The Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region that took place on April 14, 2021 at Stortinget called in their final conference statement on national governments “to strengthen the cooperation with the Arctic Economic Council and ensure the implementation of the Arctic Investment Protocol.”
Mads Qvist Frederiksen, the Director of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC), presented the status of the economic activities in the Arctic region.
“As a result of the pandemic the global slowdown could hit the Arctic local economies twice as hard as the rest of the world. Tourism is hardly hit and in addition, several international banks stopped their financing in the region and some companies have called for an Arctic shipping ban,” said Mr. Frederiksen.
The Arctic is a home to around four million people. In accordance with UN sustainable development goals, the AEC encourages economic activities in the region to the benefit of the local economies and population.
“I see the Arctic as a region exporting innovative solutions for the global green transformation,” said Mr. Frederiksen.
For instance, with growing share of low-cost renewable energy and cold temperatures the Arctic has a competitive advantage to accommodate big data centres. Another example is commercially valuable products from Arctic seafood waste with wide range of potential applications including medicine. Finally, raw materials extracted in the Arctic are key elements in high-tech production of electric vehicles, wind turbines and cell phones.
“For the next half a year the AEC is focusing on promoting the most sustainable business opportunities in the region and to attract more stakeholders attention to the Arctic Investment Protocol,” said Mr. Frederiksen.
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Title photo: Tromsø harbour by Stefán Erlingsson