The Arctic has a rich resource base and increasing economic development, despite this potential for growth, the 2018 Arctic Business Analysis reveals that the Arctic is perceived as an area with low economic and business development potential. The aim of the side event Investing in the Arctic is to investigate this paradox by inviting relevant stakeholders to explore good examples and methods to achieve responsible investments. Also, to address key issues like what factors are investors looking at when making investment decisions, and how does these correspond to the Arctic? How can the Arctic stakeholders work to improve the conditions to make the Arctic an interesting area for investments? Can the perceived bias pose a threat to the development of the Arctic?
The side event took place during this year’s Arctic Frontiers conference and gathered 70 participants. The event was moderated by Mr. Felix Tshudi. other speakers included Ms. Anna Hyrske, Head of Responsible Investments, Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Mr. Jan Moström, CEO, LKAB, Ms. Madeleine Redfern, Mayor, City of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Mr. Tero Kiviniemi, Chair, AEC Investments and Infrastructure Working Group; President & CEO, Destia Group Plc and Mr. Tero Vauraste, Chair, Arctic Economic Council (AEC).
To start the discussion around responsible investments in the Arctic, Mr. Timo Kiviniemi, chair of the Investments and Infrastructure Working Group presented the AEC work with Arctic Investment Protocol. Originally a product of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic. In 2017 the AEC endorsed the intent of the AIP and the IIWG working group has worked with the six principles for responsible investments in the Arctic since then. The work is currently focused on accumulating best practices of responsible investments from the Arctic and elsewhere.
Ms. Anna Hyrske, Head of responsible investments at Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, presented what factors that are important when they make investments. Ilmarinen invests pension assets responsibly and take into consideration not only economic aspects, but also environmental, social and governance issues in making investment decisions. She identified two key issues that are important to address, social and governance issues and it has helped them to succeed and to make better investments. Also, it has been beneficial for the communities were the companies Ilmarinen are investing in are operating.
Ms. Madeleine Redfern, Mayor, City of Iqaluit, Nunavut in Canada gave her perspective on investments from a local perspective and the business opportunities in Iqaluit. During the last five years there have been built, are under construction or are to be announced 1 billion dollars’ worth of infrastructure investments. Just to mention a few concreate cases, an airport investment in the range of 300 million dollars, an expansion of the collage and a new aquatic centre are under construction or finalized.
The business opportunities are substantial and new technologies are facilitating a more sustainable production. The AEC is currently looking for responsible investments and concrete cases in the Arctic and elsewhere. In connection to the side event a submission form for best practices was launched at the AEC website. The hearing is open to all and to submit your best practices please go bit.ly/BestpracticeAIP
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For more information about the Arctic Investments Protocol please go to bit.ly/ArcticIP