Børge Brende (born 1965) gets the Barents cooperation as one of his first tasks when he will hand over the chair of the Barents Council to Finland in Tromsø on October 29th. Brende is familiar with the Barents cooperation from several visits to northwest Russia during his time as Minister of Environment (2001 to 2004) and Minister of Trade and Industry (2004 to 2005).
He visited the Solovki in the White Sea in September 2002 together with representatives of the Norwegian, Russian regional Barents cooperation. In August 2003, Brende visited Pasvik Zapovednik in Pechenga celebrating the 10th anniversary of Svanhovd Environmental Centre working with cross-border eco-research.
“I am very glad to welcome Børge Brende as our new Foreign Minister. He knows the region and he is a true fan of the Barents cooperation,” says Rune Rafaelsen, Secretary General of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat.
Børge Brende knows Norwegian, Russian business cooperation well from his time as Minister of Trade and Industry. Business cooperation is one of the main pillars in Norway’s bi-lateral relations with Russia, including in Murmansk where the Consulate General recently initiated their business strategy “Team Norway.”
In addition to his two former posts as Minister, Børge Brende has also been a member of the Norwegian Parliament for the Conservative Party for more than 10 years. In the period 2003-2004, he was Chairman of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. In 2009, Brende became Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross until 2011 when he was appointed Managing Director of the World Economic Forum in Davos with responsibility for the Forum’s policy initiatives and engagement in non-business constituents.
Brende is succeeding Espen Barth Eide as Foreign Minister.