North Karelia, Barents Region
Northern Potential in the Barents Region
North Karelia contributes to enhance business cooperation in the Barents region with the B2B project

Business to Barents (B2B) project’s final seminar attracted over 120 participants to Joensuu, Finland in mid-February. North Karelia became a full member of the Barents Regional Council in 2016 and since then actively promoted the Barents Cooperation. The region applied for membership in the BRC already in 1997, 2001 and acquired observer status in 2008. “We want to participate and bring our expertise to forest bio-economy, renewable energy and tourism development in the Barents region. We are also interested in working in the committees of education and research and culture” said Region Mayor Risto Poutiainen when justifying the full membership of North Karelia in the Barents Cooperation.

Swedish Ambassador to Finland and Norwegian Ambassador to Finland with local hosts
The secret of a well-organized and memorable event lies in a good cooperation. Locally many actors were engaged to host this gathering in Joensuu: The Regional Council, the City of Joensuu, the University of Eastern Finland, the Karelia University of Applied Sciences and the Chamber of Commerce, who managed this project during the last year. Business to Barents (B2B) project was aiming at opening the networks and discovering potential business partners between North Karelia and the Barents region, focusing on finding export and import opportunities for companies.

During the seminar event, addressed by both Swedish and Norwegian Ambassadors and a representative of the Russian Embassy in Helsinki, it was clearly stated that the Barents Cooperation brings added value to the regional development by discovering new potential for growth stemming from the cross-border cooperation. One of the speakers, Barents Regional Youth Council Chair Tim Andersson emphasized youth cooperation being “an infrastructure of peace”, which was a well-received statement and quoted largely on social media.

The seminar was followed by a traditional warm reception in the evening and thematic study tours the day after to local companies, educational, cultural institutions and attractions.


The Barents Sea was given its present name in honor of Willem Barentsz, a Dutch navigator and explorer. Barentsz was the leader of early expeditions to the far north, at the end of the sixteenth century.

The Barents Sea has been called by sailors “The Devil’s Dance Floor” due to its unpredictability and difficulty level.

The Barents Sea has been called by ocean rowers “Devil’s Jaw”.

- Wiki / Barents Sea

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