About us

The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) is an independent organization that facilitates Arctic business-to-business activities and responsible economic development through the sharing of best practices, technological solutions, standards, and other information.

We work to facilitate responsible business and economic development of the Arctic and its communities. Our goal is to share and advocate for best practices, technological solutions, and standards. We support market accessibility and provide advice and a business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council. Our members represent a wide range of businesses operating in the Arctic—from mining and shipping companies to reindeer herding and indigenous economic development corporations. This mix of interests across business sectors ensures that our work is carried out in an inclusive and sustainable manner. Representing the wide variety of Arctic businesses, it is important for the AEC to also be the voice of small and medium sized enterprises.

We represent the true depth of Arctic know-how. Among our representatives we have experience in doing business across the Arctic. Local knowledge is often key in operating in the Arctic. Engaging with the AEC gives you the opportunity to access both local and indigenous knowledge.

The AEC is open to corporations, partnerships and indigenous groups that have an economic interest in the Arctic. We are open to membership applications from Arctic and sub-Arctic entities. For further information on how to become a member of the Arctic Economic Council, please click “Membership” underneath and feel free to contact the AEC: info@arcticeconomiccouncil.com

The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) was created by the Arctic Council during the 2013-2015 Canadian chairmanship. The AEC held its inaugural meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut on September 2-3, 2014.

To make the Arctic a favourable place to do business

To facilitate sustainable Arctic economic and business Development


  • Facilitate responsible business and economic development of the Arctic and its communities
  • Share and advocate for best practice, technological solutions, and standards
  • Support market accessibility
  • Provide advice and a business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council

Climate Change Affects the Arctic – AEC Works for a Sustainable Arctic Future

Arctic Economic Council (AEC) supports the Global Climate Goals and
Sustainable Development Goals and notes with great concern the reports from
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), The United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) and others on the effects of climate change
which impacts the Arctic twice as hard as the rest of the world.

Economic activity in the Arctic forms an important contribution in our efforts to
reach Global Climate Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainable utilization of the Arctic natural resources provides the world with
clean energy, food, minerals needed for the green shift, green industrial products
and other goods, both serving the people in the Arctic and the rest of the world.

Economic sustainability for the Arctic peoples is critical. Climate change must not
lead to the closing of economic activity in the Arctic. The Arctic businesses and
the Arctic peoples share the global responsibility of keeping the climate change
to a minimum.

Representing the diversity of businesses active in the Arctic, the AEC works for
the Arctic, with Arctic values.

The five overarching themes form the basis of the work of the AEC. They are identified by the Arctic business community.

  1. Fostering strong market connections within the Arctic as a vital part of international value chains
  2. Encouraging public-private partnerships for infrastructure Investments
  3. Promoting stable and predictable regulatory frameworks
  4. Facilitating knowledge and data exchange between industry and academia
  5. Embracing traditional indigenous knowledge, stewardship and small business

The circumpolar business community represented in the AEC have identified the following selected business areas as the AEC’s focus areas:

Infrastructure and related matters including:

  • Maritime transportation
  • Communications and IT
  • Aviation

Energy, including oil, gas and renewable sources



Blue economy

Human Resources Investments and capacity building

The AEC is open to corporations, partnerships and indigenous groups that have an economic interest in the Arctic. There are three membership groups:

  1. Legacy Members: Legacy membership includes 3 business representatives from each Arctic state and 3 representatives from each Permanent Participant organization. This is the voting membership of the Arctic Economic Council.
  2. Arctic Partner: Global focus is shifting North and there is growing interest by non-AEC members to participate in the AEC. If we are true to the “AEC Way” of building on the pillars of collaboration, partnership, innovation and peace, it is imperative for the AEC to provide both Arctic and non-Arctic stakeholders an opportunity to participate, interact and collaborate with the Legacy Members of the AEC. By creating two different non-voting membership categories the AEC ensures that it is open to corporations, partnerships and indigenous groups that have an economic interest in the Arctic. Members may contribute to AEC content, in various forms including, but not limited to, submitting ideas, participating in Working Groups and making presentations.
  3. Permafrost Partner: Micro, small and medium businesses support the “active layers” in our remote Arctic communities. They bring an important perspective about doing business in the Arctic. They deserve an opportunity to have a voice within the AEC. The Permafrost Partner is designed for micro, small or medium businesses with 15 employees or less with their business domiciled or headquarters located within an Arctic state.

