In May, the AEC Members met in Sweden for the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Before the start of the 2018 Annual Meeting, the AEC Executive Committee participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Together with Swedish stakeholders they discussed Arctic business opportunities and challenges. Issues related to connectivity, mining, energy, investments, infrastructure and maritime sector were also a part of the discussions during the roundtable chaired by the AEC’s Icelandic Vice Chair Heidar Gudjonsson.

Before leaving Stockholm, the AEC members had an opportunity to get to know one of the organization’s Swedish members, namely Ericsson. The visit to Ericsson Studios in Stockholm provided a great opportunity to get to know the company and the latest developments within connectivity. The members had an opportunity to see in practice how e.g. connectivity can help preventing losses of life in accidents or natural disasters.

The Annual Meeting itself was held in Kiruna and was graciously hosted by LKAB, an AEC member from Sweden.

The formal Annual Meeting adopted the draft for AEC’s new Strategic Plan starting from 2019. In addition, the Annual Meeting also adopted changes to the AEC’s five overarching themes. These themes form the core of the organization’s operations, and the approved new language underlines the AEC’s wish to link the Arctic value chains even closer to the global value Chains.

In addition to the formal meeting and discussions on internal affairs , the AEC’s members also had an opportunity to discuss Arctic business development, collaboration opportunities with other stakeholders, as well as acquaint themselves with the development in Northern Sweden.

Robert Forsberg from Norrbotten Chamber of Commerce provided the participants with an overview of the business opportunities and challenges in Northern Sweden. The AEC was pleased to welcome Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Working Group’s new Executive Secretary, Mr. Rolf Rødven to Kiruna. Mr. Rødven gave a talk on “Adapting to a changing Arctic – meeting the climate change”.

The AEC members also had a workshop on Arctic Environmental Impact Assessment (Arctic EIA). The AEC is represented by Equinor’s Ms. Kjerstin S. Lange at the Arctic Council SDWG Working Group’s project “Good Practice Recommendations for Environmental Impact Assessment and Public Participation in the Arctic”. Together with Ms. Pamela Lesser, Arctic Centre – University of Lapland, Ms. Lange briefed the Group about the Project and sought inout from the broader business community. More info here.