Norway will be contributing approximately 1.1 billion Norwegian krone (about 181 million U.S. dollars) to social and economic development in Bulgaria and Romania over the next two years, as part of an expanded economic agreement with the EU (EEA), said reports reaching Stockholm from Oslo on Saturday.
Almost half of the funds will be channeled through cooperation programs between Norway and the two beneficiary states, now new members of the EU, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported.
"We are pleased to have concluded an agreement with the EU on enlargement of the EEA. The agreement means that Norway will make an important contribution to two of the poorest countries in the EU, and provides a historic opportunity for closer contact and cooperation between Norway, Bulgaria and Romania," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Stoere.
"The agreement also means improved access for Norwegian fish and fish products to the EU market, which is important for Norwegian businesses," said Stoere.
Agreement has been reached on new/expanded duty-free tariff quotas for imports to the EU of Norwegian herring, mackerel, capelin and shrimps, as well as a quota that includes wolf-fish.
In addition, the EU will remove certain technical barriers to trade that have been particularly disadvantageous to Norwegian exporters, according to NRK.