In the second half of the 1970s, the Norwegian-Finnish Company Pomor Nordic Trade was established by director Kaare Karlstad. He started an import of wooden materials, frozen capelin, berries and other products from the North-Western district of the Soviet Union to Norway.
In 1982-1983, Karlstad was allowed by the two Border Commissioners to initiate pilot trade crossings across the common border. He established a pallet production factory, Pomor Industries, in Kirkenes based on imported pre-cut materials across the border from the Soviet Union, and a transport company transporting the materials to the factory. A coastal liner was owned by Karlstad sailing cargo from Murmansk to Northern Norway. Karlstad was soon nick-named “Pomor Karlstad” as his initiative indeed was a revival of the old Pomor Trade between the two regions Iin the Russian High North.
Director Kaare Karlstad was a pioneer in a time with serious challenges hardly understood today, including instance centralized foreign trade monopolies, the Cold War and a solid Iron Curtain. His initiatives were in many ways the starting signals for the later Barents regional cooperation.
Karlstad was awarded honorary membership of the NRCC in December 2009.