At the beginning of 2019, the AEC and Arctic Frontiers organized a joint side event called Investments in the Arctic during the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway. The aim of the side event, Investing in the Arctic was 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 do these correspond to the Arctic. The event gathered 80 participants.

At the end of March, the Governance Committee met in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was the first time a formal AEC meeting was held in Denmark. In addition to preparing for the transition of AEC chairmanship in May, the AEC delegates also had the opportunity to get acquainted with the different Arctic stakeholders of the Kingdom of Denmark.

The Annual Meeting was held in May in Rovaniemi, Finland and it was the fifth Annual Meeting since the establishment of the organization in 2014. During the Annual Meeting, the Icelandic business community took over the Arctic Economic Council’s (AEC) chairmanship from the Finnish business community. Heidar Gudjonsson of Iceland was welcomed as the new chair of the organization after a unanimous decision from AEC delegates.

In connection to the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in May, the Arctic Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Arctic Economic Council. The MoU aims to provide a framework for cooperation and to facilitate collaboration between the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council.

During spring a new Working Group on Blue Economy was initiated and formally established in August. The Blue Economy Working Group (BEWG) aims to facilitate a pan-Arctic alliance of ocean clusters to leverage the knowledge, expertise and funding instruments throughout the region to fast track product development and economic growth in the sector. The Working Group is chaired by Ms. Dana Eidsness, Director of the Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO) in the USA.

The AEC celebrated its fifth anniversary in September. From the start, the AEC has experienced a great level of interest and expectations towards its work. The AEC has had a high level of outreach and activities over the years.

In October the first joint meeting between the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council took place in Reykjavik, Iceland. The meeting was a step towards enhancing cooperation and collaboration between the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council, as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding the secretariats of both Councils signed in May. The joint meeting brought together government representatives of the eight Arctic States, business representatives, as well as representatives of the indigenous Permanent Participants, and the Councils’ respective Working Groups.

At the end of November, the 40th Annual Alaska Resources Conference was held in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. The Arctic Economic Council and its work were amongst the topics highlighted.

The annual Arctic Partnership Week was arranged for eight time in Busan, Korea at the beginning of December 2019. The AEC was invited to deliver a keynote speech at the 2019 Arctic Policy Forum, a part of the Arctic Partnership Week. The AEC was represented by its Director Anu Fredrikson.

The AEC would like to take the opportunity to thank all members, Working Groups and other partners for the collaboration in 2019. The AEC looks forward to the work and continued cooperation in 2020.

Publications in 2019

AEC Working Group on Responsible Resource Development: Mineral Development in the Arctic (2019)

AEC Working Group on Maritime Transportation: The State of Maritime Transportation in the Arctic (2019)

Photos from AEC events