1st Arctic Stakeholder Conference: “Knowing, developing and connecting the Arctic” and Annual Arctic Indigenous Peoples Dialogue was held on September 17, 2018 in Brussels.
The European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have adopted the EU’s Arctic policy since April 2016. One of the cornerstones of the EU’s Arctic policy is engagement with Arctic stakeholders.
This conference was held to follow-up on the recommendations formulated in the final report of the Arctic Stakeholders Forum published in December 2017, which identified key investment priorities for the sustainable development of the Arctic.
Ms. Anu Fredrikson, the Director of Arctic Economic Council (AEC) Secretariat, participated at Session: Arctic Connectivity as a panellist.
In her remarks, Ms. Fredrikson presented the Arctic as a region which could provide new, faster routes for connectivity, also offering resiliency and cost reduction in the face of the digital economy.
Ms. Fredrikson mentioned the Arctic’s strategic location, unites three continents; Asia, North America and Europe. This also provides the shortest route for ING data. As one of the biggest costs in datacenter industry comes from cooling the servers, the Arctic’s cool climate can be an asset. In addition, Arctic has an abundance of renewable energy.
According to Ms. Fredrikson, improved connectivity means a better quality of life and more business opportunities in remote areas. These are priorities for AEC. A practical example can be found from the Faroe Islands where entrepreneurs do global business from remote locations thanks to good connectivity. Moreover, majority of Arctic businesses are Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). For them, improved connectivity can be a game changer.
AEC considers Public Private Partnership (P3) as a useful model for Arctic infrastructure building. Ms. Fredrikson added that investment in broadband should be seen on the same line with traditional infrastructure investments.
For more information regarding AEC Working Group – Infrastructure: Connectivity, please visit here
For more information and the program of 1st Arctic Stakeholder Conference, please visit here