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 Secretariat: 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.

AEC VISION
To make the Arctic a favourable place to do business

AEC MISSION
To facilitate sustainable Arctic economic and business Development

AEC GOALS

  • 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

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

Mining

Tourism

Blue economy

Human Resources Investments and capacity building

The Arctic Economic Council’s work is driven by Working Groups established on particular sectors and overarching themes.

The five Working Groups of the AEC are:

  • Infrastructure: Maritime Transportation
  • Responsible Resource Development
  • Connectivity
  • Investment and Infrastructure
  • Energy

Read more about the Working Groups here.

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.

Tero Vauraste

AEC Vice Chair, Finland

M. Tero Vauraste is the owner and Managing Director of Mariadi Ltd., an Arctic and maritime consultancy agency since 2018. In 2009-2018, he served as President and CEO of Arctia Ltd., a Finnish polar maritime services company in ice-breaking, research and oil spill response, operating 11 icebreakers in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic. In 2007-2009 he was managing director of Hertz Car Rental in Finland and in 2001-2007 Senior Vice President with Finnair, managing airport ground handling in Arctic conditions in Northern Europe.

Mr. Vauraste served as the AEC’s Chairman during the Finnish business community’s chairmanship (2017-2019) and currently holds the position as one of the AEC’s four Vice Chairs. He also serves as the Chair of  the maritime sub-committee of the Finland-China Innovation Committee. Mr. Tero Vauraste has a degree of MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management / Leicester University and a Naval officer’s degree from the Finnish Naval Academy being a Lieutenant-Commander (Ret).

Mr. Vauraste has served as a vessel master, special unit commander and as a SAR instructor in Finnish Coast Guard. He is the Chairman of Finnish Arctic Society and a member of Advisory Board of Finnish Lifeboat Institution. He has had various other positions of trust. He has provided many papers on Arctic economic development and is a known speaker in the international Arctic fora.

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.

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Geir Seljeseth

Regional Manager, North, Norway

Mr. Geir Seljeseth serves as one of the AEC’s four Vice Chairs. He is the Regional Manager, North at the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee shall manage and control all of the governance affairs of the AEC.

The Governance Committee consists of one representative from each Arctic State and Permanent Participant organization

Anders Oskal

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Executive Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, working to contribute to maintenance and development of a sustainable reindeer husbandry in the circumpolar areas.

Representative for: Saami Council

Evgeniy Ambrosov

AEC Vice Chair

Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Sovcomflot.

Representative for: Russian Federation

Thomas Mack

AEC Vice Chair

President of the Aleut Corporation, one of the twelve Regional Native Corporations that were established in 1972 under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).

Representative for: Aleut International Association (AIA)

Morten Glamsø

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Senior adviser of Danish Shipping

Representative for: Kingdom of Denmark

Gail Schubert

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President & CEO of Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC).

Representative for: United States of America

Grigory Ledkov

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President of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East (RAIPON).

Representative for: Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON)

Heidar Gudjonsson

AEC Chairman

Heidar Gudjonsson serves as the AEC’s Chairman. 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)

Representative for: Iceland

Patrice Gilbert

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Vice-President, Health, Safety and Community at Agnico Eagle

Representative for: Canada

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Secretariat

The AEC Secretariat is located in Tromsø, Norway.