President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg discussed main directions and spheres of bilateral cooperation between the two states.
“Today, a new bright page of our bilateral relations was opened. It is crucial that Norway has turned out to be our reliable friend and strategic partner in difficult times for Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko said at the joint press conference following the meeting with Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.
The President informed that the parties had discussed the main spheres of interaction in bilateral relations.
“Significant attention was paid to the Ukraine-Norway trade-economic cooperation. We were pleased to point out the establishment of the intergovernmental commission for cooperation in the areas of trade, entrepreneurship and economy, the inaugural meeting of which took place three weeks ago,” he said.
“We noted that the economies of Ukraine and Norway had an enormous potential. However, the level of our cooperation is not sufficient,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“Ms. Solberg informed me that in the energy sphere, for example, Norway was preparing for the transition to a post-oil era - an era of new energy sources. It is clear that this issue is extremely topical for Ukraine. We agreed on coordination and cooperation in that direction,” the President noted.
For this purpose Poroshenko had a meeting with leadership of STATNETT national energy transport company, the largest company on renewable energy in Europe STATCRAFT and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate with participation of Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Norway Tord Lien.
The President got acquainted with the operation of the power system of Norway and relevant Norwegian energy projects in Ukraine.
“We are interested in the advanced achievements of Norway, which is a recognized European leader in energy efficiency, energy saving and actively introducing modern technologies,” Petro Poroshenko said.
According to Petro Poroshenko, there are other directions of interaction between our countries in the economic sphere: agricultural cooperation, processing of Norwegian fish products in Ukraine, cooperation in the sphere of IT startups in Ukraine. The President added that Norwegian companies had already been working with numerous IT professionals from Ukraine.
“I invited Norwegian companies to take part in privatization in Ukraine,” the Head of State informed adding that the Norwegian government had assured of comprehensive support for that process.
According to Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian and Norwegian economies can largely supplement and reinforce one another. “Norway is a unique model of general state welfare. The country possesses state-of-the-art technologies, particularly in the sphere of renewable energy sources. It is also an importer of agricultural products,” the President said. He added that those factors made Norway a very attractive partner for Ukraine.
“At the same time, Ukraine has a rapidly growing consumer market. We are currently in the process of complex modernization of many traditional industries of the Ukrainian economy. Our IT sphere is the fastest growing among the European states. Ukraine is well-known for its agricultural industry,” the Head of State said. He also noted that Ukrainians had a high level of education and geographic proximity and low cost of production made our country attractive for business. “All this allows Norwegian companies to consider Ukraine as a new promising opportunity,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
The parties discussed the process of internal reforms in Ukraine. “We agreed in what areas of reforms to cooperate,” he added.
According to him, the parties also discussed the opportunity of studying the experience of Norway, as non-member of the EU, in cooperation with European institutions. “We are confident that it will help Ukraine develop the process of reforms,” the President said.
The parties also discussed the constitutional reform on judiciary and agreed to cooperate in that direction. Today, they will sign the Agreement between the Ministries of Justice of Ukraine and Norway on cooperation in the sphere of penitentiary system.
The Head of State noted that Norway had already made a significant contribution to the success of Ukrainian reforms.