ARCTIC ECONOMIC COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING:
The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) represents the pan-Arctic business community and the indigenous peoples’ organizations represented in the Arctic Council. In addition, the AEC is open for membership for stakeholders coming from outside the Arctic region. From micro and small and medium-sized businesses to the big multinationals, the AEC represents all major business lines in the Arctic.
The AEC’s full membership meets annually. The 2019 AEC Annual Meeting takes place on May 8-9 May in Rovaniemi, Finland. The meeting is held back-to-back with the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. The 2019 Annual Meeting will gather around 30 business executives and representatives of indigenous corporations to Rovaniemi for a 2-day meeting.
The AEC has a 2-year rotating chairmanship. Appointed by the Finnish business community, Mr. Tero Vauraste (CEO, Mariadi Oy) has served as the Chairman of the AEC during the Finnish businesses’ AEC chairmanship 2017-2019. The Annual Meeting in Rovaniemi marks the end of the Finnish business community’s AEC chairmanship and the transition of the chairmanship to the Icelandic business community.
At the Annual Meeting, the AEC will launch reports on mining and on maritime transportation in the Arctic. In addition, the AEC Working Groups on Connectivity, Energy and Investments & Infrastructure will provide interim reports to the AEC members.
In addition to core business items, the AEC members have an opportunity to visit Lappset Group Oy and BRP Group Finland Oy to get acquainted with businesses in Finnish Lapland. The attendants of the AEC Annual meeting will also have an opportunity to gain insight on the development of tourism sector in Northern Finland. A crucial part of the Finland’s success within tourism is the development of infrastructure, a topic of discussion during the Annual Meeting.
FOCUS AREAS OF THE FINNISH BUSINESSES’ AEC CHAIRMANSHIP:
The focus areas (Safe, Interconnected and Competent Arctic) of the Finnish businesses’ AEC chairmanship were defined well before the start of the chairmanship in 2017. In addition to focusing on these themes, the AEC has also actively promoted the Arctic as a region of economic potential to raise awareness and to provide a holistic understanding of the Arctic. Strengthening the ties between the Arctic, indigenous and global businesses has been a high priority through the entire Finnish businesses’ AEC Chairmanship period. As the Arctic economies are dependent on trade the AEC has also focused on advocating for the need for freedom of trade in the region.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AEC:
The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) is an independent business organization established to facilitate Arctic business-to-business activities, promote responsible economic development and provide a circumpolar business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council. The AEC’s creation was facilitated by the Arctic Council, and the organization’s inaugural meeting was held in September 2014 in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada.
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 works for the betterment of conditions for responsible business in the Arctic. Strengthening market connections within the Arctic and between the Arctic and the international value chains is high on the AEC’s agenda. The current development with signs of increased protectionism in international trade can be especially harmful for the Arctic. Use of best possible knowledge and technology is essential when operating in the Arctic. This, in turn, is dependent on freedom of trade. The AEC’s work also focuses on principles for sustainable investments and the improvement of infrastructure in the Arctic.
The AEC is open to corporations, partnerships and indigenous groups that have an economic interest in the Arctic. A list of all AEC Member organizations can be found here.
More background information about vision, mission and goals and governance structure of the AEC can be found on the AEC website under “Information for the Press” section.
Requests for interviews with AEC’s leadership can be made to the Director of the AEC Secretariat, Ms. Anu Fredrikson (firstname.lastname@example.org; 0047 928 13 910).