The Arctic Economic Council was involved in several events during the Arctic Frontiers Conference. The conference gathered approximately 3000 people from across the globe in Tromsø, Norway to discuss sustainable development in the Arctic. The participants reflect the diversity of Arctic stakeholders: from academia, business, civil society to government representatives.
STATE OF THE ARCTIC
‘Connections’ was the overarching message from AEC Chair Tero Vauraste at Arctic Frontiers last week. In a panel during Arctic Frontiers Policy moderated by Stephen Sackur, Mr. Vauraste highlighted the need for connectivity. This applies to market connections, data connections, infrastructural connections and social connections. His final message to the Arctic stakeholders was to work to lower barriers to trade, a point especially pertinent in an age with signs of increased protectionism. This is also an issue high on the agenda of the Arctic Economic Council.
At a side event organized by ARCT As and Haleyg Stakeholder Management, Mr. Vauraste shared experiences of stakeholder management in activities in the Arctic.
During Arctic Frontiers Young, Mr.Vauraste had the opportunity to discuss Development in the Arctic With Arctic Frontiers Student Forum.
ARCTIC BUSINESS ANALYSIS
The Arctic Economic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers presented their report “Arctic Business Analysis” at a joint side event. The report aims at qualifying the current knowledge on the business environment in the Arctic. The findings in the report were presented by Anu Fredrikson, the Director of the Arctic Economic Council Secretariat. She emphasized the main conclusions of the report: to increase collection and dissemination of Arctic-specific data, increase cross-border collaboration and to brand the arctic region to utilize opportunities. You can find the presentation here.
Keynotes were given by Vice Chair Erling Kvadsheim of the Arctic Economic Council, Tómas Orri Ragnarsson from the Nordic Council of Ministers and Ambassador Ide, Senior Arctic Official of Japan and Ambassador for International Economic Affairs. In his talk Ambassador Ide revealed that the 3rd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit will take place in Hokkaido, Japan on June 27-28, 2018. More information here.
The Panel discussion highlighted how businesses can benefit from the Arctic Business Analysis. Under Mr. Kvadsheim’s lead, representatives from different sectors within Arctic business spoke of their experiences. Member of the Arctic Economic Council, Mr. Lars Theodor Kintel of Bioway AS spoke of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, providing practical examples from the Arctic. Representing another AEC member, Averdi, Jacob Adams shared his experiences on Indigenous Economic development. Creative Producer Emile Peronard elaborated on how to increase the Cultural and Creative Industries in the Arctic, with a particular focus on the film industry. In his speech, Christian Vintergaard, CEO of Fonden for Entreprenørskab, focused on Entrepreneurship education in the Arctic, with a case from Greenland.
The Arctic Business Analysis can be found here.
One of the topics up for discussion during Arctic Frontiers Business was “Financing the Arctic – is the Arctic investable?” Director of the Arctic Economic Council Secretariat Anu Fredrikson spoke of the need for global connections and openness in Arctic business development, considering that the Arctic is a small home market. Ms. Fredrikson further focused on the investment potential in the region. She also highlighted the need for a code of Arctic business ethics, a prerequisite to make the Arctic investable. One of the recommendations in the Arctic Business Analysis launched the same day was that the Arctic should be jointly branded as an attractive area for investments. Following up the work of the World Economic Forum’s Arctic Investment Protocol, the AEC looks forward to further developing guidelines for responsible Arctic Business. ( Read more here. )
At an Arctic Frontiers Arena event on Smart Arctic Ms. Fredrikson participated in a discussion on how the Arctic know-how and smart solutions can be used to the region’s advantage. The key message from Ms. Fredrikson was that a key enabler to making the Arctic a livable and prosperous region is infrastructure and connectivity.
In a meeting of the Arctic Advisory Board of Finland, Ms. Fredrikson also briefed the board on the activities of the Arctic Economic Council.
Senior Advisor at the AEC Secretariat, Bianca Maria Johansen participated in the side event “New toolboxes for Arctic development – How can technology, digitalization and engineering secure a resilient future?” In the debate she highlighted innovation and entrepreneurship as well as internationalization of education to prepare for a more globalized labour market.