Read more:

Membership Application Process and Membership Terms and Conditions

Membership Application

Executive Committee

The work of the Arctic Economic Council is guided by the members of the Executive Committee:

Heidar Gudjonsson

AEC Chairman, Iceland

Heidar Gudjonsson serves as the Arctic Economic Council’s Chairman during the Icelandic business community’s chairmanship (2019-2021).

Mr. Gudjonsson is the CEO of Sýn hf. (Vodafone), vice-chairman of HS Utility and chairman of the first infrastructure investment fund in the Arctic, Innviðir fjárfestingar slhf. (2015). Gudjonsson has been working in business in the Arctic for the last 20 years. After finishing his economic studies at the University of Iceland business led him to work in New York, London and Zurich, for close to two decades, but always with one foot firmly set in Iceland. Gudjonsson has built hydropower plants in the area, invested in infrastructure through electricity and water utilities and founded a Norwegian Icelandic oil exploration company. He is the Chairman of the Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce, is on the Advisory Board of the Arctic Circle and author of the “Arctic Push” (2013), a bestseller in Iceland.

Evgeniy Ambrosov

AEC Vice Chair, Russian Federation

Evgeniy Ambrosov is Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of PAO Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipping company and one of the world’s leading transporters of energy by sea. He joined the company in June 2009, with responsibility for commercial fleet operations, including a sophisticated fleet operating in the harsh environments of the Far Eastern and Arctic seas and for developing the potential of the Northern Sea Route for large tankers’ transits. A graduate of the Maritime State University in Vladivostok, Russia (1979), Mr. Ambrosov worked for nearly 30 years in Russia’s Far Eastern Shipping Company, rising from the position of Cargo Superintendent to President & CEO of the company. Company website.

Erling Kvadsheim

AEC Vice Chair, Norway

Erling Kvadsheim is the International Director at the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association. He has spent his entire career in the oil and gas sector and knows the industry and the issues that are important for this sector very well. He has a background as geologist, and has worked in oil companies, for the Norwegian authorities, as a strategy consultant and now as head of one of the departments in the oil companies’ industry association. Among his responsibilities are international relations and Arctic issues.

Thomas Mack

AEC Vice Chair, Aleut International Association (AIA)

Mr. Mack is the President & CEO of The Aleut Corporation. Mr. Mack oversees the corporation’s business operations and subsidiaries which provide Government Contracting, Fuel Sales, Mechanical Construction, Radiochemical Analysis and Remediation, Industrial Products and Services and Real Estate Management. The Company also participates in various partnerships, joint ventures and other business activities. The Aleut Corporation is one of the thirteen Regional Native Corporations that were established in 1972 under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).  Company website.

Mr. Mack was raised in King Cove, located on the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, and is an original shareholder of both The Aleut Corporation and King Cove Corporation. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree at Alaska Pacific University, a Master’s of Science degree from Western Oregon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Mr. Mack also completed numerous executive leadership programs at Stanford University, the University of Chicago Booth and Harvard University.

Tero Kiviniemi

AEC Vice Chair, Finland

President and CEO of Destia

Chair and Member of Management Team 1 Jul 2018-


M.Sc. (Eng.), Executive MBA

Harvard Business School, Advanced Management Program

Key work experience

YIT Corporation: Executive Vice President, 2013–30 Jun 2018;

Head of the Business Premises and Infrastructure segment, 2013–30 Jun 2018

YIT Construction Ltd: Head of YIT’s Construction Services Finland segment, 2009–2013; Infra Services: Division Manager, 2008–2009, Structural engineering and regional Infra Services: Business Unit Manager, 2005–2008.

Worked for YIT Construction in various positions between 1996–2005


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Arctic Economic Council has its office in Tromsø, Norway.