafael Usubov (Chair)
Department of Economic Cooperation
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tel. +7 499 241 31 24.

Petri Haapalainen
Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Employment and Economy
Tel. +358 295064922

Ine Charlotte Paulsen
Specialist Director
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries
Tel. +47 41674713

Lena Anttila
Head of unit, Department for regional development
County Administrative Board of Norrbotten
Tel. +46 102255232 

Project funding in Barents

How to make your Barents project dreams come true? We have gathered information for all Barents relevant funding sources in our new portal.

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