This week the Wilson Center and the Arctic Circle Forum hosted a two-day conference in Washington D.C., exploring the relationship between the United States and Russia. One of the focus areas of the conference was investments in the Arctic.
On the first day of the conference the AEC Chair Tero Vauraste moderated a panel titled “The Next Investment Territory”. In his opening remarks Mr. Vauraste underlined the Arctic investment potential, which is estimated to 1 trillion dollars. The investment potential within the energy sector is estimated to 250 billion dollars, within traffic and traffic infrastructure to 100 billion dollars, and within mining to 100 billion dollars. The current status of global broadband development and the need for connectivity also forms a great investment opportunity. Further, Mr. Vauraste stated that for Russia, the Arctic potential translates to 20 % of the country’s GDP. For the USA, the Arctic has often been referred to as the last frontier. He challenged the participants to change perspective and instead look at it as the first frontier providing access to the north and to the south. Mr. Vauraste also underlined that the future collaboration between businesses is of increased importance in terms of trade relations, opportunities for PPP development, and increased business opportunities for the small and medium sized enterprises.
To watch the whole discussion, please see https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/day-1-the-wilson-center-arctic-circle-forum
The second day of the forum focused on discussions on the key priorities for economic development of the Arctic, and on the challenges and need for cooperation to ensure international support in Arctic waters. The first panel of the day was facilitated by the AEC Chair Tero Vauraste and focused on sustainable Arctic Future and the role of the AEC. For the full program, please see: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/day-2-wilson-center-arctic-circle-forum