Since its establishment as an independent circumpolar business organization in 2014 during the Canadian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) has had as one of its goals to provide advice and a business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council.

The Arctic Council Fairbanks Declaration 2017 recognized the AEC’s role and collaboration opportunities between the two organizations in several sections. The AEC has worked actively to address these issues identified in the declaration. The AEC has compiled a statement summing up the organization’s work during the Finnish businesses’ chairmanship.

The Finnish business community’s AEC Chairmanship has focused the organization’s work around the AEC’s five overarching themes. In addition, the Finnish businesses prioritized work around the themes of Safe, Competent and Interconnected Arctic.

Some of the key achievements of the 2017-2019 chairmanship include:

– Active promotion of the Arctic as a region with economic development potential: over 130 outreach meetings and events and 14 events organized by the AEC globally.
– Contributing with new knowledge through participation in reports on business and financing in the Arctic and through strategic partnerships with Business Index North and AlaskaNOR projects.
– Broadening of the AEC’s membership representations with 11 new members.
– New Strategic Plan for 2019 and onwards.
– Establishment of three new Working Groups: Investments and Infrastructure, Energy and Connectivity.
– Work for improved connectivity and increased market connections in the Arctic and globally through the AEC’s Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summits and through the work of the AEC Connectivity Working Group.
– AEC Maritime Transportation Working Group serves as voice of Arctic shipping operators in international fora and seeks dialogue with relevant Arctic Council bodies. Report on the status of Arctic maritime transportation will be published in May.
– Provide new information and recommendations on responsible resource development in the Arctic through a report focusing on mining in the Arctic.
– Memorandum of Understanding with University of the Arctic and the Arctic Council.

The full statement can be read here.