On 3rd of June the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) members Novatek, Rosatom, MegaFon, Sovcomflot, GazpromNeft, along with Sýn (Vodafone), Aleut International Association and RAIPON gathered at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

The company representatives discussed future cooperation plans encompassing physical and digital connectivity between the Arctic and the global economy as well as securing environmental efficiency of the economic activities.

Today, the High North is entering a new round of development. More and more of the non-Arctic states announce strategic plans anticipating an enhanced maritime trade via the Arctic Ocean. As Russia took over the Chairmanship in the AEC in May 2021, maritime transportation has become Council’s top priority for the next two years.

“Maritime shipping is of high importance not only to the Russian AEC members but to many international shipping businesses servicing extractive facilities in the North. Among them are Canadian Teekay, Japanese Mitshubishi, along with Union of Greek shipowners and numerous transportation companies from China, ” said Evgeny Ambrosov, the AEC Chair.

The AEC will continue to promote the expansion of the digital connectivity in the sparsely populated Arctic areas, supporting the resilience of small and remote communities.

“We need to bring mobile broadband internet connection and provide Arctic societies with an opportunity to develop,” said Heiðar Guðjónsson.

At the same time, the AEC will pursue further cooperation and dialogue with the Arctic Council (AC). The AEC will advocate a business perspective on sustainability at this intergovernmental forum ensuring that the developmental and environmental needs are met equitably.

Nikolay Korchunov, Russian Ambassador at Large for Arctic Cooperation and the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials at the AC, described cooperation between the Councils an integral part of addressing sustainable development in the North.

“We see the AEC being a centre for the Arctic cooperation between operators, business communities and economic development institutes. It will give impetus to the development of the SMEs and indigenous communities,” said Mr Korchunov.

Economic development of the Arctic is an indispensable part of the global sustainability. The Arctic region provides transportation and energy solutions minimising the impact of the navigation and, thus, facilitating transition to low-carbon and carbon-neutral economy.

“It is crucial to understand the importance of the ecological efficiency of the economic activities. Ecological capital will be one of the most important advantages in the future competition and  development of the global economy,” said Mr Korchunov.

“AEC is a business structure, and it speaks a pragmatic business language. By taking decisions faster and more effectively, AEC is an ice-breaker demonstrating to politicians, diplomats and the public constructive and effective ways of interaction in the Arctic,” said Mr Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

You can read more on the Russian Chairmanship priorities here.

The Broadcast in English of the meeting is available here.

Photo credit: Aleev Egor/ TASS

Evgeny Ambrosov, deputy Chairman of the Management Board and Director of Maritime Operations, Shipping and Logistic of NOVATEK, the AEC chair.

Mads Qvist Frederiksen, the Director of the AEC

Nikolay Korchunov, Russian Ambassador at Large for Arctic Cooperation and the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials at the AC