At November 15th 2006, Ingvar Kamprad - the sole founder and owner of the furniture company IKEA, and at that time the worlds 4th richest man - opened what was later to become known as the Barents Gateway; the new IKEA superstore in Haparanda/Tornio, on the border between Sweden and Finland.
In his opening speech that day, Kamprad lay out what was to become the ideological foundation of the new state, even though nobody at that time really knew how far things were going.
The Norwegian newspaper Nordlys printed an almost prophetical report from the opening ceremony.
2. Breaking point
«Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA,  was greeted as a leader of state, when he opened the new northernmost store in Haparanda.
Kamprad decleared the new IKEA-town as the center of the Barents Region, and he also established a regional development fund to help the region.
The atmosphere was almost religious in the 24.000 square meter superstore when, Ingvar Kamprad, spoke to guests and employees a few minutes before the opening.
Ingvar Kamprad (1936 -)
Barents Gateway
- I hope that Haparanda/Tornio can become a special center of the Barents Region. For the finish, swedish, norwegian, russian and sami people; the Five-people-region. I have a dream to create a meeting point between the different countries and peoples.
Kamprad told this to a devoted and nodding audience of employees, mayors, government ministers and other officials. And it is obvious that IKEA believes that Norwegians and Russians will drive between 500 and 700 kilometers to go shopping in Haparanda:  All the employees yellow t-shirts wishes WELCOME TO IKEA in five language.»
(Nordlys Nov 16, 2006)