2018 Arctic Partnership Week was held on Dec 10-14, 2018 in Busan, Korea. As annual event since 2016, the event of this year included Arctic Policy Forum, Arctic Science Cooperation Seminar, International Arctic Shipping Seminar, Arctic Energy-Resources Seminar and Arctic Industry Conference. During the week, several special sessions such as Arctic Business Dialogue, were included in the program.
Chair of AEC, Mr. Tero Vauraste, attended two sessions: the Arctic Policy Forum which was held on the second day of the event and Arctic Business Dialogue which was organized by the Embassy of Denmark in Seoul and the AEC.
The main theme of the Arctic Policy Forum was “Arctic Policy & Innovation”. Mr. Vauraste delivered a keynote speech on the plenary session with the topic “Arctic and Innovation” and discussed how the AEC can facilitate responsible economic development of the Arctic.
In his remarks, Mr. Vauraste presented significant investment potential of the European High North based on the figures of the Arctic Business Forum Yearbook 2018.
Mr. Vauraste mentioned why freedom of trade is essential especially in the Arctic. Global trend shows that protectionism and use of bilateral agreements have been increasing. As small home market, Arctic benefits from openness. Since the Arctic countries produce much of the same goods and their economies are heavily reliant on raw materials, the Arctic greatly benefits from access to global markets.
In addition, Mr. Vauraste also discussed reasons why Arctic is relevant to Asian countries. Arctic has resources needed to facilitate the expected major move from low-income to middle-income classover the next 10 years. Asia has experience on shipping, shipbuilding, IT and infrastructure while Arctic needs to develop on infrastructure and connectivity. For both Arctic and Asia, this could be a win-win situation.
AEC can facilitate Arctic and global business-to-business activities and responsible economic development. As a network of Arctic businesses, the AEC convenes industry exports from across the Arctic and non-Arctic regions. The membership of AEC is open to both Arctic and non-Arctic stakeholders. AEC can be a voice for small and medium size enterprises. In addition, indigenous and local knowledge and participation of indigenous people is significant for AEC.
For more information and the programme of 2018 Arctic Partnership Week, please visit here.